Founders Series: Baby Donna & Dalaisé Hickey

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Baby Donna Founder Series: Flywheel Strategy


Our monthly Founder’s Series shines a light on the passion, strategies and insights guiding growing ecommerce businesses’ path to growth. Introducing this month’s BabyDonna brand highlight, led by Dalaisé Hickey, Founder and CEO.

BabyDonna was founded to address the significant gap in the market for sun and skin care products tailored to the unique needs of black and brown children, a challenge amplified by the scarcity of black-owned companies in this space. Founded by Dalaisé, a mother and social worker motivated by her personal quest for safe, non-toxic sunscreen and her commitment to social change. This month, we chose BabyDonna as our brand highlight, because they not only offer specialized products but also supports vulnerable children and youth through partnerships with non-profits.


Q: Can you share a little bit about your background? 

A: I’m a social worker and a mom of two, I have a 19 year old son and a 4 year old daughter. I’m originally from The Bronx and lived in New York up until around 3 years ago when I moved to Connecticut. I’ve mostly worked in the legal field of social work for non-profits that represent parents in family court and youth in juvenile court.

Q: What inspired you to launch BabyDonna

A: I had struggled for years looking for a mineral sunscreen with my son that didn’t leave a cast on his skin and had given up. When my daughter was born and diagnosed with eczema, finding a mineral sunscreen that didn’t irritate her and that didn’t leave a thick cast became impossible. I started asking friends what they used and realized they all either used chemical sunscreens because it wouldn’t leave a cast, didn’t use sunscreen at all because of the cast or just accepted that their children would have a thick white cast when wearing sunscreen. When I shared my frustration about the lack of safe sunscreen options for Black and brown children with other parents, they had the same frustration and I realized that clearly no one was going to bring a product for our children to the market, so I decided to do so.

Q: What makes BabyDonna unique?

A: Besides being a trail blazer in the skin care industry and introducing the 1st Black owned mineral sunscreen for Black and brown children, BabyDonna is also committed to empowering our community. Our mission to create safe products and safe spaces for children is ingrained in every decision we make.  Our goal is to increase awareness within the Black community around the importance of using sunscreen and skincare products that are not only safe for our children, but safe for our environment as well. I want Black and brown children to feel like they are equally as important and provide products that allow them to both protect and embrace their melanin.

Q: What has been the most challenging part of bringing BabyDonna to life so far?

A: Honestly, there have been so many different challenging parts. Going into this without a background in business or any chemistry background really set me up for an extremely steep learning curve. I learned a lot by doing my own research, asking a lot of questions, but also through trial and error. Launching a product is challenging enough, but having to manage all of the regulations that go into creating a sunscreen product was much more than I had expected and I think what helped me succeed was surrounding myself with people who were experienced and utilizing a business mentor to help guide me.

Q: What is the most fulfilling part of bringing BabyDonna to life?

A: The most fulfilling part of bringing BabyDonna to life has been being able to make an impact the way I would like to. Working for an organization, I didn’t have the freedom to do so and most social workers go into the field of social work because we want to help others. Now that I have launched BabyDonna, I am able to not only provide a product to families that I know is needed, but I am also able to choose the non profits I want to work with and who I know are really working to help children and families. I’m able to not only donate, but also work more directly in how we help our community.  Having that type of freedom has been the most fulfilling part of this journey.

Q: Best advice you’ve ever received or advice you would like to share with aspiring founders and entrepreneurs?

A: The best advice I would share with an aspiring founder and entrepreneur is to start this journey with something you are passionate about. There will be so many times that you will hit a wall and want to give up, but being driven by something you are passionate about will keep you going and continuing.

Q: Can you share a little about any exciting launches coming up for BabyDonna?

A: We just recently partnered with the non profit One Simple Wish, which grants wishes to children impacted by the foster care system. I am so excited about this because each month we will be able to take a portion of sales to grant wishes for a child and customers will be able to see just how impactful their purchase was.

Q: What trends are on your radar in the ecommerce space, to help drive BabyDonna’s growth?

A: Many ecommerce businesses use TikTok, and TikTok Shop is becoming the place where you need to be. I’ve set a goal to build a larger presence on TikTok for next quarter which includes creating more shoppable content and utilizing affiliate marketing.

Q: Where can consumers learn more about you and BabyDonna

A: Consumers can check out more about us and our products at and can follow updates on Instagram @babydonnaofficial and Tiktok @babydonnaofficial.

Besides being a trail blazer in the skin care industry, introducing the 1st Black-owned mineral sunscreen for Black & brown children, BabyDonna is also committed to empowering our community. BabyDonna brand highlight. Flywheel Strategy Founders Series.

Seeing an opportunity to be part of BabyDonna’s growth and success after reading the BabyDonna brand highlight in this month’s Founder Series? Send us an email to partner with the BabyDonna and Yotpo teams.

February 27, 2024



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