Helen Ballard

Four years ago, eyeing a niche for upscale designer room furniture and decor for children’s bedrooms, three business veterans with decidedly different backgrounds joined forces to launch the Koo Koo Bears Kids catalog/online business. During a session at last week’s NEMOA conference in Cambridge, Mass., one of the principals, Joe Mediate, shared the lessons he learned in starting up the company and steering it on the road to success. 1. Pool diverse backgrounds. Mediate, with 23 years of experience in the computer business, was approached by two women for the start-up: One with a background in retail merchandising, the other with experience working with Helen

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