Get To Know GBG: Kihra Hekkers, Good Buy Gear's First Wingmom
When you sign on to goodbuygear.com you may have a window pop up with the picture of a woman sporting ear-length blond hair. That helpful lady is Kihra Hekkers, who has been with the company just about from the beginning.
"I had been a stay-at-home mom for about six years and had been looking for a job that I could do from home or on my own schedule, preferably with a toddler in tow, and I had started to think that job didn’t actually exist," says Hekkers, who randomly found out about Good Buy Gear while perusing the Denver-based Highland Mommies Facebook group. "Because I had earned my black belt in multi-tasking after years of the stay-at-home parenting gig, I applied for the job while getting my kids ready for the zoo, and here I am today!"
When she started at Good Buy Gear Hekkers mainly cross-posted items to Craigslist and other online marketplaces as a way to steer people to the website. The business was new and she had a huge part in getting the word out to moms, dads and grandparents looking for quality used baby gear. Soon after she took on the position of Wingmom, becoming the very first in what's now a long line of moms taking pictures of kid and infant products. When she first got this role all of the action to place inside the Good Buy Garage, a literal garage that first housed the company. As the company grew, she became a full-time customer service lead and Head Wingmom, a job that involved training others.
Now Hekkers mainly works on the app and website as a QA analysis, but really she can do it all from driving the van for white glove pick ups to writing blog posts to getting into the picture bay and taking care of the used items you've sent to Good Buy Gear to sell. And when you see her pop up online with a digital offer to help, that's really her answering the questions.
"Getting to grow with this amazing company from a tiny startup to where it is today has been an incredible experience," the 35-year-old Renaissance woman says. "I still feel like I won the lottery with this amazing job that accommodates being a mother."
Now her baby Amelie is 4-years-old and her son Finn is 8, they live in Denver's Highland neighborhood with her husband and their father Brett. Hekkers has shared her love of being outside hiking, biking, camping and flying kites with her two kids. They also really enjoy reading books together and currently tomes such as Charlotte's Web, A.A. Milne's Winnie the Pooh series and all the Clementine, Humphrey, and Beverly Cleary books have been in rotation. The library, she says, is one of their favorite places to visit.
When not hanging out with the family Hekkers can be found playing piano, writing and reading her own favorite books by authors including Sherman Alexie, Lisa Genova, and Fredrik Backman. Of course, she adds, since having children finding time to sit alone in quiet rooms with delicious snacks that she doesn’t have to share is also high on the list treasured pastimes.
"Pretty much any snacks become delicious when eaten alone with no prying little fingers or whining," she says, divulging her secret chocolate stash. "I adore my kiddos, but whoever came up with the phrase 'silence is golden' was most definitely a parent."
Originally from Alaska, Hekkers has a psychology degree. Way before she was a Wingmom she was a data entry specialist for various psychology studies mostly involving children and sleep.
"That is where my love of massive Excel spreadsheets began," she jokes. "After having children I spent six years as a stay-at-home mom learning much about children and not much about sleeping."
Hekkers moved with her husband and baby Finn to Denver, where Brett is from, to be closer to family. It was here she decided to remain a stay-at-home mom, but while doing so she also taught outdoor classes for parents and children through the Tinkergarten program. Being a part of Good Buy Gear for the last three years along with spending time with her own offspring and teaching others has helped Hekkers develop strong opinions on kid gear.
"I love open ended toys that require imagination and can be used in many different ways," she says. "We have a set of wooden blocks that we got about seven years ago when my son was a baby. They still get played with every single day by both kids."
Other advice, she says, "Do not get a jogging stroller with a fixed front wheel. I did and lived to regret it. Even if you live on a two-track in Alaska, which I did, you do not need a fixed front wheel to get around." Instead, she adds, she wished she had known about the UPPAbaby MINU stroller, now her all time favorite stroller.
"It folds up compactly enough to fit in the overhead bin on an airplane but it’s comfortable and sturdy enough for everyday use and so easy to navigate," she says. "I also wish I had known about the SNOO [a smart infant bassinet], the thought of babies actually sleeping kind of blows my mind."
She also recommends the Keekaroo Height Right High chair, which has been going strong in her house for eight years. "My daughter still uses it as a kid’s chair," she says. "Kids grow so fast, it's nice to have gear that grows right along with them."
In that sense, Hekkers is like the Keekaroo, she has remained an invaluable and flexible member of the Good Buy Gear team. Maybe it hasn't been eight years, but given she's seen the company grow from the beginning we can imagine she'll be around another five, nurturing and helping the whole system run smoothly.