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Craig Hammond: “Success is being kind, caring, helpful and charitable.”

Success is being kind, caring, helpful and charitable. We as a company are always looking for ways to help people (that’s practically our ethos). We love working with special needs groups, less fortunate, non-profits, etc, to share our product or discounts. One other thing that is important to me is being willing to share my […]

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Success is being kind, caring, helpful and charitable. We as a company are always looking for ways to help people (that’s practically our ethos). We love working with special needs groups, less fortunate, non-profits, etc, to share our product or discounts. One other thing that is important to me is being willing to share my time. I would not be where I am, or my company wouldn’t be, if it weren’t for experienced people being willing to take their time to meet with me and counsel me.


As part of my series about the leadership lessons of accomplished business leaders, I had the pleasure of interviewing Craig Hammond. He is the Founder and CEO of Peejamas. Craig has spent the majority of his career working primarily in the tech and consumer goods industries. He is a 3x founder and has helped start two companies that have gone on to acquisitions and being on Shark Tank. In its first two years, Peejamas has achieved the largest-ever launch in the children’s apparel vertical on Kickstarter, has filmed on Shark Tank, eliminated over 16 MILLION diapers from landfills and helped thousands of children. Craig lives in Utah where he enjoys being in the outdoors with his wife and four children. He is also a self-proclaimed bad employee.


Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

Ever since childhood, I’ve known my destiny was in entrepreneurship. I remember in my youth we would take those quizzes to help identify ‘what we wanted to do and I remember always being the odd man out — no real plan as far as a ‘career plan’ goes. Others wanted to be engineers, Doctors, Dentists, etc. I could never define what I wanted to do, but I always knew I would do it myself (meaning, not having a boss).

Can you tell us a story about the hard times that you faced when you first started your journey?

Entrepreneurship is hard. It is always hard. Though the challenges after a few years may be different than the start-up phase, you will always be challenged and face opportunities to grow and learn.

About eight months in with Peejamas I repeatedly told my partner we would close up shop, refund money, and be done. For nearly our entire first year, we could not keep up with demand and were continuously selling on pre-order. With our product serving its purpose in a very finite period of time, customers were very understandably upset if the order didn’t arrive when expected (or estimated to deliver). That was so challenging, but it really helped further teach me resilience, commitment to communicating and being patient with others (and myself).

Where did you get the drive to continue even though things were so hard?

Two things kept me going. 1. I knew how well Peejamas worked for my kids that I wanted to help others who may have been facing the same challenge of potty training. 2. We had so much support during our crowdfunding that I absolutely could not just pack it in and tell those backers ‘sorry’. Those early customers made a commitment to us, and I reciprocated that commitment to them.

So, how are things going today? How did grit and resilience lead to your eventual success?

Things are great. As mentioned above, there are always challenges. But I am very intentional in putting forth effort to face those challenges as learning and growth opportunities. Even on the tough days — days when a customer didn’t have the outcome they hoped, or a delay in a particular business unit — I remind myself that I’m living my childhood dream. That I’m able to do something I love. That I’m helping thousands of people and the environment, and that I’m able to support my family from something I started from the ground up. Those blessings are great motivators!

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

In our first video, I dramatically reenacted my response to waking up in my son’s urine. In the video, I kind of fling my son off of me. I didn’t think anything of it (nor did my 4-year-old son!), but sometimes others get so worked up as over it. Honestly, I think the comments are kind of silly, but it does still make me cringe now knowing that it offends some people. I’ve just learned that there will always be critics, but that you should also consider others’ takes and opinions.

What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

I think our founding story is so relatable that everyone who sees our ad immediately says, ‘I know exactly how that is.” We help with a very universal problem, in the truest sense of the word. There isn’t a single person on earth that didn’t face potty training or bedwetting. The fact we offer a very reliable alternative to wasteful diapers is very unique. Plus, the name — Peejamas?! So perfect.

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?

Quality of life is very important to me. I love my work, but I care much more about my family. I tell people all the time, ‘there will always be work to get done tomorrow. Your health and your family, may not always be.’ Take the time to take care of yourself and those around you today. It may be a sacrifice to put a few tasks off until tomorrow, but family and health are always #1”

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?

So many people who have helped in different ways. My wife is an amazing resource to let me simply vent and share my frustrations — entrepreneurs need someone who is willing to just listen, without being judgmental. My partner, Ryan Treft, is another person that has been invaluable. We absolutely would not be where we are without his experience, advice and input.

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?

Success is being kind, caring, helpful and charitable. We as a company are always looking for ways to help people (that’s practically our ethos). We love working with special needs groups, less fortunate, non-profits, etc, to share our product or discounts. One other thing that is important to me is being willing to share my time. I would not be where I am, or my company wouldn’t be, if it weren’t for experienced people being willing to take their time to meet with me and counsel me.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me before I started leading my company” and why. Please share a story or example for each.

  1. You are no better than anyone else, but no one is better than you.” Success has a way of making people believe they are better than others. It’s simply not true. Prior to going on Shark Tank, I think I was getting a little too confident. It didn’t take long to be knocked right down when all Sharks passed on Peejamas.
  2. “Businesses don’t fail. The leaders do (or give up).” You’re going to want to give up. Probably every week, if not every day. DO NOT. Keep giving it your best shot and refuse to quit.
  3. “You will likely face overwhelming stresses, physical ailments, and mental health issues. Find someone you can trust who will be your outlet.” A friend and I recently started a podcast called Founders Therapy that is 100% dedicated to helping other founders and entrepreneurs navigate and overcome the challenges they face
  4. “Be humble and eager to learn”. No one expects you to know everything so you shouldn’t hold yourself to it, or pretend you do. Be willing to admit when you don’t know the answer to something. It will save you future embarrassment and provide you a learning opportunity.
  5. “Delegate!” You need to learn to pass work off. Hire the right people who you can trust and let me multiply your efforts. You can’t — and should NOT — do everything.

You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

Honestly, just be kind. Everyone is facing a problem in their life. We are so quick to be mean and cruel. We feel we need to criticize and mock others. If you need to see it, It’s all over social media. I’m just as guilty as the next person, but I try and remind myself each day that I can try a little harder to be a little kinder.

How can our readers follow you on social media?

Peejamas has social media on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Youtube.

Facebook: Peejamas

Instagram: Peejamas_

Pinterest: Peejammas

Youtube: Peejamas

I can be found on Linkedin, Facebook, and Twitter.

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!

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