By Camille Cox | Staff Writer
Hollywood couple Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard opened their Hello Bello diaper plant in Waco last week.
With Texas natives Sean Kane and Jay McGraw, Bell and Shepard founded Hello Bello in 2019 alongside other co-founder Jennifer Pullen. The website describes the company as “a baby product company making plant-based premium products at non-premium prices.”
Hello Bello Public Relations said the company chose Waco due to the Texas roots of Kane and McGraw and for accessibility for the products themselves.
“The Waco site was chosen because of its central location and access to suppliers and freight carriers,” Hello Bello PR said in an email. “They also plan to buy most of our raw materials from local and regional suppliers.”
Hello Bello PR said the plant will be “the only independent diaper company in the U.S. manufacturing its own diapers from design to delivery.”
The company remains headquartered in Los Angeles, but the diaper plant will bring economic opportunities to Waco. Hello Bello worked with Waco Economic Development to ensure the 312,000-square-foot plant will offer job opportunities.
Kent George, director of Economic Development at City of Waco, said Hello Bello will fill the once-vacant building and fit well within the community.
“They’ve offered to fill at least 110 jobs, and they also offered to make that minimum starting wage a minimum of $15 an hour,” George said. “That’s one of the things that we strive for for our community — not only a creation of jobs, but jobs that pay a living wage or a wage at higher levels than what you can see from surrounding areas in Texas.”
Hello Bello PR said the company worked with the Magnolia design team to create the plant, which is located at 2101 Texas Central Parkway.
“Hello Bello was also very fortunate to have the support and expertise of the very talented Magnolia team in designing the factory in a way that is both representative of Hello Bello but also the brand’s new roots in Waco,” Hello Bello PR said.
The plant has one diaper machine up and running — which makes 800 diapers per minute — with three more to follow by May.
George said the company’s opening in Waco brings not only economic prosperity but also a greater awareness of Waco’s growing community.
“This is exactly another step forward to having Waco be a destination city for not only work but play and learn,” George said. “People can come in and have a quality job. They can have parks and activities and arts and things to do. And we have some magnificent schools here too. We want to be a place that people can call home.”
Hello Bello PR said the company plans to keep expanding nationally and globally.
“In early 2022, Hello Bello will be launching Hello Bello in the U.K. with Europe to follow and in H-E-B here in Texas first of the year,” Hello Bello PR said. “They will continue to explore additional opportunities that are U.S.-based.”