The lovely people at Thinkwise are passionate about helping you find the safest baby skincare solutions available. They provide helpful information to parents and carers who are conscious about the chemicals they put on their baby’s skin and use in their environment. They specialise in selling dry baby wipes and change mats as used in Birthcare and Hospitals nationwide, and also stock their own organic baby skincare range. We spoke to Jodie from Thinkwise to find out a little more about their business.
The passion: What inspired you to set up your business?
I had always been what I call a naive consumer. If they’re putting it on the shelf and are allowed to sell it to me then it must be safe. My logic was that of course our government would be looking out for us and would have strict regulatory practices and guidelines to ensure our health and wellbeing is protected.
It wasn’t until I had children that I started to realise that so much of what we were eating, putting on our skin and exposed to around our households is not tested, and possibly dangerous. That basically we are all part of a huge human experiment.
When we had our three girls I started the very steep learning curve of detoxifying our diet, skincare products and our home environment to help give them the best start in life that I could.
From this I have become really passionate about encouraging and supporting other parents to make informed choices. I certainly don’t know all the answers but I know some really good questions to ask and from this I have developed products that I am confident are 100% safe.
The Launch: How did you start out in the beginning?
I was 7 months pregnant with our third child when my husband asked me what I was planning to do for money. You’ve got to love his timing! I remember thinking to myself, well if I’m going to do something it’s going to need to be easy and something I can do from home.
I was in the process of searching for safe wipes for my daughter’s sensitive skin and thought, If I need these products others will need them too (read more about this journey here).
I sourced a product; one of my best friend’s husbands built me a website; my cousin designed me a logo and three weeks later I was in business.
The innovation: What was the biggest breakthrough for you with your business?
After sourcing our key products and ensuring that they were safe, we have had the ongoing challenge of determining the best way to communicate our message.
To reach the amazing mums and dads out there who want the best for the babies, we needed a clear message and strategy to do this.
So we did a MASSIVE re-brand project and I have a huge amount of gratitude for the effort and skill of the following very talented individuals: Tori Veysey (designer extraordinaire), Kelly Donovan (marketing and styling guru) and Wendy Fenwick (photographic genius).
I am now confident to stand beside my brand knowing it communicates our ethos clearly.
Yin and Yang: How do you balance work and family?
Thankfully the business has grown as my time and energy has grown. I have always made my business work around my family. The only time of year that changes is the weekend when the Auckland Parent and Child Show is on!
The Drive: What challenges have you overcome?
I continuously find that the products I’m interested in developing or sourcing either don’t exist or they have not been tested. The manufacturers say “We’ve never been asked this, why do you need to know?” They supply large corporate, internationally renowned companies and it appears these companies haven’t comprehensively checked the safety of their products. Whilst this blows me away, it also encourages me that the work I am doing and the questions I am asking are important.
For better or worse: What are the pros and cons of running your own business?
The pros are the flexibility to work around family life and that I’m investing time and energy into something that I’m passionate about.
The cons are having to wear so many different hats when only a couple of those hats fit really well!
I’m really looking forward to the next stage of our growth where we can employ specialists in those areas, so that I’m not holding the business back from reaching its full potential.
Hopes and dreams: What next?
One of my dreams is that by 2020 over half of the babies born in NZ will have their skin cleansed using water only for at least the first two months of life.
To do this we need to reach a wider audience of parents and parents to be with the message of how delicate their newborns skin is and what they can do help to keep their baby’s developing body safe and toxin free.
I also hope to grow and develop our range of Skinsafe products, so that the whole family are able to reduce the amount of chemicals they are exposed to.