Shocked at the amount of waste disposable baby products create, and concerned at the skin sensitivities her baby was showing to disposable nappies, Bianca Freedman set out to find a more sustainable and skin-friendly alternative. Making the switch to cloth nappies, she struggled to find a balance between price, sustainability and quality, so made it her mission to find a solution that would make cloth nappies accessible and affordable for all families. In addition to their beautiful cloth nappy range, Mumma Bear provides families with affordable, sustainable everyday care solutions, eco-conscious alternatives to one-time-use products and natural self-care products to support mums through pregnancy, postpartum and beyond. Here Bianca shares her business journey so far with The Natural Parent Magazine.
The passion: What inspired you to set up your business?
As a first-time mum navigating the fourth trimester, I found myself researching and buying a tonne of products for myself and my new baby. I was surprised at how much waste from there was from the sheer amount of disposable nappies, breast pads and the packaging my purchases were coming in (let alone throwing out the empty tubs, tubes and packets once I had finished them). The disposable nappies alone would fill almost half our wheelie bin each week! My little one had also started showing skin sensitivities to disposable nappies and I struggled to find a nappy that kept his skin calm and happy.
I set out to find a more sustainable and skin-friendly solution and quickly discovered cloth nappies. After spending a small fortune, I was going down the rabbit hole of finding a good balance between price, sustainability and quality – which was surprisingly challenging.
I made it my mission to create a solution that better balanced cost, sustainability and quality so that cloth nappies were more accessible to families across Australia, no matter their budget.
The launch: How did you start out in the beginning?
From the very beginning, our range of products were used every day by our own family and still are to this very day.
We started with a simple product line and range of 4 different types of products. These were cloth nappies, reusable breast pads, wet bags and muslin swaddles. Over the last 18 months, since launch, we have more than quadrupled the range as our own family grew, to bring even better sustainable, natural and affordable products to families and their little ones.
The innovation: What was the biggest breakthrough for you with your business?
We take the time to really listen to our customers, understand their biggest challenges and what is important to them when it comes to looking after themselves and their babies. We only release products that have been thoroughly tried, tested and loved by not only our own family, but our network of wonderful mums and babies that we are blessed to work with.
This paved the way to launch our own self-care range to support new mums, as we found a lot of mums were so focused on products for their babies, they often overlooked their own needs for self-care.
Yin and Yang: How do you balance work and family?
In the beginning, it was particularly challenging to find a good balance. I worked a normal 9-5 job and then threw whatever time I had left into Mumma Bear. This was not sustainable. I had to draw a line, create a plan and dedicate specific times to work on the business that would allow us to spend quality time with each other. When most tasks feel like a priority for the business, this was much easier said than done (and still is!).
I keep reminding myself that “work will always be here” but my little ones won’t be little forever.