Baby Sensory: A Magical World of Sensory Learning, Wonder and Exploration

Photography: Birdy Flower Photography

Baby Sensory was the first (and original) baby programme to offer a complete approach to learning and sensory development from birth to 13 months. Designed to stimulate, educate and provide precious memories during the all-important first year of life, Baby Sensory has won multiple awards both nationally and internationally since 2008. Baby Sensory classes are now available across New Zealand. We spoke to Joanne Kane from Baby Sensory to learn more about how she got started.

The passion: What inspired you to set up your business?

I was looking for a career that I could fit in around motherhood as well as something that inspired me. I was also looking for an opportunity that offered something different to other baby classes in New Zealand.

The Launch: How did you start out in the beginning?

I launched Baby Sensory classes in Wellington in 2010, as a sole operator.  My very first classes opened with just 14 babies over four classes.

The innovation: What was the biggest breakthrough for you with your business?

I think my biggest breakthrough was being able to franchise the business to others. It was so satisfying and comforting, to know that there were other people that believed in the classes enough, to want to run them. And it was also so rewarding knowing that there was such a demand for Baby Sensory classes from parents and families all over the country.

Yin and Yang: How do you balance work and family?

I try to be strict with weekend time. In the early days of setting up the business, I worked every evening and weekend, but now that the business is more established and there are booking systems in place, it is easier to keep weekends and evenings for family. I try to work smarter by utilizing online payments and online accounting systems. I often have to remind myself that one of the main reasons I run my own business is so that I have the flexibility for my family and work around them, not the other way round.

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