As a parent living in a rural New Zealand community, Di Bruce struggled to get out and about in search of cute baby items for her own children, and many of the products she found online were either not available for shipping to New Zealand or it was overly expensive to do so. This is what inspired her to create Raspberry Lane Boutique. An online family business, they are passionate about searching for the very best products for their customers – always on the lookout for emerging brands and great new products for babies and children. They bring together all of the best brands from New Zealand and all over the world so that Kiwi families can access these amazing products easily and affordably. Their aim is to provide a beautiful range of clothing and accessories along with an enjoyable shipping experience for their wonderful customers. Here, Di talks to The Natural Parent Magazine about their business journey so far and their hopes and dreams for the future.
The passion: What inspired you to set up your business?
When our children – Owen (12), Cooper (10), and Charlotte (7) – were little, we lived rurally, which made getting out to browse for cute new baby items a little difficult and a bit of a handful. Instead, I browsed online and found lots of great baby products but not all of them were available in New Zealand, and sometimes shipping just wasn’t possible or ridiculously expensive.
Raspberry Lane Boutique was created to bring great brands from New Zealand and all over the world into one accessible place for Kiwi parents and their littles ones to enjoy.
The launch: How did you start out in the beginning?
In the very beginning of Raspberry Lane, we started very small with only a handful of brands; these were baby products that we loved for our kids. It was super important that Raspberry Lane offered products that we had either bought or would buy for our own babies, but we couldn’t afford to have it all.
Starting out was tough and slow…crickets.
Feeling quietly defeated, I persevered after getting some good advice from my mum (mum’s are the best!). After a few weeks, sales started to arrive and my passion was reignited. We welcomed Toshi Design, Viva La Vulva and Mushie to the range soon after that.
The innovation: What was the biggest breakthrough for you with your business?
Our biggest breakthrough has been through our customers. We try to actively connect with our local mums and dads to find out what they are looking for, what new baby products they might have discovered or any problems they are trying to find a solution for.
I love getting to know new mums on our Instagram page and we often ask our followers’ opinions on product ranges to get an idea of what they like. Social media has been an incredible way to stay connected through these crazy times of Covid-19.
I would say our breakthrough is still in progress. We are expanding and growing to include more baby essentials, more clothing brands and a bigger baby skincare range – all based on the feedback and suggestions from our lovely customers.
Yin and Yang: How do you balance work and family?
Finding balance is a challenge sometimes, and life in general can be super busy.
Thankfully, the kids love getting involved and Raspberry Lane has become a passion for all of us. Our boys are a great help arranging new deliveries and counting stock during stocktakes, whereas Charlotte loves helping to wrap the cute orders and she also adores helping with our social media account.
We also have device timeout, which includes my laptop! Once we start prepping dinner to when the kids are heading off to bed every day, it’s device timeout. We cook, eat, chat and hangout together every day and reserve this time for our family time.