Recognising the needs of new parents and identifying a gap in the market, Kate Ferguson set off on a new challenge: to deliver safe, gentle, quality, affordable baby wipes to Kiwi families. At Purely Baby, they have developed a baby wipe with a difference: their Aqua+ water wipes contain 99.25% purified water and are designed to be gentle on babies’ sensitive skin. Having since aquired the ThinkWise brand, they are offering the highest quality babycare products to families in New Zealand. Kate talks to The Natural Parent Magazine about the passion behind her business and her hopes and dreams for the future.
The passion: What inspired you to set up your business?
After enjoying 15 years of working for community services as a Child and Infant Specialist, I was ready for a new challenge. At about the same time, my husband’s Health Supplies company was getting lots of enquiries from new parents leaving hospital asking if they could buy the wipes they had used in the maternity wards once home. It was clear that there was a gap in the domestic baby wipe market for safe, good quality yet affordable wipes and Purely Baby was born.
After working closely with ThinkWise for a number of years as a main supplier, we have recently acquired the ThinkWise brand. The brand is the perfect partnership with Purely Baby as it follows our company ethos and brand values – to bring the highest quality and best products to New Zealand Kiwi families and whānau.
The launch: How did you start out in the beginning?
With 20+ experience manufacturing wipes for the healthcare market, we already had everything we needed in place to successfully and seamlessly launch. There are no compromises or cheap shortcuts in healthcare and we use the same trusted suppliers and the same U.K. chemists to create the gentlest, safest Purely Baby formula. Likewise, all Purely Baby Aqua+ water wipes are rigorously tested in Milan, Italy alongside our hospital grade products. Our ThinkWise Dry Wipes are created with the softest materials and are a chemical-free and gentle wipe for your baby.
The innovation: What was the biggest breakthrough for you with your business?
We started with no marketing or advertising budget! It was literally ‘word of mouth’ between discerning, health-conscious parents. Because parents endorsed us so much, our first retail client in The Baby Factory saw the obvious potential to secure a New Zealand quality brand. Purely Baby Aqua+ water wipes quickly became their best selling wipe. ThinkWise Dry wipes and Mats are being used by many lead Maternity Wards and Hospitals throughout New Zealand. So you know by choosing ThinkWise at home, you’re using hospital grade products at home too.
Yin and Yang: How do you balance work and family?
My previous life as a Child and Infant Specialist seemed to be perfectly timed as everything I learnt, I applied to my own children and myself (I had a lot to learn too!!). Running Purely Baby and ThinkWise has also come at the right time as both my boys (Tim, 21 years and Sam, 19 years) are at tertiary study away from home, leaving me more space and energy to dedicate myself to the two brands. As my husband still runs his healthcare business, we love talking about the ins and outs of the wipe world, its challenges, improvements and future (I know!! We need to get a life!!!).