Breastfeeding is a beautiful time of connection and nurturing, yet it can also be a time of discomfort when dealing with leakage. Sick of wearing uncomfortable breast pads in her bra, waking up in milk-soaked clothing and having to wear unflattering outfits, Arsha Gardiner set out to find a solution to her discomfort. At Milk on Tap Clothing, she has designed and created unique, eco-friendly, removable, waterproof breast pads and paired them with fashionable dress designs, allowing mums to feel stylish and comfortable through their breastfeeding journey. The pads provide full coverage ensuring you feel fresh, comfortable and dry, whilst absorbing any milk leakage you might experience. As well as being flattering, the dresses also feature in-seam pockets and easy breastfeeding access, and all of this with no bra required!
The passion: What inspired you to set up your business?
I love problem solving and coming up with new approaches to tackling problems, which is probably the reason I am a medical scientist.
Until I had the issue of leaking breastmilk, I thought that everything had already been invented. Experiencing leaking while breastfeeding, wearing a bra with breast pads to bed, wearing unflattering clothes, waking up drenched in milk, breastfeeding in wet clothes, changing sheets and having clogged ducts every 2nd day was the most uncomfortable thing I have ever experienced. Becoming a mum was hard work, but I didn’t want to sleep uncomfortably or be sleep deprived due to leakage.
This inspired me to change the way us mums dress at night while we are breastfeeding and leaking. My kids also inspired me. I would never have created something so unique if it wasn’t for my kids. I also had a huge desire to succeed in my work, so that my FIFO husband doesn’t have to work away from home
The launch: How did you start out in the beginning?
I started out by buying a sewing machine and fabrics to try. I began sewing outfits that would not require a bra while I was breastfeeding, yet would keep me dry. After several attempts, I got my idea patented. After that, I registered my business name, applied for an ABN, and bought a domain name.
I had no idea how to start a business but due to Covid, our local government was providing all the business courses online. That gave me some ideas on what to do. Then I met my business advisor who has been amazing at guiding me. With the help of YouTube videos, textbooks, podcasts on pattern making, tech packs and other fashion videos, I learnt a bit about what is required in the fashion/manufacturing world. I then found my manufacturer online and approached him about manufacturing. After various trial and errors/language barriers, we finally made our first stock which we launched in March 2021.
The innovation: What was the biggest breakthrough for you with your business?
My biggest breakthrough would be finally creating a product that I know works at solving the problem, and that I am 100% happy with. I’m so proud that I was able to get it out there, as I didn’t think it was going to be possible.