It was after her daughter was born that Tayla Worthington first started experimenting with creating her own natural bath and body products that would suit her baby’s sensitive, delicate skin. Two years later, after the birth of her second child, she began creating again, and NiuPēpi was born. They make all of their products at home in the Manawatu, New Zealand. All are of a natural origin and contain no nasty chemicals, meaning they are both safe and effective for you and your precious little ones. Here Tayla talks to The Natural Parent Magazine about the inspiration behind NiuPēpi, the challenges they have faced along the way, and their hopes and dreams for the future.
The passion: What inspired you to set up your business?
When I was on maternity leave with Ayla, my first pēpi, I found myself constantly searching for bath products for her that were natural, sustainable and good for her. I tried many different brands but never found one I stuck to. So, I did days of research, made some online orders for supplies and started experimenting with making them in my home kitchen. I experimented with so many balms and oil blends and did so much research into benefits and negatives of different products and ingredients. The one I found that I most liked was using oats in the bath as they helped with her dry skin and eczema. My husband suggested I make more for friends and whānau to try out, but I was worried about the risks and didn’t think there would be much interest. Fast forward a few years, I am on parental leave again with our new pēpi, Kiwa, and again, I’m looking for gentle, natural products, so, off I go to make an order and spend the next few days re-hashing my old recipes. First came the Milk Bath, then came the NiuBalm and I thought, why not, I love them, I’m sure other māmā will too.
The launch: How did you start out in the beginning?
Instagram was our biggest helper. I spent hours on my phone creating posts, sharing posts, following other similar and local businesses and following friends, to follow their friends and so on. We hoped for at least a few orders on our launch day, and we almost sold out! We were so grateful to our friends for helping us get our name out. We still attend local markets sometimes to draw from a different crowd, too.
The innovation: What was the biggest breakthrough for you with your business?
The Pēpi Milk Bath was our biggest breakthrough! When we are out and about at markets talking to customers and I explain what our Milk Bath is, they seem to always say, “Ahh that is so clever, but so simple!”. People love the idea of the colloidal oats – ‘bathing in milk’ seems luxurious, like a treat for your skin, and it just makes sense for pēpi! It’s a whole sensory experience: it looks, smells and feels soft, gentle and luxurious. We’ve sold Milk Baths for pēpi, big kids, māmā, pāpā and even kurī (dogs)!
Yin and Yang: How do you balance work and family?
We are still working on this! It’s hard mahi, but we try to get Ayla our big girl involved in the business as much as possible. She helps with mixing product, peeling labels, collecting supplies, and lots of other little jobs so that we are still spending time with her while we are spending weekends restocking. Kiwa, our pēpi, spends lots of time in the front pack! Home from work to pack any orders, and a day for restocking on the weekends. My hubby is military, so this poses extra challenges as he is away lots, but it is so enjoyable for me, and I’m sure he loves the mahi just as much as me!