At Eva Rose NZ, they create beautifully designed, timeless, functional and hardwearing pieces for pregnant, postpartum and nursing mamas. Designed and made exclusively in New Zealand, their beautiful garments are made from 100% natural, sustainable raw materials, suitable for all skin types, including delicate baby skin. Recently taking over and relaunching the business, Molly Heppleston-Tait is passionate about giving mums options when looking for stylish, comfortable garments, while allowing them to be conscious shoppers too. Here, Molly talks about the inspiration behind the business, the challenges she has overcome, and her hopes and dreams for the future.
The passion: What inspired you to set up your business?
Eva Rose NZ was launched back in 2020 by the lovely Katie. Her sister was lamenting the lack of breastfeeding wear in New Zealand and Katie ran with it! She saw the niche for New Zealand-made, premium nursing clothing made from natural fibres. After she had her own little boy last year, Eva Rose had a dormancy period and has been relaunched by me.
Eva Rose designs premium garments for nursing mamas produced from 100% natural, sustainable raw materials made ethically in New Zealand. Those fundamentals are at the core of all decisions we make. I am truly inspired to bring these products to mums in New Zealand. As a mum of two young boys, they are never far from my mind when I’m making purchasing decisions. Linen is a remarkable textile to work with: it uses four times less water than cotton to grow, it doesn’t require pesticides or herbicides, and in many cases is carbon negative and organic without even trying! It also has amazing properties like being hardwearing, hypoallergenic and thermoregulating. This makes it ideal next to mum’s and bub’s skin. These are details I’m passionate about, and giving mums an option with their breastfeeding, pregnancy and postpartum wear that allows them to be conscious shoppers is how I get to realise that passion!
The launch: How did you start out in the beginning?
The key to the relaunch (and any launch really) is your humans. Amazing people (and their families) reach amazing outcomes. Half of my time has been committed to finding the right fit with the people I bring in. As a ‘company of one’ this can be overlooked, but everyone from suppliers, manufacturers, advertisers and social partners need to be evaluated. By this I mean checking they share your values and vision and genuinely ‘get’ what you are trying to do. Investing in the front end means it will pay dividends later as you can trust them to make decisions and contribute to your business. The other side of the coin is once you have found these people, look after them really well! That means paying your bills BEFORE they are due, taking an interest in who they are and their families and helping them reach success in their businesses. This application can be applied to customers or clients too. That means spending time to work out who your business serves and how best you can serve them. In return, hopefully they show you loyalty!
The innovation: What was the biggest breakthrough for you with your business?
Our biggest breakthrough is finding an incredible new manufacturer to partner with who shares the same values in their business as we do. They are a living wage employer with a really talented team. They have stringent quality control and take pride in the garments they produce. We were always going to keep manufacture in New Zealand but finding someone on the same page has really opened things up for us. It’s also meant we have been able to change our business model as we scale up. Previously, we had run a made to order business but now we hold stock – with the same quality but immediate delivery for customers. We’d always wanted to do this – there’s nothing worse than having to wait for a purchase (even though it’s getting pretty standard with ‘Covid delays’) – but it takes significant capital outlay. Well, we’ve backed ourselves now, because we believe in the product!
Yin and Yang: How do you balance work and family?
I achieve a core slot of work during naptime and before my children are up in the morning to make sure I’ve got a minimum amount of work done each day. Anything above and beyond this is icing on the cake! Our home has a daily rhythm of family activities in the morning so I tend to make this time off-limits for work and self-directed play in the afternoon, which means I can carve some hours in here. I talk a lot to my kids about what I’m doing and why and I’ve heard them retelling this to their peers – that’s gold to me. My eldest (4) also helps out. He pins on swing tags and wraps parcels. Thomas, my husband, is rock solid and holds down the fort if I have to travel or clock a few extra hours.
Although, to be perfectly honest, this answer applies 95% of the time. 5% of the time it just doesn’t work and I’ve learnt the most effective thing to do is stop and have a moment with the kids. They can intuit a multitude, and mine process parental stress with presenting challenging behaviour. I work hard on recognising this and trusting them at these moments – I love that they know me so well. Often taking a break and spending some time with the boys is the perfect reset and when I get back into it, I’m in a better position to tackle whatever I’m working on.