Pregnancy and birth are a huge ordeal, a life changing time for a new mama. Healing and looking after your wellbeing are a priority, but your sights are set elsewhere – on your magical new baby, of course! Inspired by a friend who put a humble DIY kit together for her when she gave birth, Angela Farrell knew she wanted to offer every New Mama the chance to receive a perfectly-timed, refreshingly-honest and instantly-practical gift hamper – sent with love. So she came up with the New Mama Kit – gift hampers that honour the woman who has given birth. We spoke to Angela to learn more about her wonderful business.
The passion: What inspired you to set up your business?
Like many women who go into business, inspiration struck when I became a mum. On my last day at my advertising agency job before maternity leave, a colleague gifted me a cute little box filled with items and post-it notes with short descriptions of why she had chosen each item, and how it could help me in my first hours, days and weeks of motherhood. For example, “You can chew this gum when you rush out of the house without brushing your teeth”, and “Use this notepad when you’re so tired you can’t remember when you last fed your baby or even what your baby’s name is!”
I was completely blown away and this humble gift box was one of the most memorable and humorous gifts I received. Best of all, it was all about me – a welcome change from all the baby-centric gifts. I told my friend what a great gift she’d thought of.
New Mama Kit: hampers that make mums feel better and heal faster after they give birth.
After using every single item in this box, I began scribbling down (using the gift box notepad!) all the other useful items that my home-visit nurses told me about, or that friends and relatives would recall from when they were new parents. I was also inspired by the wisdom of some parenting blogs and books who offered phrases such as “this will get easier” and “you are doing the best by your baby”. I thought women should have a few of these affirmations around them once they get home from hospital and they feel like a failure.
Although this first part of motherhood was exhausting (as it is for everyone), I was getting excited about the possibilities of being able to create hampers that would really honour the woman who had given birth and offer a new type of ready-to-buy baby shower gift for those who don’t want to give flowers or fluffy toys!
So New Mama Kit was born: hampers that make mums feel better and heal faster after they give birth.
The Launch: How did you start out in the beginning?
Shortly after returning from maternity leave, I actually decided to go freelance, which gave me more flexibility to dedicate my energies to New Mama Kit and chip away at product research, packaging design and learning how to retail – from scratch (eek!).
After almost a year of late nights and trial and error of all things product, marketing and web design – I launched a simple website with one gift hamper (www.newmamakit.com). Once I knew the system worked and people would actually receive what I was sending them, I then had the confidence to launch two additional hampers so that I could cater to the different personalities of mums and gift buyers.
My New Mama Kit business is now officially one year old. However, it’s still early days for the business, as I am constantly reinventing and exploring ideas to make the hampers and the buying experience better for my customers. Family and friends have been excellent hamper packers, chocolate-tasters, and of course babysitters for my 3.5 year old and 5 month old. I would not have had the opportunity to start New Mama Kit without their help.
The innovation: What was the biggest breakthrough for you with your business?
Without a doubt, innovation has come from connections I’ve made online. The global community of solo entrepreneurs and living-room e-tailers blows my mind. Using social media, small business groups to connect with and seek advice from experienced female entrepreneurs has had a great impact on the choices I’ve made for New Mama Kit. From choosing who to build my e-commerce store, to who can wholesale me candles and chocolate – these informal conversations have saved me time and money in the development phase. Ten years ago, learning each lesson one by one would take weeks, and each lesson bears a cost. But now we can ask honest questions and get frank answers which enables business owners to make a call without as much risk. Minimising risk when you are running a tight household budget and time-poor is crucial.
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