Starting your little one on solids can be a daunting (and messy!) experience and Amanda Tong, founder of Hungry Ruru, is here to help. She is passionate about sourcing good quality and affordable kitchen and feeding essentials for babies and toddlers. After a lot of research and product testing when her own daughter started on solids, she discovered a range of safe, versatile products that make life easy for parents at meal times. Here she shares with us the passion behind Hungry Ruru and her business journey so far.
The passion: What inspired you to set up your business?
When our daughter Ruru first started on solids, we didn’t know where to start! Ruru was a very artistic eater and was adamant that she would attempt eating independently, so I quickly learned that standard bowls and plates or the baby products I found were not going to work.
After much searching, I finally discovered a range of products that were Ruru-proof – super versatile and safe silicone, suction bases that stay on, easy to clean and reheat – I knew that I needed to share! Coupling this with my love of feeding others and of all things food, we had a runaway idea that got it all started.
The launch: How did you start out in the beginning?
Initially, it was lots of testing with different baby feeding products, and using Ruru as our live demonstrator and quality control study of one! We would have gotten at least a hundred different foods into her by the time she got to a year old, experimenting with textures and types – through lots of trial and error, we found a range of products that stood up to this. We’d like to think that we’ve done all the groundwork so that you don’t have to!
From a business perspective, there was honestly lots of stumbling about and figuring things out as we went because both hubby and I have had no experience whatsoever in business! While starting over lockdown certainly had its challenges requiring us to chop and change our plans many many times, it was also a time where people were shopping online and supporting local so we were so grateful for the enormous amount of love we received!
The innovation: What was the biggest breakthrough for you with your business?
I think starting this business is one of the biggest breakthroughs in my life. Being in lockdown gave me that final nudge to finally put my foot down and realise my business dream. Honestly, I did not have a lot of confidence in myself – I started using Shopify on a 3-month free trial thinking I would bail if it all crumbles by then. Along the way, I have picked up many new skills and discovered new sides to myself that I never knew existed.
I would never have called myself a creative, but here I am sorting out product photography and website designs from scratch! In the short few months of operation, the amount of stock we ordered has been gradually increasing and now we finally have our own Hungry Ruru branding on our core products!
Yin and Yang: How do you balance work and family?
Lots of late night working and teamwork. It’s just me, hubby and Ruru behind the scenes. Hubby and I share the load with parenting and household chores, along with his full-time and my part-time day jobs. So, our weeknights usually look a little like this: I’m packing up orders, hubby’s doing the dishes and Ruru’s fast asleep (hopefully with not too many wake ups!).