Precious Little Miracles provides the unique necessities for premature babies and their families. From apparel, nursery items, bedding and bath, accessories, safe laundry products, and other resources, it’s all about supporting parents of preemie babies with the things they need. We spoke to business founder Jess Ferri, who was a preemie baby herself, about her business.
The passion: What inspired you to set up your business?
The main inspiration for me was that I was a premature baby myself, born at 25 weeks. So, I understand what that time is like for parents, after what my own parents went through. I originally dreamed of being a neonatal newborn unit nurse, but knew I couldn’t do that because I’m not sighted. So, I decided I wanted to give back in some other way, which is why I created the business.
I actually feel pretty blessed and lucky, as I have escaped with only one disability – I lost my sight. At 18 days old, I was accidentally given too much oxygen than necessary due to an equipment malfunction during a heart operation, which affected my sight. I stayed in a neonatal intensive care unit for five months before going home. One of my main problems was that my lungs hadn’t developed properly. My mum’s nickname for me was Jesse James, because they knew I’d give them a run for their money, and I did!
Another reason was that I just wanted to give back in a way, to provide different resources to parents in that situation. I’m not the only business in NZ that does this, but I’m coming at this as a preemie baby who’s come out the other side. Part of my message is to show people that there is hope! Never let go of hope, it is always there somewhere, even in the darkest moment. You’ve just got to reach for it. Fast forward 32 years and I’m married, I’ve got a daughter, and a business.
Part of my message is to show people that there is hope! Never let go of hope, it is always there somewhere, even in the darkest moment.
The Launch: How did you start out in the beginning?
Well I started out with the idea of “precious little miracles” – in that all babies are precious, and all babies are miracles, but I guess preemie babies have a bit more of a fight on their hands and bit more of a way to go. I wanted to create a place where parents of preemies can go to find the things they need, in one place. So, once I had that idea, I talked to my husband about it, and then it was about creating a name for it. My husband made my website which launched in April 2018. It’s pretty handy isn’t it, when your husband works in IT!
The innovation: What was the biggest breakthrough for you with your business?
I haven’t really had one yet because my business is still so young. But I guess the biggest breakthrough would be the support that’s been thrown behind me. I’m amazed at the amount of support I’ve had. I don’t think I ever doubted that, but it’s amazing how many people actually believe in you. And bring on the sales, I say!
Yin and Yang: How do you balance work and family?
At the moment I spend most of my time with my family, because there’s not a lot of demand with my business yet. It’s great to be involved with you at The Natural Parent Magazine to help get my name out there to more people. I suspect that when it takes off I’m going to have to balance it a bit better. How it works is that I have to get my husband to do all the website stuff, so there’s a bit of negotiating there. It’s not huge volumes, so he can fit it in around his other work. We work it together really.