Do you think about the chemicals, products and ingredients that you put on your baby’s skin? ThinkWise are passionate about helping you find the safest baby skincare solutions available, and providing useful information for those wanting to make changes away from using chemical-laden products. They specialise in selling dry baby wipes and change mats as used in Birthcare and hospitals nationwide, and also stock their own organic baby skincare range. We spoke to founder Jodie Leqeta to learn more about how she got started.
The passion: What inspired you to set up your business?
My daughter had sensitive skin and so I was looking for products for her. I started reading the ingredients lists on skincare products and when I researched what the ingredients were and their risks, I was horrified that these products were considered safe and being used on babies. We needed safer alternatives.
The Launch: How did you start out in the beginning?
When I was seven months pregnant with my third child I found myself trawling supermarket shelves and chemists looking for Johnson & Johnson nappy liners. They were scarce and apparently they weren’t making them anymore! What would I do for baby wipes now?
Since the birth of my second child I had been using these nappy liners as wipes, as my daughter had super sensitive skin – any wipes with chemicals in them would give her a nasty red rash on her bottom. I had discovered them when my daughters were in NICU and Birthcare, as they recommended using water only on your newborn baby’s skin.
As J&J had pulled the product worldwide, I now had to find a safe replacement for my babies’ bottoms. I contacted Birthcare, hoping that they had found something that I could use also, but they didn’t have a product yet. From here the idea of starting a business developed. I knew that I needed the product, so other parents, carers and maternity providers needed them too. I discovered a New Zealand-based company that had a suitable product in their range, but it was only available in Australia and the UK. I approached them with my idea and requested samples. Within three weeks ThinkWise was born. I had supplied Birthcare Auckland with their first order of wipes and parents using them there wanted to buy them for at-home use.
…when I researched what the ingredients were and their risks, I was horrified that these products were considered safe and being used on babies.
The innovation: What was the biggest breakthrough for you with your business?
Initially it was getting the product into NZ, then it was getting it into retail packaging so we could make it more accessible to people. Now we are working on biodegradability of the products as biodegradable products are much harder to source and more expensive to make. We have sourced a new 100% biodegradable wipes fabric, and it is still washable and reusable so that is super exciting, and I look forward to that hitting the shelves later in 2019.