Driven by her love of babywearing, Melissa Rothwell was inspired to make good quality ergonomic baby carriers more accessible to the local community. At Bangoon Baby she provides a range of baby carriers, clothing and accessories, as well as supportive, one-on-one babywearing consultations. Here she talks about launching her business and her hopes and dreams for the future.
The passion: What inspired you to set up your business?
When I was a first time mum I went to my local baby shop and purchased the highest recommended (and most expensive) baby carrier on the market. And like a lot of other first time mums I HATED IT! It was uncomfortable, unsupportive, unsuitable and ugly.
During my second pregnancy I knew that in order to juggle a toddler and a newborn, I was going to need a good baby carrier. After many hours of research I discovered a whole new online community of ‘babywearers’. My passion for babywearing education was ignited when I first attended a local ‘sling meet’.
It was when a locally operated babywearing business decided to close and put their business up for sale I had the inspiration to start my own business. I was already purchasing the products for personal use and spending my own time educating other parents, why not make a business out of it?
The launch: How did you start out in the beginning?
I eventually took over hosting the local community sling meet and started offering one-on-one consultations from my home. Clients would often ask to special order specific carriers as it would be cheaper to order through me than to order directly from an overseas supplier. It just kind of grew from there!
The innovation: What was the biggest breakthrough for you with your business?
Completing my babywearing training and becoming a trained babywearing consultant was my biggest breakthrough. When the original hosts of our local sling meet chose to step down as they moved to the next stage in their lives, I did not want to see the sling meet stop all together. So I signed myself up for babywearing training and prepared myself to take over hosting duties. It was when people started travelling from out of area to come and learn from me that I realised the potential for my business.
Yin and Yang: How do you balance work and family?
Due to the nature of my business, my family has been very involved! They love browsing supplier catalogues, helping me package customer orders and trips to the post office. My kids also love coming along to local sling meets and playing with other kids in the area. I do a lot of the behind-the-scenes administration stuff at night when the kids have gone to bed and when my toddler naps during the day.