Nursing your baby, no matter which way you do it, can be a challenging, crazy and wonderful journey, but it can be made so much easier with the right type of nursing pillow to support you. At BabyBaby, they have created a premium range of nursing pillows designed for both breast or bottle feeding. Their unique range makes a real difference to the way you and your baby are supported through your feeding journey. Owner Stephanie Parry designs and creates her products with originality and love, using fabrics that she sources or screen prints herself, combined with high quality components that go the distance. Here she talks to The Natural Parent Magazine about the passion behind her business, her biggest breakthrough, and her hopes and dreams for the future.
The passion: What inspired you to set up your business?
I’ve always dreamed of having my own business and when I was younger, I wasn’t sure quite what that would look like, but after years of creating designs and solutions for someone else, my position at my then workplace was being made redundant. Lucky for me another position was being offered, but I knew right then and there that I wanted to work without restrictions, dream big and grow something freely, so I choose to walk out the door. I made this decision on a gut feeling, knowing my husband would support me, and I have never looked back.
The launch: How did you start out in the beginning?
It’s been eight years since I became the owner of BABYBABY and I’ve worked hard taking it from where it was at the time to where it is now. Sometimes, stepping into a business that’s already running is a little more complex than it looks from the outside. Firstly, no matter how small the business is, if you haven’t owned one before (and I hadn’t), it’s kind of overwhelming. I needed to get my head around how everything worked, then it was still the matter of producing the breastfeeding pillows – after all, I’d never actually made one, and I had only watched one being made the two days before I got my first order, so I knew right from the get go, there wasn’t going to be any room for error. These pillows had already been on the market and customers knew what quality to expect, so lucky for me, my sewing was on point!
Secondly, once I knew how everything was running, how was I going to make it mine? I mean truly make it mine? But I had a plan for that: I started with introducing new fabrics that reflected my personality, then I put my graphic design skills to the test and created prints of my very own, and taught myself how to screen print (but that’s a whole other story). Then came another big change: overhauling the website. At first I was just going to update it, but once I started, I couldn’t stop. The website went on to set the tone for all the other cosmetic changes that followed, and after all the hard work I had put in and the improvements I had made, in a short but chaotic time (I maybe wouldn’t recommend that), how could BABYBABY be anything but truly mine!
The innovation: What was the biggest breakthrough for you with your business?
The biggest breakthrough would have to be designing and creating the three additional products.
Adding Koru Embrace, Pēpi Nursing Sleeve and Milk Melon to the BABYBABY range: all three of the products were exciting and challenging to make. I had never created patterns of my own, but I am so proud of the finished products and the solutions they provide for breastfeeding mums that the original BABYBABY pillow just couldn’t do alone.
Yin and Yang: How do you balance work and family?
Family and work life have kind of just grown together. I do try and create a routine for myself – a very flexible one at that – but my family’s used to how I work. My children have grown up with me building BABYBABY, and I can honestly say that they love that I’m brave enough to have my own business. They also really enjoy getting involved with things that they can. They are my go-to people when I need a sounding board for new ideas – their logical little minds only see solutions not problems and they love to dream as big as I do, which works in my favour!