Having discovered the world of cloth nappies and reusable wipes after having her daughter, Ruby Walker felt happy to be saving money and the planet. She was, however, surprised at the negative comments she received and the suggestions that her use of cloth nappies would be short-lived. Instead, she set out to educate others on the many benefits of reusable nappies. She acquired Cheeky Cherubs in April 2022 and is excited to bring their range of quality baby, toddler and parenting products to families in Gisborne and New Zealand wide. As well as their tried and tested products, they provide honest and useful advice and information. Here Ruby talks to The Natural Parent Magazine about her business journey so far.
The passion: What inspired you to set up your business?
After having my daughter, I got into cloth nappies and reusable wipes for her and loved that I was saving money and the planet. Prior to beginning using reusable nappies, when I hinted at my interest in them to friends and family, I could not believe how many people put them down or said I would never last doing it. I found the washing routine of cloth nappies was oddly a big positive in my life as it gave me some structure in those hazy days home with bubs. I wanted to share the many benefits of cloth nappies with other families.
The launch: How did you start out in the beginning?
I was starting a local cloth nappy hire business when the opportunity to buy Cheeky Cherubs came up. It was the perfect fit with my vision for a hire store as it already stocked well-known brands of reusable nappies amongst many other eco-conscious, sustainable baby and parenting wares. The previous owner had a generous handover period with me and the founder of the business was on hand too. It was such a supportive and lovely experience that I am especially grateful for as it also coincided with the passing of my Poppa. Cheeky Cherubs was established in 2009 and it’s an honour to continue the legacy of this helpful and sustainable focused business.
The innovation: What was the biggest breakthrough for you with your business?
The biggest breakthrough has been working collaboratively with other small businesses. I’ve always had a passion for entrepreneurship and business but have never taken the leap with any of my dreams. The impression I had of business is that it is yours and yours alone, no one is going to help. What I have learnt is that you can be in business and support (even be friends with) your competitors. I see this especially in the reusable nappy industry in New Zealand and am grateful for the women and mums running these companies who have created an inclusive and welcoming space.
Yin and Yang: How do you balance work and family?
It is cliché but family comes first. I also have a 30-hour-a-week administration job and am lucky to have a supportive partner (also our expert car seat installer). A lot of Cheeky Cherubs work can be done when my two-year-old is asleep, however, now that I’m pregnant again, I often enjoy naps and early bedtimes too! Setting my daughter up with fun and creative play settings allows me to get some work done alongside her on the few days I am not at work or her at home-based care.