Meet Holly, a beautiful, inspired Mumtrepreneur. Her business idea came about when as a new, breastfeeding mum she looked for a feeding apron, but didn’t like any of the ones she found, so made her own.
“I wanted something really pretty, and something that you could wear as a scarf all the time – because my baby was hungry at the drop of a hat and I didn’t like madly going through my bag trying to find my cover while he was screaming. So I cut up a sarong my brother had just brought me back from Fiji – it was bright and colourful, and with the off-cuts I made Jude a matching bandana style bib. I am really into matching!! It’s cheesy, but cute :)”
I met Holly only a couple of weeks ago when she contacted me over my Essential Mum facebook page about her desire to help other local (East Auckland) Mumtrepreneurs. We met over a coffee at The Burbs, Farm Cove and she told me her incredible story.
“My business at the moment is nursing scarves and matching baby bibs, but I am hoping to grow as I have a lot of other ideas for other mummy-baby accessories. When I made my first nursing scarf combo, I had other people asking me where they could buy one, and I thought I could make a little business out of it. I had a friend who had just returned home from being a missionary in Bangalore, India and she knew an amazing group of women there who made clothes and accessories. They have been rescued out of poverty, some out of human trafficking, and most are also mothers. They work at this amazing social enterprise where they get paid a really good wage, and they can bring their babies to work as there is a nursery onsite and they can breastfeed whenever they need to – they and their kids also get hot lunches daily. It sounded like a great cause, and I wanted to support it, so I teamed up with them to do our manufacturing. We have some beautiful fabrics, some look a lot like Indian saris.
Making a Difference
Our whole idea as a business is supporting mums – here in NZ, and there in India! NZ-made stuff is great, but I think because I have travelled and done volunteer work with people in extreme poverty, my first choice is to support them to help themselves out of the poverty cycle.
Our name actually is Bon Baby – bon meaning good in french, because we really want our business to do good in the world!”
And Bon Baby really is making a difference. Every scarf and bib set sold helps another mum on the other side of the world to work while her baby is looked after. Furthermore, Bon Baby’s supply of business to the social enterprise means they can employ more women to work. Holly explained that because she chooses to pay more for them as suppliers than she would using a ‘sweatshop’ – they can pay their women a fair and liveable wage to support themselves and their kids.
Holly plans to travel to India soon to visit the mums in person. “I really want to meet the women for myself, talk to them, see the nursery, and of course see my products being made. The story of the women in Bangalore is one of the real points of interest in my products, and point of difference, so we plan to share that story as much as we can. Each product comes with a small flier about the women who made it.
There was such a warmth in Holly as we sat and chatted that morning. It was evident that her heart and soul were totally invested in her business, but also in her little boy Jude who is 13 months old and gorgeous. I asked how she managed her business around the responsibilities of #beingmum and she simply said, like all mums, her baby comes first. “He’s my little sidekick and he comes everywhere with me – we like to be out and about and busy – he gets so bored cooped up at home, so we enjoy our lifestyle! His personality – very, very active – works well with me running a business, meeting people and getting stuff done.”
As well as #beingmum and a Mumtrepreneur, Holly is a student at the Auckland University business school and does volunteer work in the community. “I like to keep busy. I have been married to my husband Ewan for nearly 7 years. We live in Cockle Bay. I’m the kind of mum who wants to be with my baby all the time – by the time he turned 1 I had only been apart from him twice, ever.”
I guess it is this passion to be at home with Jude that drives Holly’s passion to help the mums in Bangalore and mums here in East Auckland to achieve in earning their own income at home through a passion and purpose driven business.
Together we have set up East Auckland Mums With Bubs in Biz because we truly believe and are living the experience of magical things happening in our businesses and life when you tap into your true purpose.
However, we also know it’s not easy and mums need a special kind of support to commit to something outside of #beingmum (because we naturally feel this should be where we invest all of our energy and time) and get the right mindset and strategy. So we want to provide that to mums, by mums.
But as Holly’s story demonstrates, you also need to be a little bit brave. Take the big steps to make a bigger impact, take a chance on your idea succeeding, even if it feels like the odds are stacked against you.
Trust your calling, discover your purpose and unapologetically go for it!
As my journey with Holly so far has proved, the universe will have your back if bravely march in the direction of your purpose. Things will come together. In 2 short weeks, Holly and I have launched our network and organised a Christmas Market for other mums like us to sell their products and services. You can read about it here.
So, what’s your story? Are you ready to share it with the world? Or do you have an idea and want to get started. Speak to me today about how I might be able to help! 💜
Much love X X
P.s. You can learn more about Holly at