On Chic Baby Clothes is the go-to shop if you are seeking beautiful gifts for friends and family or if you are a mum to be and want to clothe your baby without the worry. It sells ethically made clothing from organic cotton, bamboo or merino wool. It has sustainability at the core of it's business model and you'll find quality and care all the way through the shopping experience.
As a finalist in the Australian Mumpreneur Awards for Sustainability, On Chic Baby Clothes is committed to ensuring that it's as eco-friendly and human-friendly as possible. We don't use plastic. We wrap our orders in biodegradable tissue and send them out in postage bags that will break down in the earth. We are also committed to looking after our local community and for every product purchased, a tree is planted. This is to create a koala wildlife corridor and regenerate growth in Australian forests. Natasha thought that this would be useful for Australians to reclaim what was lost during the bushfires... "to give hope, and to give our wildlife a place to call home."
The passion: What inspired you to set up your business?
I was inspired to start my business as I wanted to work under my own terms. I wanted to make a difference and help people but I didn't want to work 9-5 or have my children in childcare to do that. I had read about so many women working for themselves while raising a family. I'd heard them talk about how they work for themselves and the freedoms it gave them. It inspired me to do the same. I wanted to have complete control over my life and working under management and for a salary wasn't allowing me to do that. I wanted to give my children more. Although there is a trend toward supporting women, in particular, mothers in the workplace, this is still a work in progress and I couldn't wait any longer for the world to catch up.
The innovation: What was the biggest breakthrough for you with your business?
Well I'd say that being nominated and accepted as a finalist has been huge for our confidence. It's given us credibility and validation that we are doing a good job in looking after the planet. I can't wait to see who wins!
Aside from that, the biggest breakthrough is that customers are finding me. I've made a little community for myself and people come to me to feel confident in their parenting and have choice when shopping for their baby. They trust that when they come to me, I will have their child's best interest in mind. When parent's buy organic, they know they are doing the best for their baby and the flow on effect from that means an increase sense of worth and self esteem for them. They feel better about themselves. We have a little fan base that we keep in touch with and many of our orders are from customers who have bought from us before. Instagram has definitely been a highlight for us. It's quite our style. It has beautiful imagery, thoughtfully crafted words, and people that want to be my audience. I'm so glad to have found it as I really enjoy meeting the wonderful families out there. It's a quick way to get to know someone. A bit deeper than facebook.
Yin and Yang: How do you balance work and family?
Let's just say it's always on my mind! The balance is like a see-saw... up and down, up and down. I don't know how I do it. I've never had this less sleep in my life! I have an 8 month old, a 3 year old, a 4 year old and a 19 year old that I cook for and care for so basically there is no balance. It's look after the family first and get what I can get done in between. There are a lot of late nights but nothing is so pressing that I can't go to bed early if I want to. I have great nana living next door so my children still get to go to the park everyday and be looked after if I need to attend to anything important. My list is long and prioritised. It gets revised and added to every few days. There's a list for the business, a list for the children and a list for the house. I don't like to forget anything and find lists useful. :) I also make sure I turn off and just enjoy my family without thinking of the shop. Currently I am thinking of ways to delegate tasks and lessen the load so that I can focus on the strategic growth of the shop. There is a fine balance to the work/life see-saw.
The drive: What challenges have you overcome?
The challenge would be to keep going when people question why I choose to run an online baby clothes shop. I had to have conviction that what I am doing is worthwhile and I'm glad I listened to myself because what On Chic Baby Clothes does is important. It provides solutions to parents problems whilst being environmentally friendly and looking after the planet.
For better or worse: What are the pros and cons of running your own business?
The pro's is the learning and the self development. As my business has grown, so have I. It's given me so much confidence and I'm so grateful I gave it a go. The con's would be wanting to do so much but only having a small amount of time to do it. Ideally, I'd like to be able to work without having to stop every 5 minutes to attend to a child. x
It's also hard having to hold yourself accountable. There's no manager to guide me and no team to bounce ideas off. I just have team meetings by myself in the bathroom!
Hopes and dreams: What next?
Oh, so many. I'm such a dreamer and a go getter. I've got so many plans for the future. Firstly, I want to make sure that On Chic Baby Clothes stays a place where parents can feel confident in their parenting choices. I want to expand the range so that parents have more choice and I want to get more New Zealand Labels in-store. I'd like to finish our Community Fundraising project and ultimately I want to make the world a safer place for all it's people.