I love passionate people. I especially love passionate people who have the bravery to turn their passion into their livelihood.
Recently I needed to replace part of my SNS and I went online to find a shop. Nothing unusual in that: I found a shop, made my order and went on with my life.
Then I received a confirmation email that made me pause: Along with the usual information was a humble request:
“Would love if you could forward my website to others. I'm self-employed and need some word-of-mouth.”
You don’t see that every day do you? Most shops, even those run by self employed people, are busy trying to act like big corporations. It’s not that often someone speaks up and lets you know that you, the customer, are so important to their business.
I was intrigued, and after a few emails with Franny, owner of www.breastmates.co.nz I thought it would be nice for her to share the story of how she came to be running a business she is passionate about:
I’m Franny, mum of two boys. I live with a very tolerant husband who doesn't squawk at my crazy ideas and a labradoodle.When my first son was born, I found breastfeeding was tricky to start with, but managed to keep feeding him until about 9 months when he self weaned overnight (ouchies on the sudden engorgement). While I was on maternity leave, we were so broke that I was making things and selling them on Trade Me. First it was things like nursery decorations, but when I started making myself washable breast pads, I made extra and sold them too. That was my first key product and is still a popular item today. When I went to purchase a breast pump from a store and was served by a teenager who had no idea, I realised I could perhaps add a few extra breastfeeding products to my range and get educated about them, and I created a home-made website that I continue to grow.
When my second son arrived, he took to breastfeeding easily but I battled with post-natal depression. I decided I would resign permanently from my job and turn Breastmates into my real job and lifestyle. That was a turning point for me. I’m now in my 10th year of Work At Home Mum business, and have grown a lot in that time!
I focus on products for mums – from maternity, breastfeeding and bottle feeding – to create a one-stop shop, of tried, tested and trusted products. I want to make it easy for customers to browse and purchase from my site, and offer a no-fuss exchange policy so that they can order items, try them on at home, and return anything (or everything) if it doesn't suit.Plus my website has a separate area full of questions and shared stories from mums; so that they realise that breastfeeding (and parenting) isn't easy; to be realistic, and to help them do their best. Sometimes people just need to hear someone say “you’re doing a great job.”I want to be straight up with people, and encourage them to make their own choices and do what is best for their family. I would say, YES breastfeed if you can, do as much as you can, but if it doesn't work that’s okay too, and doesn't mean you love your baby any less.And as for the future, I want to continue doing what I love. When I stop loving it, then it will be time to move on.
Just for clarity, Franny hasn't paid me or given me any free products to publish this article. I just wanted to share a great small business with all of you.
And in case you were wondering, my replacement part arrived as promised and is working beautifully.