Over the weekend I went shopping for a friend’s upcoming baby shower, and HOOOO boy was it an experience.
A sensory overload of products all smacking me in the face at the very same time. Bottles, prams, lotion, toys, breast pumps, nappies– you name it, they had it– and by the end of it, all I really wanted was some tequila.
But who was I to complain? I’m not pregnant. I’m not sweaty and uncomfortable with swollen ankles and sore feet. Also, I didn’t have to buy everything for the baby, just something.
But what about my friend?
She’s 8 months pregnant, her partner’s interstate a lot for travel, she’s still suffering from morning sickness and manages a busy, full-time career in tech. How could she possibly find the time to buy all that she needs for her first baby?
This quandary was solved recently by Sydney based entrepreneur, Steph Halliday and her newly launched business, The Baby Buyer: A one stop shop for all your new-baby needs. Steph’s goal was to minimise the stress experienced by all new parents, by consolidating the best baby products in one space, and packaging them up into easy bundles to be purchased online.
We caught up with Steph recently to chat about The Baby Buyer, juggling family and a budding business and why the first thing she’d bring with her to a desert island would be swaddles.
Tell us a bit about your business The Baby Buyer and how you got started?
Baby Buyer started when a good friend of mine, who has a very busy full time career, found herself being 7 months pregnant and without anything prepared for her new baby. I was lucky enough to be on maternity leave early and had created this giant spreadsheet with every product and reviews and after a one hour shopping trip she had all the essential items she needed. We realised there must be so many mums & dads out there who are so daunted by the overload of products out there nowadays and Baby Buyer hopes to help parents sift through this with preselected packages of the best products out there with everything you need
Why is this a game changer for busy parents-to-be?
It quick and easy to completely customise your packages online. We deliver and can even set up your nursery furniture and pram. Great for parents still working up to the day of delivery of their baby and saves parents getting caught in the hectic baby stores on a weekend. If you’ve ever been in one on a Saturday I’m sure you’ll know what I mean.
How does the average day play out for you?
I have a 20 month old daughter and she’s really full of beans and loves to help. I like to call her the Boss Baby & Co-CEO of Baby Buyer. We always try and start our day having breakfast together before starting work and the great thing about Baby Buyer is I can work and assist new parents from anywhere. I spend a large part of my day researching, reading forums & new blogs to keep up to date with what new products are out there and what real mums & dads are saying about the brands. Finding unsponsored reviews gives you a really great snapshot of how products really perform to help parents get the right pram, cot, nappy the first time round.
What was your biggest source of inspiration in starting this up?
The inspiration was wanting to help other new mums out there. There is so much pressure for parents to get the right pram or use the right baby cream and it can be stressful when you should be enjoying your new bub. Baby Buyer really started because so many people (including my husband and I at first) just found going into a baby store completely daunting.
How do you stay motivated?
I love researching, shopping and babies and I get to combine all of these things into Baby Buyer and that keeps me motivated. Doing something I love and it’s a really rewarding role helping new parents with one of the biggest life events you can go through.
What big goals have you already achieved since launching The Baby Buyer?
The support we’ve already had has been just wonderful and now working with some of the best brands that we also believe in has been such a milestone. It can be a challenge going up big store chains but these partnerships have now allowed us to offer products at a great price to parents with a personalised service.
What are your hopes for the future?
I’d love to be able to provide the service across Australia without losing our personal touch and to continue to keep doing something I love.
What’s been the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?
Probably the challenge of being a small business going up against the large baby chains. I think a lot of people aren’t aware the impact shopping locally can have and it’s changed my own shopping habits. But I believe people are looking to go back to a more personalised service with the benefit of convenience.
What are the most important traits for successful entrepreneurs to have or acquire?
I live my life online, I buy everything online and those entrepreneurs who are challenging what’s normal and willing to try new things even if they fail the first time, or even second time, are definitely inspirational so being fearless and not being afraid of being told no.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
Don’t sweat the small stuff and it’s ok to ask for help. It’s applied to both raising my daughter and definitely to running a business. I think as women we can find ourselves trying to do everything and I’ve really learnt to delegate even mum jobs. My husband, family and friends are more than happy to pick up extra slack and it’s taken me a bit of time to not feel guilty for it, as it benefits everyone.
If you were on a desert island what three things would you bring?
Outside of my husband & daughter, music – to keep me entertained, a shovel – the practical part of brain would insist and a swaddle – you won’t believe how useful those little things are for sooo many things!