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What I learned about being a mumpreneur

By Olga Imbriano 3 min read

Sometimes, it's the simple things that turn out to be big solutions.

If you've got a new bub or are expecting one soon, you'll know what I mean when I say it can be just so hard to let go of those cute baby onesies as they grow out of them—in what feels like a few days. In fact, you can go through more than 40 baby onesies in the first year alone.

If you are like most mums, you’ll pass them on to the next smaller little one in your circle of friends, sad about having to let them go and needing to buy some bigger ones. As a mother of two, I found myself not only in that position, but also thinking about the vast amount of clothes that babies go through in such a short time. There had to be a better way. It seemed such a waste, seeing babies go through so many sizes so quickly.

As they say, necessity is the mother of invention and it is exactly how I went from wishful thinking to creating the Snap & Extend brand that has sold thousands of handmade baby onesie extenders, nationwide and even beyond.

I just hated the idea of having to throw out my baby girl's cute baby suit so soon and also loved the idea of creating a business I could run, while juggling the demands of being a mother of two. I really did not think it was going to take off as well as it did.

Olga with her two daughters

It was 2017 and with an idea and a vision strongly anchored in my mind, I went about developing both the baby onesie extender product and the Snap & Extend brand. After a few design trials and material errors, I found the right snap-on buttons to suit most common baby clothing brands, including Bonds, Next, Boody, Seed, Country Road, Jamie Kay and H&M. Once I found the right design and combination, to my surprise, sales grew and demand kept rolling in.

Fast forward 15 months, dozens of baby expos and some clever online marketing later, and my product has reached right into the hearts and homes of countless young parents faced with the common fast turnover of baby onesies and who could now extend the lifespan of their favourite outfits.

This year, I have not only been nominated for the 40under40 Young Entrepreneurs Award and the Telstra Business Woman of the Year Award, but have been nominated and selected as a finalist in the national AusMumpreneur Awards. I just love that mums have taken to the Snap & Extend solution, and how it so simply solves a common problem and reduces the impact on the environment at the same time.

With growing online sales not only in Australia but internationally, and more and more baby stores stocking the range, I have had to hire an assistant for the office and extra sewing helpers in order to keep up with demand.

Running a business was never really on my mind when I first started sewing the little cotton pieces edged with press studs, but once interest poured in from other mums, it was hard to ignore the fact that Snap & Extend actually had a life of its own.

My key learnings or insights that led me to my growing business success are:

Follow your instincts

Trusting the flow of things and my instincts led me in the right direction. I knew that the concept brought value to other mums and was kind to the environment, and as such, I innately knew it would be successful to turn it into a business. I kind of knew, just like we as mums know when something is up with our child.

Plan and proceed

Organic progression is good, but planning and actioning tasks is essential to move in the direction of your goals. Being a busy mum meant I had to actually make time to focus either fully on the business or to being a mum and wife. Plan your business, your tasks and carve out time for your business as well as your family.

Ask for help

No matter your expertise, you cannot know and do everything in your business, especially if you are a busy mum. So ask for advice and help. Hire support and delegate. Whether that means giving repetitive tasks to a virtual assistant or hiring a PR agency, concentrate on what you are good at and what you need to do yourself.

Share the love

For me, my product came from a place of need and passion, so sharing about it came really naturally and easy to me. Other mums could relate to my vision, hopes, successes and challenges, and it was that which helped spread the word of the product and brought in followers, likes and sales.

Celebrate your wins

This one might seem like a no-brainer, but it is important to pat yourself on the shoulder and recognise how far you have come in your business. This also means recognising the support from your partner, children, family, supporters and helpers. It’s about giving recognition to others and yourself. Celebrating little wins will help fuel the bigger ones.

Best of luck with your business venture and to balancing life, being a mum and entrepreneurship as well!

Olga Imbriano is a mother of two and multiple award-nominated founder of baby product portal Bellelis and innovator behind the successful Snap & Extend baby brand. Bellelise.com.au