Newbies - Sally Woodfield
Sally Woodfeld, Director of Newbies
OHbaby!: As a child, what did you want to be
when you grew up?
Sally: It always changed between a doctor or an
OHbaby!: Do you ever feel "mummy guilt" about
spending time working instead of with your children?
Sally: Everything in my life is about getting the
balance right. Sometimes I'm consumed by work and other times I am
consumed by my kids. You just have to do the best you can with what
you've got, and you always have to do what's right for you and your
family. I will never do anything that puts my children second
OHbaby!: What do you do to
Sally: Go out for dinner with girlfriends and read
a book whenever I can.
OHbaby!: What is the smartest thing you have done
with your business?
Sally: Get advice. I speak to anyone I can about
how I can improve. You can never know everything and I feel like I
have so much learn.
OHbaby!: What's the biggest mistake you've made
and how was it resolved?
Sally: I made a commitment to something just after
my third child was born and it was a case of biting off way more
than I could chew. It was a costly lesson.
OHbaby!: What is your favourite thing about the
Sally: I thrive on a challenge and I have a belief
in myself and my products. Newbies was the first company to make a
journal for New Zealand mothers to note their day with their baby.
It has been quite an achievement and it pushes me to want to
OHbaby!: What is the best advice you were ever
given as a mother?
Sally: Start as you mean to go on.
OHbaby!: What is the best advice you were ever
given as a businesswoman?
Sally: Don't take anything personally - it's just
business, so deal with it that way.
OHbaby!: What are your best tips for getting out
of the house on time?
Sally: Learn how to do about a million things at
once and don't feel resentful about any of it. It's your deal, so
deal with it.
OHbaby!: Who is your superhero?
Sally: My Nana. She has seen more hardship than I
can imagine and she has dealt with it with courage and humility.
She is the example of a strong, beautiful woman. She has a true
heart of gold and I feel blessed to have her. I admire and
love her enormously.
Newbies was developed in 2007 after realising there was a
lack of practical feeding journals in the New Zealand market.
Initially the thought was to create a company focused on clothing
for premature babies, I had had a number of friends go through some
hard times with their prem babies and I felt completely helpless
and I remember thinking 'there must be something I can do!' That's
where the prem baby clothing idea came from, then I took it a
little further and thought 'well what about accessories to the
clothing' and voila! A Baby Feeding Journal! What a great idea! I
knew how much I had used my own little journal when I had my boys
and it occurred to me that no one had created one for the New
I inititally thought I would do the feeding journal first and then
extend into clothing a little later, however, life has a special
way of working things out. How does the saying go 'life is what
happens while you're busy making plans'? I focused my attention
completely on the journal, I researched others from overseas and
found them to be quite plain and not suited to New Zealand mum's. I
also wanted to create something that had a strong design element to
it, I felt tired of all the 'same old' type products for mothers, I
thought "we do so much for our babies and families that we deserve
to be surrounded by beautiful products!"
So, off I went on my design sourcing trips around the city. I
found designs that I liked, identified what I liked about them and
how I could incorporate the same sorts of feelings into a Journal.
I did this by working with a fantastic designer who understands
completely what Newbies stands for and that's how we created our
Newbies world and the original Baby Feeding Journal.
I have to admit, it has taken almost 18 months to create this
product, it has required a huge amount of time, effort, energy,
love and commitment. Not only from me but my family. My
children have had to come to various meetings and have been well
educated in the design and production of a baby feeding
And then there is the market education… This is a new product
for New Zealand mothers and I was the person who created it! Wow,
what a responsibility and a lot of hard work! However, the feedback
has made it all worthwhile. The number of mothers I meet who tell
me over and over again how much they love their journal makes every
moment worth it.
For me, this has never been about just one product making money
it has been about making other mothers lives just that little bit
easier in those early days with their baby. I still remember the
newborn stage so clearly. I remember the brain fog, sleep
deprivation, breastfeeding and the huge adjustment that takes place
in your life, so if I can help other mothers through that stage
then I'm achieving my goal.
This is why every detail of the journal has been laboured
over because my focus has always been on creating a great product
that is functional, beautiful and most importantly, affordable for
every mother in New Zealand to enjoy.
To other mothers out there thinking about starting up their own
business I would say have a good business plan. Know why you are
doing it and what you want out of it. If it's only about the money
then you will find it very hard to get through the tough times.
It's about finding something you are truely passionate about and
then being able to 'follow your bliss'. And if all else fails feel
proud that you have had the courage to 'give it a go' then sit down
at the end of your day and enjoy the precious treasures you already
As seen in OHbaby! magazine
Issue 12: 2011
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