OHbaby! chats to Franny McInnes, the founder and owner of maternity wear specialist Breastmates
OHbaby!: As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Franny: I always had the entrepreneurial streak. Even as a pre-teen, I would organise fundraising and family garage sales. When I was younger, I had a pretend shop set up in the playhouse, and would advertise products using chalk on the footpath.
OHbaby!: Do you ever feel "mummy guilt" about spending time working instead of with your children?
Franny: Mothers only feel guilty because they feel that other people are judging them, and that they don't meet their expectations. You have to know in your heart that what you are doing is right for YOU and your family. Though I will admit that it took me a long time to accept this, but as soon as I had enrolled them into childcare the stress levels, and customer satisfaction, improved and I know that it's the right decision.
OHbaby!: What do you do to get “me time”?
Franny: My little hobby is making wearable art costumes (for the World of Wearable art in Wellington each year). They take months to create, so it gives me a little escape. Sewing and painting bores everyone in my family – so they tend to leave me to it!
OHbaby!: What is the smartest thing you have done with your business?
Franny: Focusing on a niche and getting experts on board.
OHbaby!: What's the biggest mistake you've made and how was it resolved?
Franny: Trusting the wrong people, which has been resolved by building a small, yet reliable team of people around me.
OHbaby!: What is your favourite thing about the business now?
Franny: When someone emails me to say that they've been reading the information on my website, and found it helpful (even if they haven't bought anything). That's hugely rewarding, because I've put my heart into it! I enjoy the contact with all these amazing mothers, and being told that they like what I'm doing with regards to providing a balance of "boob and bottle" information, as well as the products.
I’m now at the stage where I am designing my own products, and I love it!
OHbaby!: What is your philosophy to child-rearing
Franny: Be consistent with what you tell your children, and follow through (whether its good or bad).