Popular baby sling brand Hug-a-Bub has found a new home, with Sydney-based baby and maternity company Fertile Mind buying the brand’s assets for an undisclosed sum.
Hug-a-Bub Australia entered voluntary administration in June and temporarily ceased trading.
However, the brand is now part of the growing portfolio of brands distributed by Fertile Mind, which was established in 1998 by Christine Kininmonth, who is a babywearing consultant and a former judge on ABC TV’s New Inventors program.
Fertile Mind co-owner Peter Hooker told SmartCompany the sale includes Hug-a-bub stock, the brand’s intellectual property and its website.
Hug-a-Bub Australia was incorporated in 2001 and led by founder and childbirth educator Suzanne Shahar, who Hooker says the Fertile Mind team have known for a long time.
“At the end of 2013, Suzanne approached us to distribute Hug-a-Bub and we did that from January 2014 to August 2015,” he says.
“So we know the brand very well indeed.
“When the unfortunate voluntary administration happened, it was an opportunity for us.”
While Hooker says he is not sure if Fertile Mind will be presented with challenges as a result of buying Hug-a-Bub, he says the company “certainly has a job to do to make sure everyone knows it is business as usual”.
“There are no changes to the products and there will be even better service, we think,” he says.
“We need to let people know, both our wholesale customers and retail customers, that [Hug-a-bub’s] back in business.”
Fertile Mind owns and distributes the BellyBelt, which Kininmonth invented, in Australia and around the world and is a local distributor for brands such as Marsupi baby carriers, L’il Fraser baby wraps and Manduca carriers, slings and accessories.
Hooker says the business is predominantly a wholesale one and its major wholesale customers include the likes of Baby Bunting, Big W, Target and Toys ‘R’ Us.
He says the focus for the immediate future is to consolidate the Hug-a-Bub acquisition alongside the other brands Fertile Mind distributes.
“We are in an expansion phase, so watch this space,” he says.
“We’re making sure we generate lots of awareness of our brands.”