It was during an overseas family holiday with her four-month-old son Hudson that Gemma Beriman thought there must be an easy way to carry around everything you need when you’re out with a baby.
“You’re lugging so much stuff around,” the Gold Coast high school English teacher tells StartupSmart, listing toys, snacks, nappies, wipes, spare clothes, wallet, handbag and phone.
“I thought ‘what can I do to make things easier’.”
She looked for a bag that had items like a nursing pillow and play mat built in but couldn’t find anything that had “that on the go stuff”.
So, while on maternity leave, she decided to start her own business, Moon Mama, and design and create something to fill the gap.
The result is the Take-Off Tote, a bag that combines a nappy bag, removable feeding pillow and play mat.
Starting the business and creating a product has been a rapid learning process for Beriman, who hasn’t had business experience before.
She says she took “baby steps” and learnt things along the way by attending business tutorials and a two-day conference on how to import goods from China.
Beriman also worked with a local seamstress to make a basic mock-up of her idea. She then did some modifications herself before sending the sample and sketches to her supplier to build a prototype.
She’s now launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise $10,000 to go towards the manufacturing of her first shipment of Take-Off Totes.
She says she’s also been encouraged by feedback and support from the “mummy blogger” sphere.
“A lot of mothers have invented great products,” Beriman says.
“There’s room for others to be more creative when they’re sitting at home with their baby. That’s the time when you can think of stuff when you’re not at work.”
Photos courtesy Rana Rankin Photography.