Today on the blog I have a lovely Q&A for you all with the founders of The Natural Birthing Company, Jane Mason and Theresa Mouncey. They're here to tell us all about their fab company and it's very special products.
Tell us about The Natural Birthing Company and what inspired you to set it up?
Established in 2011 initially to assist and educate women in pregnancy for preparation for childbirth. As midwives we were constantly seeing that women were unprepared and the fear of the unknown made a huge impact on the outcome of their birthing process. The often sporadic ,traditional antenatal classes provided by the NHS were failing women and their families so this sparked off our passion to educate and assist in their journey. We initially offered natural birthing classes and HypnoBirthing to empower women and to remove the fear associated with childbirth. We know that birth can be the most empowering positive experience that a woman can have.
What things did you not want to compromise on at the start of your business?
The quality of the brand we did not want to compromise. Our branding and professionalism was key to our success. From the outset our goal was to provide a quality service that always put the customer first. Finances are a major hold back when setting up a company initially, but we quickly found that compromising on branding can have a huge negative impact on future sales.
What support did you receive when setting up your business?
We had assistance from a local government organisation that gave support and mentoring in order to compile a business plan that would assist in gaining a business bank account. Further to this we had huge support from our local district council that provided us with two separate match funded grants. The second grant allowed us to develop our product range and further mentoring and support was provided during this time. We became a member of our local enterprise forum and which enabled us to attend workshops and networking events.
What were the biggest challenges in the early months?
We encountered a huge learning curve, we may be midwives but our expertise in the business world was very limited. We quickly learnt how to deal with cold callers! Finances were also a huge challenge and continues to be so. We have had great support from our families and friends. Even our husbands have to be involved from driving through to cash flow forecasts.
Lessons you learned (and wish you’d known before)?
Lessons learnt are not to be too trusting and unfortunately you cannot take people at face value. We have had our fingers burnt in the past which has made us super cautious with our business partnerships now.
Tell us about your products and what are the health benefits?
Our products are all made from naturally derived ingredients and do not contain SLS, Parabens, Petrochemicals and mineral oils. We are Vegan friendly and our packaging is recyclable:
Cool it Mama A facial/ body Spritz: A perfect blend of Ylang ylang, Bergamot and grapefruit seeped into an orange blossom water. To help cool refresh and revive. It has a light floral scent for sensitive noses in pregnancy. Perfect for nausea, tiredness, swollen legs and the Baby Blues. Perfect for cooling “mama in labour”
Down below Perineal Massage oil: Helps to condition the skin and promotes suppleness and elasticity of the perineal area, allowing it to stretch more easily at birth. Can be used from 34 weeks onwards. Contains a blend of Rosehip, Apricot, Calendula and Evening Primrose oils, developed specifically for perineal massage. Perineal massage can reduce the risk of birth trauma. Fragrance free and contains no mineral oils.
Blissful Tincture an award winning product: Our tincture is perfect to provide comfort to the delicate areas after birth. A blend of Hypericum and calendula for dilution in water. It is ideal for perineal soreness, grazes, stitches, haemorrhoids or caesarean section wounds. Eases discomort and encourages natural healing.
Bosom Buddies a breastfeeding survival kit: 3 Essential oil blends for the most common breastfeeding difficulties. Contains 2 Organic wash cloths and a trio of blended oils. Ooh! For use on swollen, tender, full breasts. Aah! For mothers with a low milk supply. Ouch! For use on sore nipples. The oils provide instant relief and comfort whilst helping to balance low mood and anxiety.
Where can we buy your products?
A list of our stockists can be found here, www.naturalbirthingcompany.co.uk/stockists, or you can buy direct from our site.
What keeps you motivated as businesswomen?
The positive reaction to our new brand for eg: developing the range was very stressful at times, even to the point of Are we doing the right thing here! When we launched the brand in April the response was immense and we are now two proud mothers nurturing our baby. It is our passion and we know the products help women and ultimately this is what we set out to achieve.
Are there any new products in the pipeline?
Yes we are working on more natural therapeutic items for new mums, but our products take quite a lot of research as we want mum’s to genuinely benefit from them.
A lot of mums would love to work for themselves, what advice can you give them?
To work for yourself can be very difficult at times, it takes dedication, time-management skills, finances and most importantly you need support from your family and friends. To build up a business will take time and patience and you definitely need an element of both of those things to move you forward. There can be days where you wonder " what am i doing" " why am i putting myself through this", but if you have a good support network then it is definitely achievable. So my advice would be to go and do it if you have the passion! Don’t regret anything!
For more details please visit www.naturalbirthingcompany.co.uk.