Tell us what inspired you to start Hatch and what is your vision?
As my maternity leave was about to come to an end with my first baby, like many I guess, I wasn’t looking forward to going back to a 9 – 5 job in the city. I started looking around for a small business that I could buy and I was naturally drawn to Hatch Baby & Child. As I was already invested in researching baby products it seemed like a natural fit. I purchased Hatch at the end of 2015, 3 weeks before Christmas! At the time it was just one small store in Eastridge Mall in Mission Bay and a small clunky website that wasn’t managed well. Now we have three stores across Auckland and an online store.
My vision is and has always been to source and sell innovative and quality products that not only you and your kids will enjoy, but that will also last the distance. There is so much choice (not all good) on the market, I take pride in thoroughly researching and testing the products we sell. I now have 3 active young boys and so our recommendations are genuine and honest as I’ve tried them myself.
As a mum of three young active boys, what do you look for when purchasing clothes and functional everyday items?
Any mum of 3 boys will agree that quality and durability is everything when it comes to boys! Whether it be clothing, footwear or gifts for birthdays and Christmas I want it to last, preferably long enough to be handed down through all three of my children. I’m typically drawn towards natural materials, wool, cotton, bamboo, leather, wood etc.
Although artificial materials may last longer and be cheaper, it’s always a considered decision. Of course, my children are at an advantage being able to wear and play with all the cool new items out of Hatch, but the testament to a good brand is always when I can hand on an item in reasonable condition to my friends after my three have had their go with something!
Any products in particular that just make life so much easier for kids and their families?
Yes, so many items I couldn’t list them all! But my advice to our customers particularly our newest customers is get what is right for you. You don’t need to be “influenced” by what people tell you you should buy, really consider what you want out of an item before making a purchase. Especially the big ticket items. For example, I was a working mum, so I needed items that were going to make my life much easier juggling a newborn baby and my work, such as a high-powered double electric breast pump. I needed to pump regularly and often not at home. I needed something easy to use and clean, transportable, fast and strong. For all of this I got a top of the range breast pump which of course comes with a pretty price tag, and I swear it was one of my best purchases. Does everyone need this, absolutely not, but for those who do, I would definitely recommend investing in it. Really consider how much you want something, verses how much you need something. There are so many lovely products on the market designed to make the journey to parenthood that little bit easier but always remember every baby is different, and so if you are struggling with some aspect of parenting really think about what you want and what your baby does before diving into every product that claims to solve what you are struggling with.
And how about for Mum??
My oh my this category has grown exponentially in the last 6 ish years! As we hear almost on a daily basis, “when I had my first baby, none of these products were around!” We’ve seen a huge growth particularly in assisting new mothers with breast-feeding. Now there is every version of lactation supplements on the market from cookies, hot beverages, cold beverages, teas, breast pads both hot and cold, nipple shields etc. And these are hugely popular for new mums. And we’re also seeing big growth in the post-partum care for mums as well, from healing perineal sprays, washes and creams plus body scrubs and belly oils. No one said having a baby was easy and it’s great to have products for mum as well as babies.
How do you select what brands and products to stock at Hatch?
Firstly, there is gut instinct. Is this a product I would use for myself or give it as a gift to my friends? Would my friends personally think this is a great item? Secondly there is just some basic research. How many products like this are on the market? Where does this product fit in term of price against its competition? What are others saying about the product, genuine reviews on 3rd party websites will always tell you a lot more than their own website. Plus, there is always the economics in play that must be considered (costs of goods, margin, freight costs, etc). And lastly, I consider how this will fit with my existing brands that I already stock. Does this new product compliment my offering or will it add confusion from too much choice for my customer. Can we easily differentiate the differences between the products we already stock and this new product so the customer can quickly identify what item is right for them. At the end of the day, we’re always considering is this product right for our customers.
And lastly, tell us your favourite part of your job?
Buying and trying! It’s a lot of fun getting to try new-to-market products. Watching my kids try new items, to see if they work how they’re designed to and if the product lives up to the marketing hype.
And secondly meeting new people. Designers, creators, business people and even many of our customers are typically very interesting people. I love talking and listening, hearing how a new product is made, the idea behind it and how it all came together. Many of my friends would attest I love the chat!