This series runs close to my heart, as a mompreneur, I understand the challenges and rewards. Work-life balance can be even trickier when you don’t work a 9-5. In this series, we will interview inspiring women who have made it pay off and learn from them tips to being a successful mompreneur.
Our first interview was with Raegan Moya-Jones, the founder of a popular brand, I’m sure everyone is familiar with, aden + anais.
What was the inspiration for aden + anais?
aden + anais was inspired by necessity. I was pregnant for the first time, living in New York City, and doing what all expectant mothers do: nesting, preparing for the arrival of my new little one, gathering up all the things I knew I’d need, based on what the women around me had always had. Top of my list: a stack of muslin swaddle blankets, an Aussie staple. Try as I might, I could not find them ANYWHERE in New York City. And you can find anything here! I knew why Aussie mothers loved them not only are they breathable, big and ideal for swaddling, you can also use them as a burp cloth, nursing cover, tummy time blanket, stroller cover and a multitude of other mum tasks – and I knew that if American mothers had them, they’d fall in love with them, too. So, I decided I should be the person to introduce them to the US.
Tell us about your new product line and the inspiration behind it?
Introducing baby clothes has been in the plan since I was on maternity leave with Anais back in 2003. It just took me years to get to it. Muslin is just the perfect fabric for the job: It breathes, it moves well, it washes like a dream and is so soft. We added in spandex so they stretch just the right amount, and keep their shape, and we worked really hard to make them easy to use. Little things like putting snaps in the right places so you can do a diaper change without completely undressing the baby, or covering the zipper to keep it away from that soft baby skin. We used our signature patterns, so it’s all really beautiful. I’m really proud of our layette range.
How many children did you have and what were their ages when you started Aden and Anais?
I had just had my first daughter, Anais, when I started the company. By the time we went to market in 2006 I had my second daughter Lourdes, she was born in 2005. Then I had my third daughter Arin in 2007 and finally Amelie Rose in 2010.
Where did the company name come from?
Aden is the name of my former business partner’s son and Anais is my first daughter.
What was the biggest challenge you had becoming a mompreneur?
Well, aside from the fact that I had never run a business of my own before, and the fact that I had a baby and a full-time job, there was limited access to capital that made it challenging for me to keep growing the business. And personally, it was hard for some people in my life to understand why I was so busy, and why I didn’t have time for things like brunch or Girl’s Night or even telephone calls. I had to become okay with the fact that not everybody was going to “get it” or stay around.
What advice would you give to other mother’s looking to start their own business?
Don’t be afraid of imperfection. You will not do a perfect job building a business or raising your children, and that fear keeps many women from achieving any sort of happiness, or pursuing their dreams. Know that you’re going to hear “no” a lot. It’s going to be hard. You’re going to need support—from a partner, from your friends and family, from whoever ends up in this business with you – and you’re going to need to be comfortable with the sacrifices that starting a business is going to require. This is going to sometimes take you away from your children, your husband and your family and friends. There are things you will miss as a parent while you’re building your business and mistakes you’ll make with your business while you’re parenting. But what you’re doing is showing your children what it looks like when a woman decides to pursue something she believes in, and that’s a powerful thing.
Thank you to Raegan for her insightful tips about being a mompreneur and congratulations on creating such a fantastic company and introducing North America to the Australian baby staple.