We always love stocking products from NZ businesses and supporting local. Petite Eats which is a local brand to us, based also in the sunny Bay of Plenty. They provide a range of silicone baby & toddler toys which are not only durable but aesthetically pleasing too! We recently had a chat to Em the founder of Petite Eats about the business, family life and the juggle of everything in between!Tell us a little bit about yourself and your family:
My name is Emily and my husband, Andy, and I live in Papamoa with our two children - George (5) and Willa (3). We also have a dog called Chilli and a cat named Ziggy. We moved here from Auckland almost 5 years ago and love being in the Bay Of Plenty, which is closer to where we each grew up as kids. My background is in Primary School Teaching and Andy in Procurement.
We first started talking about Petite Eats when George was 6 months old and he was starting his solids journey - so about 5 years ago now. Of course it took a while to actually launch and it finally launched when I was 30 weeks pregnant with Willa (late 2018). Our children are the inspiration behind all we do at Petite Eats.
When we first launched we did baby purees - we wanted to provide a convenient baby puree that was packed full of goodness (just like you would make at home). This was going so well, and when Willa started solids I started going through all George’s old feeding products and they were scratched, mouldy and just not practical so we started to bring in accessories to compliment the baby food. At the time there wasn’t another NZ brand doing those products in beautiful colours etc so they took off and we kept selling out so the range grew. This was lucky because Covid soon hit and our manufacturer for the purees shut down and we were unable to continue producing the purees.
So we continued with our feeding essentials range and it was during those lockdowns that our brand really got out there and we were picked up by some retails stores which was totally unexpected and unplanned. It was a huge learning curve to arrange packaging, actually packing huge orders, invoicing and so on but now we are ranged in about 60 stores nationwide and are so proud to have a really efficient system in place.What does a typical day look like for you?
Wake up, get the kids sorted and dropped off to school/daycare. Walk the dog and on alternating days go to the gym and workout. We then get to work and start by answering emails and DMs. We print the online orders and the matching shipping docke and the lovely Kristy (who works for us) packs them all. Then we get to the wholesale orders and get those packed. From there I spend at least a couple of hours talking to our various manufacturers about our orders, following up on shipments and making orders for new products. At least once a week, I do some kind of product photography, plan out and create the social media content. Then it is pick the kids up, hang out with them and make lunches for the next day. Then dinner, bath and bed for the kids. Often once the kids are in bed we are back talking to the manufacturers as this often works well with the time difference.
What is the your favourite part/aspect of the business? The thing you love to do most?
I love finding gaps in the market and developing new products. Seeing an idea come to life is so amazing and especially when they are unique to our brand. I spend a lot of time on new product development.How do you take time for you outside mum/work-life?
This is something I have always found hard as I get a lot of mum guilt and also feel so much pressure as the buck stops with me and I have to get it all done. BUT I am trying harder to make sure that I am getting ‘me’ time by going for walks in the morning (I love having a dog for this reason). We also try to get away a lot in the weekends but always end up very busy with kids. I do love a good sleep in too :)What are three things you can’t live without?
Family, delicious food and clean clothes (haha)What’s your number one tip for balancing mum life & business life?
Having a supportive partner and family - I couldn’t do it without Andy and I working together as a team. Also learning to speak up if I’m overwhelmed.
We’ve loved watching Petite Eats grow, any hints as to what is on the horizon next?
So many exciting things coming for Petite Eats. Our big focus is to develop unique products for our brand. Heres some hints…they are something older kids will enjoy and things that are going to help make navigating parenting that little bit easier.
Check out the gorgeous Petite Eats range here