Sandy Hayer’s business, Tummy Mummy NZ, is the New Zealand stockist of the Earth Mama Angel Baby range of care products for mums and babies. Hayer used the products in the UK and set up the business in New Zealand in 2012, just weeks before giving birth to her youngest daughter, when she realised she couldn’t get her hands on the products here.

You set up Tummy Mummy two weeks before giving birth to your youngest daughter. What prompted you and what was the experience like setting up a business at that time?

I used the Earth Mama range of products during pregnancy and postpartum recovery with my first child when I lived in the UK and when I found out they didn't deliver to New Zealand I was horrified! I felt that the products needed to be available here so I guess I had a 'lightbulb moment' and took the opportunity. I was quite relaxed about it though as at that time I had no great goals other than to make the products available to other mothers and their families.

How does the business work in with being a home-based mum of two young children?

The honest answer is it's busy and most of the time it's too busy. I generally work when my younger toddler sleeps and in the evenings. Occasionally my hubby will cover me for a day during the weekend, which I really try very hard not to do as you miss out on family time.


So would you say time has been your main challenge so far? And how about the rewards?

Yes, it was challenging finding the time to set the business up and time is an ongoing issue as I now need time to work on the business to take it to the next level. We have now decided to put our toddler into daycare as she is ready for everything that has to offer and in turn I'll have specific time to dedicate to the business without interruptions.

The rewards are helping mamas and babies, especially when there are skin issues for little ones and or if there has been a complicated labour and mama needs help in feeling normal again. And although it is busy working from home on my own business it does allow me to stop and pick my eldest up from school, attend any appointments necessary, school assemblies and that kind of thing.

Where would you like to see your business go?

This year I'd like to see an increase in sales particularly for our gift bundles within corporate offices. I'm looking forward to heading to the city to meet with companies and show the quality of this range that is 100% free of all toxic chemicals, which I believe all products should be - especially for newborns and children.

What advice would you give to other people inspired to start a business by their own experiences as parents?

I believe you need to be very driven, determined and passionate about your product or service. Don't be fooled into thinking that it's easier than going to work because it's not and be prepared to put in what you want to get out.

Coming up in Small Business: From Facebook to Twitter, Instagram to Pinterest, everyone's trying to raise their social media profile. But is it translating to sales? If you've got a cool story about how you've used social media buzz to market your business (that's had a tangible effect on the bottom line) drop me a line.