From the classrooms and homes of the UK, where she taught and cared for the children of the rich and famous, to creating one of NZ's biggest online platforms for mums, Jane Frazerhurst has her finger on the pulse of parenthood. The Whangarei mother-of-two talks to Christine Allen about developing her online store and business for parents, and the importance of integrity when working with the most vulnerable of consumers.
Frazerhurst laughs and admits she often knows who is pregnant in Northland before their families know.
The Whangarei businesswoman who runs the online platform for mums called The Mother Hood says mums are by far the most vulnerable of consumers – a fact she keeps in mind as she expands her online business.
"Often sleep deprived and desperate for solutions, their pain points are real, which is why they need service providers to deal with them with integrity.
"You want to do what's best for your children so you're looking for those products or services to make life better and easier. As well as that, mothers are often home and have downtime online to shop and look for the products and services that they need."
Frazerhurst has always worked with parents.
Having left on her OE in 2001, she landed in London and lived there for 11 years, working her way up to position of deputy head of a small school in Notting Hill.
"I taught David Cameron's children during his Prime Minister election in 2010. He would collect two kids on the back of his bike and yes, we often had paparazzi snapping outside."
It was the same school that Prince Harry and Prince William had attended, and Princess Margaret's grandchildren attended while the Whangarei woman worked there.
Being a humble Northland girl worked in her favour, she said.
"I just treated everyone the same, all parents have the same concerns about their children."
It was during her time in London a seed was sown – she just wanted to help parents manage those worries.
Returning to Whangārei in 2011 with her now husband Brendan, when she was 25 weeks pregnant, she experienced severe loneliness, despite being surrounded by friends and family.
"There wasn't a lot of support out there for parents. It can be lonely and isolated with two small children."
She created The Mother Hood in 2013, a now successful international platform for mums with a combined following of more than 6500 mums. "They wanted advice, help, non-judgement support."
Little did she know that she had created a new business model, one which was rare at the time.
"I had created the community and then created services and products around that as I noticed there was a niche market and it was close to my heart."
Two years ago, she launched the Collective Marketplace, a quarterly marketplace at Forum North for mums in business.
During this time, she also trained to be an early years sleep consultant, which pulled in her academic background, as she also has a post graduate diploma in early years, a degree in education and a diploma in teaching.
She has been working as a sleep consultant for nearly two years.
Last year, she got the opportunity to buy a baby wrap/carrier business from a local midwife, called Peek-A-Baby, and its online store.
Unlike starting a business, buying one was a new experience.
"Importing and dealing with overseas suppliers, learning about shipping and importing – that was a huge learning curve. The previous owner of the business was helpful and phoning companies that dealt with shipping."
She is now harnessing the power of micro-influencers on Instagram in Australia and New Zealand and is seeking out local baby and mum products for the expansion of her store.
"I've been lucky to grow the trust of the mums in the network, I get messages from mums asking personal questions and asking me to share them on their behalf… from sex lives, to careers and marriages.
"The other mums answer and give thoughtful and constructive answers. To be trusted by these mums is massive to me, after all – it's a small town."
But mum's the word!