Raegan Jones, founder of aden + anais wraps
Tell us about your business?
I founded aden + anais in 2006. After I relocated to the United States and became a mother I was concerned by the lack of large muslin cotton fabric baby wraps traditionally used “Down Under.” Raegan decided to make her own version of these safe and breathable swaddles by creating aden + anais. Responses from nurses, paediatricians, obstetricians, celebrities, industry experts, lactation consultants and other mothers has been overwhelming. Starting with only swaddling wraps, the product range now includes muslin sleeping bags, bibs, blankets, security blankets, towels and washcloths sets. aden + anais is now in over 3,000 stores worldwide and distribution in over 13 countries.
Why did you start your business?
I was disillusioned with corporate American and always wanted to run my own business, I just never knew what that business would be. When I had Anais I couldn't believe muslin didn't exist in the US and figured every Aussie mum couldn't be wrong. So I found a manufacturer and started to produce them myself.
Has starting your own business lived up to expectations?
Yes, it is a wonderful, stressful, all consuming thing. The first few years nearly killed me but now the business has grown to a point where I have an amazingly talented group of people that work with me and it has taken a huge load off my shoulders.
What have you enjoyed most about running your own business?
The ability to see through ideas I have and not have to answer to anyone else.
You need to be prepared to take risks to reap the rewards.
What is the biggest challenge?
Working Capital, or lack thereof more to the point.
Do you have any children – what are their names/ages?
Yes I have 3 girls: Anais is 6, Lourdes is 4, Arin is 2 and baby number four is due to arrive on May 12.
How do you manage to juggle the running of your business with family?
I have a wonderful nanny and a very supportive husband.
What is the hardest thing about being a working mother?
The guilt of being away from the girls. The good thing about owning your own business is you can come and go as you like so the greatest part is never having to miss a school music performance or publishing party, but I do have to travel both within the US and now internationally and it is always tough to leave the girls.
What do you think about ‘me’ time? And do you manage to fit some in?
Me time???? No such thing!
Have you ever thought about giving it up?
Yes, in the beginning when I was still working full time at my "real job" (I was with the Economist Group for 10 years) from 9 to 6pm, coming home to be with the girls then after they were in bed for the night starting work at about 9pm through to 3am running aden + anais, it was really taking its toll and I did question whether it was all worth it. Now that I am out the other side it DEFINITELY was!
Do you have a favourite networking opportunity or event?
Do you have any advice for someone starting their own business?
You need to really believe in what you are doing as if you don't you will never make it through the early stages where it is absolutely all consuming. I live by the John Burrows quote "leap and the net will appear" I think this is so true when starting your own business. You need to be prepared to take risks to reap the rewards. So far it's worked out for me.
Find out more about aden + anais.
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