Mum in business: Claudine Gasnier

Muim in business... Claudine and her son Kalani.
Muim in business... Claudine and her son Kalani. 

There's a great new range of baby bags on the market. Launched late last year, and quickly becoming the favourite with Australian celebrities, Claudine & Ash Babybags are crafted from the finest of materials to create fashionable bags that are also super friendly to mums. We spoke to mum of one, Claudine Gasnier, about her business.

Tell us about your business, Claudine & Ash Babybags.
We saw a gaping hole in the market for stylish baby bags, and decided to put our expertise together and create beautiful baby bags crafted from the finest of materials. In doing this we believe we've achieved what every mum wants: a highly fashionable bag that's mother friendly.

What did you do before this?
My husband and I were living in Paris for two years for his work, I worked from home as a content manager for a surfing website, but my qualification is in event management. Ash [my business partner] was a designer at Tigerlily Swimwear for four years, and is now freelancing for several Australian labels, including children’s wear label Britt.

'The Andie', $380, Claudine & Ash Babybags
'The Andie', $380, Claudine & Ash Babybags 

Why did you start the business?
I knew being a mum wasn’t too far off so I started looking at the bags the mothers around me were using. To me there just didn’t seem to be anything that fashionable, so Ash and I decided to start our own range of baby bags mums could also use once the baby’s essentials were no longer needed.

Has starting your own business lived up to expectations?
Definitely. I love working on something that I’m passionate about and it's been very rewarding watching the business grow.

We believe we've achieved what every mum wants: a highly fashionable bag that's mum friendly

What have you enjoyed most about running your own business?
I love the fact that running a business from home allows me to be the best mum I can be to my son Kalani.

I also enjoy knowing that Ash and I have done all the hard work to get the business to where it is. I absolutely squealed with delight when I was reading WHO magazine and saw a picture of Jessica Marais wearing ‘The Andie’ bag.

What motivates you?
Life! I hate being bored and I’m always ready to experience something new, so Claudine & Ash has been a great way to challenge me.

How has business changed your life?
I've always worked for someone else, so this is different. There's also the reward you get from knowing that the business is running well, as well as positive feedback from other mothers and businesses. I love the product and it just makes me a generally happier person.

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How do you manage to juggle the running of your business with family?
I have an amazing husband who helps me out as much as he can. We're a team in everything we do, and I think if we didn’t have this attitude life would be a lot more stressful.

What plans have you got in the coming year for Claudine & Ash Babybags?
We've only been operating since September 2011, so ideally we'd like to see the business grow nationally. We're also very excited about the new designs that will be coming out this summer.

What are three lessons you'd pass on to anyone who may be thinking about starting their own business?
Make sure you do your research with your suppliers, and don’t settle for something less than you'd envisioned.

'The Cleo', $135, Claudine & Ash Babybags
'The Cleo', $135, Claudine & Ash Babybags 

Meet other mums in business in the Essential Baby forum.