Better than a bib or smock, grubeze is an investment piece!
The revolutionary boilersuit, onesie, design offers full body, waterproof coverage to protect little grubber’s clothing during messy meal times.
Encourage baby led weaning and self-feeding without the mess and stress. No more wet and grubby sleeves, legs, laps and bums and no more stained clothes. Hurrah!
The ultimate messy kids ‘hazmat’ – grubeze.
What is your background?
I have spent over 10 years working in Public Relations, Communications and Marketing across a number of industries including: magazines, luxury property, not-for-profit, government and investments. I also have retail experience having worked in men and women’s fashion stores as well as an adult entertainment shop which was a real eye opener. Lol. Additionally, I ran a farm program for disadvantaged children from New York City, USA through the Fresh Air Fund summer camp program which was a highlight of my working career.
How did the idea for grubeze come about?
My life took a huge twist in 2014 when I unexpectedly became pregnant with my little ‘tinder surprise’ baby. As a single mama, it was untenable for me to return to a 9-5 corporate working environment with all my family support network interstate. It was during this time I had my ‘lightbulb’ moment for grubeze.
I started baby-led-weaning with my daughter at six months and I was beyond frustrated with how completely ineffective bibs and smocks were at keeping ALL her clothes dry and clean. I was sick of changing her after each feed, soaking and washing clothes and being disappointed when clothes were permanently ruined by stains. I was also spending too much time and money in the laundry. I thought there has to be something better than a bib out there and I began scouring the internet to find it.
I was amazed to find my searches came up with nothing that offered 100 per cent full clothing protection while feeding. I wanted a product that would solve my problem and save me time and money. I couldn’t be the only parent out there who wanted a product that did its job and delivered on its promise. When I couldn’t find it that’s when I knew I was on to something and I thought well, ‘I’ll just make it myself’ and that’s when grubeze was born.
What motivates you?
The need and desire to still feel relevant, creative and purposeful. Starting grubeze has allowed me to still be active but has given me the flexibility to work and parent on my terms and time. I have always been part of a team environment in the workplace but running my own show means I’m hands on in every aspect. It’s a huge learning curve in some areas but at the end of the day I’m learning far more now than I ever would have working for someone else and increasing my skill set every day. I’ll be far more employable moving forward than I ever was before.
What do you love most about your business?
I love that the brand is a reflection and extension of me and my personality. I love that the product actually makes parent’s lives easier – every parent is looking for products that makes life with a baby or small child easier. I have great confidence in grubeze, I used it for two years myself, I know it works and I stand by it. It’s easy for me to sell because the belief in and passion for grubeze is 100 per cent real.
In one word, characterise your life as a start-up business owner.
HECTIC. As a single parent with only 15 toddler-free working hours a week, trying to combine business with parental duties and taking care of myself is a challenge. Often there’s no time for me left and I miss out but I think all the hard work and effort is worth it.
Who has been your greatest inspiration:?
There’s so many amazing women out there taking their working life into their own hands and running fantastic product and service based businesses. One of my greatest inspirations is Genine Howard of Life. Extraordinary and Female Entrepreneurs Building Iconic Empires (http://geninehoward.com/). I have worked with and for Genine for over 10 years and she has been a fantastic inspiration and mentor in that time. When I feel the need for a kick up the backside or some great advice I give Genine a call. Nothing holds Genine back from setting and achieving her goals and now she’s doing it all with two children under four years – her energy is out of this world, she’s incredible.
Where do you get your creative energy from?
I’m lucky to have worked in PR and marketing for a long time so that creative and communications side of the business comes naturally to me and it’s the easy part. A bonus is that I save money in this area because I don’t need to outsource this work. Winning!
What was your watershed moment in your business journey?
I only launched in June 2017 so I’m in super early start-up phase. To date, the biggest watershed moment in my business journey has been travelling to China to tour garment houses and fabric printing and manufacturing suppliers to select the best business partner to produce grubeze. The business went from being an idea in my head and a number of prototypes to getting seriously real. It was a huge day when my first order arrived and I was open for business and ready to sell.
How is running a successful business different to what you may have thought it would be?
I was under no illusion that success happens overnight. I knew it would be hard graft and there would be lots to learn. You learn from your mistakes and I have definitely made mistakes along the way. What I wasn’t prepared for is the number of emails and calls you get offering ‘XYZ’. It’s a challenge wading through those and trying to figure out which ones to accept or ignore when building your business, especially if you’re working with limited capital and it’s all new to you.
What do you struggle with most as a business owner?
If I’m honest (and I always am. Lol) I struggle with the actual ‘business and financial’ side. I have never run a business before and numbers and analytics are most definitely not my strong suit. These are areas where I need to focus attention on learning and mastering in order to succeed. Time is another struggle, there just never seems to be enough of it!
What’s next in store for you and grubeze?
The plan is to introduce a fourth, larger size for 2-4 year olds based on feedback from parents wanting to continue to use grubeze as a multi-purpose protective clothing bodysuit for wet and messy arts and crafts activities and damp day outdoor play. I also want to take grubeze from having one gender neutral print (for LEAN start-up purposes) and extend the print range to feature limited editions prints from Australian based textile designers and artists.
Given your experience, what three pieces of advice do you have for women starting a business:
- Do you research and then do it again, and again and again. Know the market you’re entering, what your unique, point of difference is and your customer avatar.
- Get your legal stuff sorted at the beginning. Spend money on a good IP lawyer to ensure your business name is not going to infringe on any other businesses. Get your Trademark and design registrations/patents in order. It could save you more money and disappointment in the long run.
- Take on a business coach. I can’t recommend this highly enough. Choose someone who lights your fire in the way they run their business, shares the same values and LOVES your business. A coach will help keep you on track, accountable and moving forward. A great asset to have on your side.
Any destination – where could we take you today?
Europe every time. I never get tired of Europe.