So as you all know I love to support local and started a segment where we could share, learn and inspire! It is so important to support local and share your findings with others.
During lock down, we are going to do a whole lot of these to highlight these businesses – many of which are taking HUGE strain during this time – and shed some awareness and love to all.
So today is a very special review! Please can I introduce you to Laine Laine who make the most divine baby goodies! You will become very popular at Baby Showers with these gifts! Their baby on board signs are just so cute and their love pee cover stops you from getting wee on you! How clever? They also make gender reveal peel off stickers to use for baby showers or for social media gender reveals for friends and family.
We chatted to the lovely #girlboss Elaine behind this very special business and she had this to say to us!
Tell us a little bit about your business.
laine laine came into being at the same time my son did three years ago. There were so many beautiful baby products available, but I couldn’t find a Baby On Board sign that I actually wanted to have on my car. I was working in marketing in the pharmaceutical industry, so I was fortunate enough to know a graphic designer and production manager that I could turn my conceptual dream into a physical product.
The other niche laine laine products include our Peel-to-Reveal Gender Sticker and our Sprinkled With Love Pee Cover. The Peel-to-Reveal stickers are ideal for a gender reveal at a baby shower, as a gift to be sent to family, to be used creatively for social media announcements or at birth. They are made with static paper for the top reveal layer so that it can be used multiple times. Our machine-washable Sprinkled With Love Pee Cover was produced for newborn nappy changes (especially for boys).
What are the top 3 learnings you have had to find out the hard way since starting your own business?
1. The most difficult thing has been to learn to manage cash flow and stock levels. The start-up design and production costs, as well as the high costs of markets and expos to gain exposure are still being paid off. If I could do it over again, I would focus more on online retailers and marketing and create partnerships for physical sales versus carrying the costs on my own.
2. Not everyone has the same taste as you do and not everyone liked your products as much as you do. It is crucial to manage your own excitement and expectations, but it is so rewarding to persevere regardless and know that there are enough people who appreciate your products- you just need to be able to reach them.
3. Getting into retail spaces was far more difficult than I could ever have imagined it would be. It takes a lot of courage to sell yourself and your products and to sometimes face rejection. But I’m learning that there is always growth (in yourself and your business) that comes from this, regardless of how challenging it is.
Where do you see your business in 5 years? Once we have gotten over the effects of the lock down.
At the moment laine laine is fitting into the balance of my role as a wife, mom to two beautiful small children, and freelance medical copywriter. It is my dream to expand the laine laine business into the local retail space (online and in-store) enough for it to become a recognisable South African brand in five years’ time.
What is your advice to individuals out there wanting to start their own businesses but are too scared?
Be clear in your vision. Be excited and energised by your dream. Be cleverly courageous.
Tell us 2 things that are the BEST part about owning your own business and make it all worth while?
1. I love being able to work from home. It often entails sending Emails and packaging deliveries in bed at night while everyone else is asleep, but it means that I can be with my children. That makes it all worthwhile for me.
2. Having something that is truly mine and having gained so much experience in the process of setting up laine laine. It is so rewarding to see how proud my husband and my family are of me.
How has lock down affected you, your business and your team?
Our retail and online sales (including Takealot) came to a standstill initially. Our stockists are amazing though and have been so supportive in driving sales in innovative ways. It has been such a privilege to be part of the collective care to support local businesses during this time.