Sustainable and stylish: Meet the woman behind our new favourite swaddles



“I was shocked when I heard the statistics on maternal deaths around the world. Around 350,000 babies are born every day; in Australia, 6 in 100,000 people die each year in pregnancy or childbirth, but in a country like Uganda it’s 1 in 16. As someone who had medical intervention during childbirth, it made me realise how lucky I was to have a clean and safe place to give birth, and trained caregivers to support me,” says Robyn Jones, the founder of Mama Maya....

It inspired an idea: “I took something that every parent of babies owns multiples of – a simple muslin wrap – and built a one-for-one model around it,” says Jones. Her chic spotted wraps come in three neutral colours and are made from certified organic cotton. “The large spots in muted colours have become our signature design – they’re not trend-based, and can be used from baby to baby,” says Jones. Mama Maya has partnered with The Birthing Kit Foundation (Australia) to fund birthing kits and caregiver training to women who live in remote areas of developing countries. “We’ve now funded over 1,000 birthing kits – such a beautiful feeling for a new mum to be a part of,” says Jones.

We caught up with her to find out more about her new venture, swapping a corporate career for a creative one and her time management tips…

Go to www.mamamaya.com.au


When I wake up…

I check my phone immediately. It’s a terrible habit I am trying to break. I’ve got a fear that if I don’t set an alarm on my phone, I won’t wake up – which is what stops me from leaving the phone out of the bedroom at night.


Before I go to bed…

I roll whichever one of my sons has migrated into my bed from their own into the middle of the bed, grab my Kindle and read a few pages of a book before falling asleep.


My approach to wellbeing is…

All about achieving a sense of emotional balance, however that happens. That means eating well (most of the time!), getting 7-8 hours sleep a night, getting out in the sunshine and making time for fun. If I’m feeling out of sorts I’ll make an effort to do more exercise, do a 20 minute meditation, or catch up with a good friend.


I treat myself by...

Having a night away in a hotel by myself, 30 minutes from my house. I did it recently for the first time, and it was bliss. Dinner, bath, bed and breakfast all by myself – a luxury I’d never experienced since becoming a mother 5 years ago! It was great to take some time out alone and away from the regular routine to refresh and recharge, and I was so excited to see the boys when I came home.


My role model is…

My high school friend Emma. She combines running a hugely successful business with raising a family and doing so with passion, kindness and generosity. She has been a big influence on my approach to both business and motherhood.


The definition of success is…

Being able to do the things I love, when I choose. That’s being able to spend as much time as I can with my family, work when I choose, and be honest about who I am without worrying about what others may think. Mama Maya has helped me find a small meaning of what success looks like – being able to help others, by being the go-to gift for new mamas and babies, and the first brand you think of for muslin baby wraps.


If I wasn't doing what I'm doing today…

I’d still be working in media, wishing I could spend more time with my young boys, and wanting to do something more fulfilling.


My mother taught me…

To have a thirst for knowledge and learning. We loved pouring through our encyclopedias (remember those?!) and learning about new things. She was a stay-at-home mum and was very involved in our education, volunteering at school for reading groups and committees. I enjoyed that she was so actively involved, and I want to be able to do that for my children too.


Happiness is...

A sunny day, cuddles with my boys and a clean and tidy house!. It really doesn’t take much to make me happy.


My career path took a turn when…

I had children. All of a sudden, I realised the corporate world was no longer for me, and I had the motivation to follow my heart and start the business, without the fear I’d had of leaving the ‘safety’ of a 9-5 career.


Sleep deprivation is…

One of the worst things I’ve ever experienced. Thankfully any sleep deprivation I experience now is by choice if I’m working late at night or early in the morning, and not because my boys have kept me awake at night.


The designs of our wraps are…

Stylish, classic and timeless. They’re a huge 120cm square, and I’ve added a few extra details like rounded corners and binding edges. We focus on sustainability and use certified organic cotton, produce in a fair-trade accredited factory, and have a reusable matching muslin bag for packaging to ensure as little footprint on the planet as possible.


My new mother essentials are…

Good quality thick baby wipes (I’ve just started using the new Thankyou wipes and they are excellent – plus they also help fund maternal and baby health projects); several muslin wraps (not just for swaddling – useful as a pram shade, change table cover, breastfeeding cover, burp cloth, blanket…); and a feeding chair that you can sit in comfortably for hours each day (I didn’t pay attention to my posture with my first baby, and ended up with painful sciatica). Whilst not an essential, I loved my Kindle and read so many books while breastfeeding my babies (turning pages is not an option!). And I’d say lots of sleep is an essential, but almost never available.


Social media is…

An essential to marketing my business. It’s also a source of great inspiration, a great way to stay in touch with friends, and a rabbit hole that I wish I didn’t fall down sometimes!


My time management secrets are…

I like writing a list the night before of what I want to accomplish the following day, and it helps me wake feeling more in control. I also find I’m really productive between 5.30 and 6.30am, when everyone else is still sleeping. Coming home after preschool drop-off and having already gotten a few tasks out of the way enables me to feel much more on top of things.


Having my own business is…

Empowering, fulfilling, and enables me to spend more time with my young boys. It’s longer hours with a lot of new challenges, but I really enjoy learning new skills and I’m thrilled to have it as a creative outlet. It’s also hugely satisfying to have a purpose beyond profit, and seeing how many birthing kits we fund is incredibly rewarding.


Today I’m wearing…

A pair of black bassike jersey pants, a grey round neck merino knit from Uniqlo, and a pair of white leather Converse shoes. It’s all about comfort!


The last meal I ate was…

My breakfast: a peppermint tea, and a smoothie made with blueberries, almond milk, vanilla, oats, cacao, chia and pumpkin seeds. I’ve made virtually the same breakfast every morning for the last four years, and I never tire of it.


My style essentials are…

T-shirts in black, great, white and stripes to go with everything, Uniqlo merino wool knits, comfy pants from Country Road and bassike, sandals and a black bag. I bought a black Celine Belt Bag in Paris a couple of years ago and it’s one of the best fashion investments I’ve made. I can fit a nappy, wipes, and all my other bits and pieces in there, and whilst the inside might scream chaos, the outside looks chic and put together!


I relax by…

Having a glass of wine and getting stuck into whichever TV series we’re currently hooked on. I’d love to say having a nice bath and reading a magazine, but when I do, neither of those are relaxing experiences as I’m almost always interrupted by little people!


I get stressed when…

The house isn’t tidy. It affects my mood more than I’d like it too, and I can’t focus properly until my space is in order.


After I finish writing this I’m going to…

Send the orders from today, then pick up my boys from preschool. Then it’s crazy times until they go to bed at 8pm and we can finally relax!


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