In our latest instalment of Meet the GRACE Collective, we are delighted to be introducing you to the incredible Gemma Bronzoni.
As the founder of The Nappy Society, she has singlehandedly created this one mother’s most-used-product. The nappy bag insert that transforms any bag (yes, even the beautiful ones) into a nappy bag – as well as her host of additional products – have taken the baby market by storm, and it’s not hard to see why.
We spoke to Gemma about business, children and so much more, and are delighted to have her wisdom, brains and ingenuity in our GRACE Collective.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself, your family and your work?
I am a new mum to the most beautiful little girl, Alessia who was born January 24th this year. My husband, Adrian, and I were married last year and we are currently living in bayside Melbourne.
Prior to starting my business, I worked at Chanel for about 5 years, which was where I really developed my love for accessories, handbags and luxury goods.
It was during this time that my friends and family were having babies and I noticed that there was a gap in the market for luxe baby bag inserts, totes and accessories for the modern and stylish mum. For this reason, in 2017, I started my own label, The Nappy Society.
What does a typical morning look like in your household?
My mornings have definitely changed this year since becoming a mum! We wake up at any time between 6-7am and whilst I’m changing Alessia, my husband will make her bottle (and my first coffee) before he goes to work. The bottle is followed by cuddles and playtime, and then I’ll make Alessia’s breakfast at 8am. Post breakfast, whilst Alessia is playing, I’ll quickly get myself ready for the day (5 minute routine!), and quickly multitask my way through the daily chores. From 9am-11am, Alessia has a nap, which is when I’ll have my breakfast, make myself a second coffee and get started on work for the day. Coffee is definitely the key to survival at the moment!
If I have meetings or a shoot scheduled for that day, mornings a lot more hectic so I sometimes arrange for my mum or sister-in-law to look after Alessia. However, I’m very lucky in that she is a very happy and chilled baby so most of the time she comes along wherever I go! My mini girl boss in the making!
Did your work or career shift since becoming a mother?
I started The Nappy Society before I was pregnant with Alessia in 2017 and I haven’t really had a day off since! It’s crazy to reflect on now, but I was back working five hours after giving birth. If anything, I probably work more now as a mum than I did previously, because the business is at the stage where it’s growing and expanding. As Alessia grows and needs more of my time, so does the business. It’s a constant struggle to get everything done for the business and still feel like I’m doing a good job as a mother. But I also wouldn’t have it any other way. I love what I do and I’m so passionate about it, and I adore my family and treasure our time together.
How do you make the juggle work in your family?
I wish I knew! When I was pregnant, I underestimated how hard it would actually be to juggle a baby and a business at the same time. The first couple of months after she was born were tough. The newborn haze is difficult enough to navigate but it’s easy to feel lonely and isolated from time to time. But as all mums know, that is such a small phase in hindsight. I’m slowly getting better at juggling, and I think I’ve just come to realise that I can’t do it all and it’s okay to ask for help. My husband has been a huge help and is a very hands-on father which is so lovely to watch. He helps me a lot with the business and is a huge support, and I definitely couldn’t manage without him.
What’s your proudest career achievement to date?
I think the fact that I was able to start a business from scratch by myself, when I really had no clue what I was doing or how hard it was going to be is something to be proud of. A lot of the time as business owners we’re so busy and caught up in the day-to-day and stresses of the business, we don’t actually stop to look back and appreciate what we have created and be proud of that. The first time I saw mums out and about with our products was also a pretty surreal and proud moment because it reminded me that all the hard work was finally paying off.
What’s your most memorable moment of motherhood so far?
There are so many, but we recently went on our first family holiday to Bali and that was definitely memorable and such a special time together. Alessia had just turned 6 months, which was such a fun age, and it was just so lovely to zone out and spend proper quality time together for 2 weeks as a family of 3.
How do you switch off and make time for you?
This is something I really need to work on. I find it very hard to switch off, but I think that’s the nature of running a business. I have recently enabled screen time on my phone, so it automatically shuts down all apps between 9pm and 8am, which has helped with my stress levels a lot. I try to go on a long run once a week when my husband’s home, which is my favourite way to de-stress. I also enjoy evenings at home with my husband, having a glass of wine and talking or watching a tv series once Alessia has gone to sleep. It’s important to make time for each other every day and wind down from parent/CEO mode!
What lessons are you hoping to instil in your children, or legacy are you hoping to create?
I just want to be the best role model I can possibly be. I want to show Alessia that with a strong work ethic, so much is possible. Above all, I want her to always feel empowered and confident, and to show kindness to others.
What sacrifices have you had to make since becoming a mother
Definitely less time with friends, which I feel terrible about as I miss them dearly. But usually baby and business take priorities at this stage. I think most mums can relate to this!
Something that has also bothered me for a while is that I have never really had time to go to a mother’s group, or take Alessia to baby sensory classes and activities. I always envisioned that I would be that mum who would do so many fun learning and development classes with my baby, but the reality of a growing business and having a newborn at the same time makes it very difficult.
What are the top ten things on your favourites list at the moment?
- Anine Bing Sweat Shirts and Tees
- Golden Goose Sneakers
- Jo Malone: My Story by Jo Malone
- Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Oil
- Large Long Black OR Matcha Latte with Oat Milk
- Red Wine from Merricks General Store
- Made by Mamas Podcast
- Gisou Honey-Infused Hair Oil
- Fresh Flowers from the Markets
- Saturday Morning Walks with Hubby, Bub and Coffee