We’ve been working on a little project over the past few months and I’m so excited to share it with you today (I can’t believe it’s launch day!). We’ve collaborated with Mama Maya – a beautiful Australia brand of organic cotton muslin baby swaddle wraps founded by a gorgeous woman called Robyn Jones – on five swaddles...
Swaddles are one of those accessories that you probably never even knew existed before you had kids (I’ve now lost track of the number of times I’ve Googled how to swaddle your baby). As a new mother, suddenly you need them for everything from wrapping your baby (I became obsessed with the art of the wrap – the better the wrap, the more they sleep), to covering the pram when you’re trying t0 get them to sleep when you’re out and about (I remember peeking through the swaddle to see if they’d nodded off and usually they’d be staring straight back at me – my girls were not sleepers), to a breastfeeding cover (which usually fell off and really, no woman should have to cover up if she’s feeding in public – we’re keeping small humans alive people – relax). I’ve followed Mama Maya since the brand launched a few years ago and love what Robyn does. Her muslin wraps are stylish, soft and socially conscious. The brand funds birthing kits and caregiver training to ensure more women in developing countries can give birth safely. What was so special about our launch last week was that we got together with a fabulous group of women and put together 200 birthing kits. There was such a beautiful atmosphere in the room. So what can you expect from our new collab? Those who know me – or came to our wedding – will know how much I love hydrangeas so it’s hardly surprising to my close friends that there are two floral wraps. I also adore gingham and it goes so well with a floral print so you can mix and match. There are five swaddles in grey, pink and blue (the blue floral is designed for both boys and girls). I hope you love them – I know I do and they’re what I’ll be giving my friends and family when they have babies. We caught up with Robyn to find out more about Mama Maya and this exciting new collaboration. Photography: Grace Alyssa Kyo | Location: Camperdown Commons | Styling: Rainy Sunday | Flowers: Bloombox Co | To shop go to www.mamamaya.com.au
Can you tell us what inspired you to launch Mama Maya? What was your vision for the brand?
I’ve always wanted to start a business that gave back, and the inspiration came to me in early 2015 when I was looking around my six-month-old son’s bedroom. We had so many muslin wraps – they’re so useful – but many of them were just so scratchy and shapeless. I thought about creating a range of swaddles that were stylish, fairly made in the finest organic muslin, with a portion from every sale going towards a maternal health cause – and within a couple of months, I was talking with manufacturers and sampling. Our swaddles are all about embracing a classic, timeless style – not fashion-driven or seasonal, they’re made to last and be loved for years. Beautifully made in organic cotton with binding edges and rounded corners ensures our wraps wear better and last longer. With at least one birthing kit funded with every swaddle purchased, we’re increasing awareness for maternal health around the world, and inspiring mothers and gift givers to shop with purpose. As someone who is always looking for the perfect baby shower gift for friends, I knew that this had the potential to become the go-to gift for a new baby, and a stylish essential for any new mum.
2. Can you talk us through the process behind each swaddle?
The whole process from initial design, sampling, and production takes approximately five months. We only use organic cotton, and it’s all grown and stitched locally in India. The cotton from India is beautiful – when I was originally researching a manufacturer I looked into both China and India, but I don’t think you can beat organic cotton from India, it’s just so soft. It’s really important to me that we produce our swaddles as sustainably and ethically as possible, using certified non-toxic inks and organic cotton. I’m lucky to have found a fair-trade certified manufacturer in the south of India; I’ve personally travelled to our factory to see our swaddles being made, and their workmanship is beautiful.
Tell us about the work you do with the Birthing Kit Foundation?
Our goal is to help more women around the world have a safer pregnancy and birth, and we do this through our partnership with the Birthing Kit Foundation. They’re an incredible organisation based in Adelaide who supply birthing kits to women who are giving birth in developing countries, where childbirth carries significantly increased risks for mums and their babies when they don’t have a hygienic place to give birth, or even someone trained in childbirth to help them. Every month we make a donation based on the number of swaddles sold in the month prior, and we’re thrilled to have funded over 5,000 birthing kits so far.
4. Can you tell us about your new collaboration with The Grace Tales?
I’m so proud to launch our new collection of prints in collaboration with The Grace Tales. I wanted to create a limited edition range of prints that are different from our classic Spots, so I approached Georgie Abay to collaborate on a design. Georgie’s style is perfect for Mama Maya, and we have created five swaddles inspired by Georgie’s favourite prints – florals and gingham. Our floral print was designed by a local Sydney artist, Claudia Maher, and features white hydrangeas on blush pink or cornflower blue. We also have gingham in complementary blush pink and blue prints, and since our Grey Spot swaddle is also Mama Maya’s bestseller, we’ve done the gingham print in a grey as well. I couldn’t be happier with how they’ve turned out! To launch the collection we recently hosted a brunch at Camperdown Commons, where we assembled 200 birthing kits for the Birthing Kit Foundation. Along with donations, the Foundation relies on volunteers to host assembly days to put the kits together before they are sent off all over the world, and it was wonderful to be able to understand first hand how we are impacting the lives of so many women (and it was a lot of fun, too!).
What inspires you/motivates you?
I love making our donation to the Birthing Kit Foundation every month – it’s something I really look forward to, and every month we try to achieve more than the last! I have a birthing kit on my desk that I look at every time I sit down, and it’s a reminder of what Mama Maya is working for.
What are your time management tips - how do you get everything done?
I like to get up early, before my little boys are awake – between 5 and 6am. This is one of my biggest tips – any later, and I definitely feel like I’ve started the day on the back foot. I’m a big ‘list’ person, so I also recommend writing a list of things to get done the following day – this helps me wake up with clarity and direction. I don’t have set work hours – there are 3 days per week that both of my boys are at school so I definitely get through as much as I can then. With my manufacturer operating in a different timezone, I am often messaging with them back and forth very late at night.
What have been some highlights since you launched Mama Maya?
At the end of last year, we were approached by Westpac to supply swaddles as part of gift packs to staff and customers, and this has been huge for the business. We were also approached to stock at The Tot in the US – it’s amazing to see Mama Maya in there with so many other incredible brands. I also don’t think I can beat the first moment when I saw someone with one of our swaddles “in real life” – that was very special. And I absolutely love hearing feedback – when customers email me to tell me that it’s their favourite swaddle, and come back to buy more – that’s a wonderful validation for all the hard work and effort that goes into creating such a beautiful product.