This weekend we speak to Joi, Owner and Founder of Oh Bambino; a stunning boutique for little boys. Oh Bambino has absolutely the most adorable outfits EVER, from regal Prince George style formal wear, to classic kiwi checkered onesies. I wish the boat shoes came in my size…
Welcome Joi of Oh Bambino, to The Secret Coffee Group! Tell us all about you…
I am 26 and from Germany. I first moved to New Zealand as a teenager with my parents, then moved back to Germany on my own before coming back 3 years ago and meeting my (also German) husband here 🙂 Our two sons, identical twins, just turned 1 and after a difficult start to their lives (they were born at 28 weeks) and lots of time spent in hospital, we couldn’t be happier were we are right now and that we get to raise our boys so close to the beach.
What finally gave you the inspiration to set up your own business?
I have always dreamt of being my own boss rather than working a 9-5, but if it wasn’t for my boys and our situation, I am not sure if I ever would have had the courage to do so. When I first became pregnant, I was thinking I would just return to my job after the maternity leave. But having premature twins and one of my boys with chronic lung disease, it quickly became clear that I would be a Stay at Home Mum for the next years to come. So with the support of my husband, I finally had the courage to just set up a business myself.
What’s been the shining moment so far?
The interaction with customers and a launch which has surpassed all of my expectations. I started Oh Bambino because I was frustrated with the limited choice of boys’ clothing in stores. I have even bought girls’ jackets for the boys once, because they were just so much nicer. Eventually I started sourcing clothes from overseas and got so many questions about the boys’ outfits from other Mums and comments on my Instagram (@joifuljellybeans); many sharing the same frustration. And that’s how Oh Bambino was born – a Baby Boutique just for boys. Really, I am just selling items (or similar ones), which have been in my boys’ wardrobe or toy box for months and months, so I know that the products are really great, comfortable for the little ones to move around and loved by babies (well by mine anyway ;-))
How are you finding it balancing home life, children and your new mini empire?
I am still trying to find my groove. While changing jobs, my husband recently had the opportunity to spend 4 weeks at home with us, during which I launched Oh Bambino and had the chance to really throw myself into the project. So now, that we are back to reality, I am trying to find my balance. Twin life is full on and the boys are now at an age (1) where they don’t nap long and need lots of activities and outings to burn their endless energy. I am also a bit of a workaholic, so usually at the bottom of my list is sleep, and self-care, which I do realise needs to change eventually.
What’s been the biggest challenge thus far?
Letting go. As mentioned above, I would happily work around the clock and I can always think of something that needs to be done. Especially since I can do 90% of my work from my phone, it’s easy to never stop. My kids obviously come first and during the day I don’t work a lot, but as soon as they are asleep or I am with my someone else to look after/ play with the kids (my Mum or my husband usually), I work, which is not the most social thing to do.
What’s next for Oh Bambino?
Very soon, I will be adding more items to our “Ahoy Summer!” Collection, which I am super excited about and then I will be working on our Fall Collection and hopefully a Newborn Collection as well. My ideas though are endless! I would love to set up a Pinterest account and learn more about Pinterest marketing, as well as a YouTube Channel. Step by step…
If you could give advice to a mum starting their new business, what would it be?
Just go for it! I am a bit of a perfectionist, so I set myself a date at which I was going to launch – ready or not. The reality is that as Mums we have very limited time and can never quite foresee what our schedules will really be like. If the kids are sick, I can’t work and if they go to bed 2 hours later, that cuts down my working time too. So I had to learn to give myself some slack and do the best I can with the limited time I have available. Also, there is nothing wrong with setting little goals and doing things step by step. I am currently learning as I go along, still have no idea about Facebook advertising and just set up my Paypal account. But as long as you enjoy the process, it is so worth it!
You can see the Oh Bambino collections via the below links!