These Young Mums Turned a Simple Idea Into a Booming Business, Here's How
Laura Ruston and Krystyna Stepowska's business journey began when they couldn't source clean change rooms on their regular outings. So, with the simple goal to help other parents on their constant quest for an unstained change table that also happened to be near a quality coffee source—because if anyone need's an artisanal java hit, it's sleep-deprived mothers—Ruston and Stepowska went far and wide, sipping coffee, changing nappies, and breastfeeding all in the name of research. The result? Out & About Baby, a global directory of places curated and reviewed by real families (kind of like a TripAdvisor for parents).
The website is a simple-to-use concept. When you add your location Out & About Baby will show you the baby-friendly facilities near you. It also allows you to plan trips in advance based on the community's recommendations, with incentives given as you add to the reviews and help other parents using the site. And it seems like they are onto something, with the power-duo seeing 330% growth in just one week. It's an even more poignant achievement with recent studies showing that women with children aged under five and single mothers with children under 15 faced an employment gap of around 25 per cent, compared to those without kids. We chat to Ruston about what this stay-at-home mum has learned from her entrepreneurial journey so far and how they got business booming.
Keep scrolling to read her advice below and shop our favourite products for little ones below.
it came from a simple idea
"The first time I went out with my son Harvey was a disaster. He was only six weeks old, it was Christmas time, and I couldn't find any clean baby change rooms. It started there and it has slowly grown and adapted since then into what you see today—a one-stop site that parents can use anywhere in the world but always have in their pocket."
know your market
"Understand your users inside and out. What they want is the most important thing and maximising the utility for them should be your priority. Jeff Bezos says, 'Start with the customer and work backwards. Those two things, passion, and customer-centricity, will take you an awful long way.' I completely believe that if your users are happy and love what you produce, then the rest will follow."
create a product that people need
"Not only do we have a good product, but it's a real product, one that we want to use and have really thought about how it works. So our users, who are also mums and dads, appreciate that we think the same way and have made something just for them."
let people help you with your business
"You can't do it all yourself. Let other people in who are different to you to provide diversity of opinion and support you when you can't do things yourself. This is especially important when you are a mum. You juggle so many different roles that it makes it better for everyone when you just let go and accept help."
test your idea before starting anything
"Get your hands on as many books, podcasts, or whatever it is that you are into by people who have been there and done that. Then write notes, compare your ideas, and absorb it all. Then talk to people about it and get yourself started in that feedback loop. Test your idea, then break it and build it back up again."