Wholesale Baby is a one-of-a-kind business that supports mumpreneurs, employs work-at-home mums and is run by one very busy mother of two boys.
The agency acts as a go-between for retailers and producers, meaning the everyone from the biggest shop to the smallest online store can have access to a huge range of quality baby goods, and the designers of these toys, nappies, clothes and more can get their products out into the marketplace with minimal effort.
For managing director Nicole McIver, it’s a win-win situation for mums juggling family and making a living. “Wholesale Baby supports mums who have a great idea for a baby product, we help mums who run all kinds of stores and we employ mums as agents who can work from home,” she says.
Wholesale Baby came about when Nicole opened an online baby store and found it difficult to access the quality products she wanted to stock. “Established brands didn’t want to deal with a small start-up business and I thought, ‘that’s not fair, give me a chance.’”
And so the idea for a wholesale agency was born. “As soon as I get an idea, I jump on it. I don’t sit around thinking about it – I’m always the first to seize an opportunity,” says Nicole.
The 25-year-old Queensland mum and former kitchen-designer created Wholesale Baby just over a year ago (February 2010) and it rapidly grew from being a one-woman show to employing more than 10 agents and representing 55 brands from Australia and overseas.
The reasons for Wholesale Baby’s overnight success are simple: first, there was nothing else like it in Australia. Secondly, Wholesale Baby is built on the foundations of support and growth, from one busy mum to another.
“Wholesale Baby is more than just a sales agency, we do a lot for the brands we represent,” says Nicole. “From advice on packaging and promotion to providing marketing materials or just a sympathetic ear when things aren’t going right with the kids, we help our mums every step of the way.”
Wholesale Baby is a dynamic, social business, with regular e-newsletters sent to retailers announcing new products, and more than 4000 followers on Facebook. Nicole says, “I wouldn’t be where I am today if it weren’t for Facebook, it’s been a huge part of our success.”
It’s been a great thrill for Nicole to be able to pass on this success to retailers and producers alike. “I had a one-line email about 12 months ago from a mum who made nappy covers, asking if I thought she could wholesale them. Now she’s getting on average $4000 of wholesale orders a month through Wholesale Baby, that’s what makes it all worthwhile,” she says.