Being deep-rooted in the mummy blogosphere helped Melbourne woman Sarah Braaksma launch her online eco-friendly, handmade children’s toy business Mum’s The Word Boutique in August. Mrs Braaksma said it was the community spirit of mummy bloggers and their influence that was having an impact in what is an increasingly competitive market.
Brand-savvy mum bloggers have twice as much influence as a celebrity endorsement (BlogHer 2011 Social Media Matters Study). When she first opened the business she was faced with buyers holding off purchasing in the lead up to Christmas. However, with the festive season now fast approaching, sales were picking up.
This was also being propelled by the emergence of blog posts and sidebar advertising about her business from her blogging peers. “Before opening Mum’s the Word Boutique I had started a blog. Through this I have had the good fortune to meet many lovely fellow mum bloggers online and in real life. The community spirit is huge amongst them and when these bloggers blog people, and especially mums, listen,’’ she said.
Posts about her boutique and its products are peppered throughout the blogosphere. “I believe this is the best way to reach my biggest target market which is, of course, stay at home mums.’’ The other key to Mrs Braaksma’s business is the type of products Mum’s The Word Boutique stocks. She decided to start the business after becoming discouraged with the lack of quality children’s toys available. “As I get older I am becoming more aware of the care we need to take of our world. I have focused on stocking quality, eco-friendly, fair-trade certified and handmade wares. I enjoy helping other work at home mums by stocking their gorgeous handmade items.’’ “I believe people are becoming tired with the mass produced, cheap plastic toys and are turning back to high quality, long lasting, handmade and crafted wares.’’
The reason for an online store came down to knowing how difficult it was as a mum of small children to go shopping, let alone search for quality products.