Hi, I am Franny McInnes, the founder and manager of Breastmates®. I started this business way back in 2004 with a dream to become self-employed but I never thought it would go like this! I'm glad you have found my website, even if you are just browsing and not shopping please feel welcome here! Let me know if you have any questions or comments, I'm here to give you re-assurance.
History of my Brand
Breastmates was created in 2004 as a small hobby business when I developed some breast pads after I had my baby. I sold products through Trademe to earn extra money while on maternity leave (read some early Press). I never had any money to invest in a business, so everything has been self-funded through cashflow or D.i.Y skills! As a new mum, I realised that there were no other maternity stores that focused on breastfeeding. Some of the advice I received from baby stores was really bad, and there were no maternity shops that had breastfeeding support so I have slowly expanded my business to cater for this.
When my second baby came along, things didn't go as planned and he was fed a mixture of boobie juice and formula. At that time I was struck by the struggle and judgement that bottle feeding mothers go through - and their Guilt Trip! So my business has evolved to support all mothers entering motherhood, regardless of how they feed their baby. And I stand by this philosophy.
As my business has grown over the years, I have been working on my own designs of maternity and breastfeeding clothes. I control the whole process, from drawing, specifying, choosing fabrics at the market, testing, overseeing the production factory, logistics, photoshoots and web design (phew that's a lot!). I started creating my own designs after feedback from customers who wanted maternity clothing that could be worn for longer than nine months, so all my styles have secret breastfeeding access and are flattering to post-pregnancy bodies. My true passion is CREATING and designing products that customers LOVE!
Breastmates has become a well-known and popular brand with a great reputation. I have slowly grown my website and product designs, and have built up trust with customers just by treating them the way I would expect to be treated. Over the years I have won business awards and customer service awards including winning Top Shop Online! You can also see reviews on my Facebook page
My business "success" has been through a lot of hard work, late nights, and heart over many years. And I absolutely love my job - I think that shows through.
In 2016 I was able to move my business to a new a mini-warehouse and showroom (you can come and visit if you are near to Cambridge, please contact us to make an appointment). I have a little team of people that work here with me now, and I'm learning how to be a #girlboss.
Thanks for visiting my website
If you have a spare 15 minutes please feel welcome to watch my Ted Talk
You can read more about my story and business growth via some blogs here