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Breast Pads were the Start

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An article in the Auckland Central Leader Newspaper

28 July 2006

By Aroha Awarau

It took just $50 and a spare room for Frnaces McInnes to start her own business.  Two years on, her cheaper alternative to disposable breast pads is attracting orders from around the world.

"I never thought I woul dbe running my own business," the Royal Oak resident says.

"The response has been fabulous."

Pads stop breastfeeding mothers getting wet patches on their tops.

Frances came up with the idea for reusable breast pads while breastfeeding her son Angus.

The engineering graduate grew up around arts and crafts and knew wool was good for moisture absorption.

"I thought I could use my own fibre craft to make some breast pads for myself and my friends," she says.

Friends were so impressed by her homemade pads they convinced her to take the idea further.

With a $50 budget, Frances bought an internet domain name and a small amount of wool.

Her engineering background and consultation with baby groups helped during the design process.

"I surveyed mothers of young babies and they wanted something that didn't stick, was discrete and economical," she says.  "It was a matter of working with the wool to find the right absorption."

Frances has sold more than 5000 pads and has expanded her website to include other breastfeeding products.

The site gets more than 17000 visitors a month, and she has about 50 orders a week.

Frances is planning expansion as her site becomes more popular.

For more information visit www.breastmates.co.nz