Welcome friends to our fortnightly series showcasing some of the awesome Mum’s who are not just raising fab families but who are also in business for themselves. Every fortnight I’ll share a cuppa (so to speak) with an awesome Mum and learn a bit more about the face behind their business. Personally, I am always intrigued and in awe by those running businesses – the how, the why. I firmly believe that “when you support small business, you’re supporting a dream”. So join us each fortnight as we support each other; as we support a dream!
Today, we have the lovely Alana from Mud Mates joining us and she is going to solve all you muddy problems (well at least the ones involving your kiddies clothes). Funnily enough, I have been following Alana and Mud Mates for a while now before she got in touch with me via my Aunty (you have gotta love the wonderful world of technology connecting people). For those of you who are new to Mud Mates, Alana is the mastermind behind waterproof and water-resistant over garments for your littlies, made right here in lil ole New Zealand.
I will be honest here, before Alana got in touch I had always seen her fantastic products, heard rav reviews from others but had yet to try them for myself. So, as you can imagine I jumped at the chance for Sebastian and Isabelle to give them a test run; we were lucky enough to be sent a pair of the Coveralls for Isabelle and the Unlined Overpants for Sebastian. Funnily enough the morning they arrived it was pouring with rain come Preschool pick up, so Isabelle and I put them through their first test then and there. The result one warm, dry, snuggly lil girl and one happy Mumma! Post Preschool pick up and Sebastian was excited to see their was mail for him, so headed outside to give his a try in the garden with Schumi (our dog). The result one very dry and super happy lil man, one very happy Mumma and one very wet dog!
Mud Mates not only do Coveralls and Overpants, they also do Shoe Covers, Craft Aprons, Fitted Tablecloths and even Swim Bags. I love that they just pop on right over top of whatever your little one is wearing so they are perfect for day care, playcentre, in the sandpit, on the farm, at the playground, watching sports, painting and any other messy activities and outdoor adventures. Now, if you haven’t already popped on over and checked out Mud Mates, then I strongly suggest you do. Just… don’t forget to come back here and find out more about the lovely Mum who originally created Mud Mates.
Tell us a bit about yourself, Alana..
Hi, I’m Alana, founder and Director of Mud Mates. I live in sunny Napier with my gorgeous kiddies (Master 7 and Miss 4) and my wonderful South African husband.
Where did the name Mud Mates come from?
Full credit for the name has to go to my husband! We had a brainstorming session and his one and only suggestion was perfect.
What made you decide to start your own business?
When my son was a toddler it felt like I was forever changing his dirty clothes and dealing with a seemingly never ending pile of washing. I created a pair of Coveralls for him and they were a life saver! He practically lived in them, and when he was finished making a mess, I just slipped them off and he was nice and clean underneath. I received fantastic feedback from other mums who saw my son wearing the coveralls and from there, Mud Mates was born.
The Mud Mates range is no longer just Coveralls! We specialise in waterproof and water-resistant over-garments for littlies up to 6 years of age and our clothing range also now includes unlined and fleece-lined Overpants, Craft Aprons and Shoe Covers. Plus last year we introduced elasticated Fitted Tablecloths and personalised Swim Bags.
All our products are still handmade in Hawke’s Bay, which I’m extremely proud of, and I love that our products help other mums by reducing their washing pile and saving them time and money.
What’s your favourite part about what you do?
I enjoy it all! But the best part is receiving feedback from happy customers who love their Mud Mates products as much as I do. It makes all the hard work worthwhile to know that my products are making someone else’s life just that little bit easier.
Do you have a favourite item you have created? What is it?
It’s a tough choice as all our products have a time and a place, but our original Coveralls are still my absolute fave (and they’re our most popular product too). They look super cute on but are extremely practical too, so it’s a win-win!
When your not working on your business, what do you find yourself doing?
I’m currently training for a half-marathon so I run a couple of times a week. I love hanging out with my littlies and exploring all that the lovely Hawke’s Bay has to offer. And in my downtime I’m a sucker for reality TV – The Bachelor, Married at First Sight, My Kitchen Rules etc (but please don’t hold it against me!)
A lot of my readers are Mums who will spend on their children but forget about themselves, do you have any pearls of wisdom for them…
It is REALLY tough being a mum, it feels like you’re constantly being pulled in a million different directions at once. For me, I need to be organised and write everything down (my memory is shocking) otherwise everything just gets away from me. I have also discovered this fantastic app (https://motivatedmoms.com/products/apps/ ) which is working wonders for me, and our house! It gives you a daily list of household chores to be done, spreading them out so it’s actually manageable.
Thank you so much for joining us Alana, I would have to agree with you being organized truly makes a difference – I’m off to check out that app! Now lovely readers, have you popped on over and checked out Mud Mates yet.. because Alana has a wee deal just for you! Get FREE shipping on all coveralls, purchased between now and 11th June, by simply using the code MADEWITHLOVE at checkout. Are you following Mud Mates journey on Facebook and Instagram., because I really think you should.