There must be something in the water surrounding Sydney's picturesque Northern Beaches which sparks the entrepreneurial spirit.
It all started when Helen had her third son. She was frustrated that she never had enough space in her buggy for groceries and other shopping.
As all mums know, when your baby is safe and comfortable, you don't move them. EVER! But everyone needs to buy food and it's impossible to push a pram and a trolley at the same time. Inconvenient heavy bags tip your buggy over, and your nappy bag fills the space underneath. So where can you put everything? In your BuggyCart.
Her award-winning design is already being used by hundreds of Australian mums who cannot live without it. It fits most prams, has its own wheels for stability, has a storage capacity of 15kg, is easy to use and gives mums the freedom to get things done while bub is settled safely. Helen has won two business awards.
Question: Can you tell us about your business?
Helen Druitt: The BuggyCart™ is the world-first shopping-cart for your pram. It fits easily onto most prams, strollers and wheelchairs with its adjustable straps. When not in use it folds up to fit into the bottom of your pram and can be used as a very handy tote bag.
With a BuggyCart™ you will never need to wake your child during your grocery shop and you will never need to push a heavy, unsafe, unhygienic, trolley around a shopping centre again.
Question: What originally inspired you to begin working for yourself?
Helen Druitt: While being on maternity leave as a nurse, I had developed my creative side, and loved to make and problem solve. I realised that by working for myself I could be at home more for my sons when they needed me.
Question: Can you talk us through the creation of the product?
Helen Druitt: It started as needing to make for myself an extra-large bag for my shopping since I was dependent on using my pram to get out and about. I realised that I needed to not put excess weight and strain on the pram to avoid pram tips so I came up with the idea to incorporate the bag's own set of wheels to counteract the weight of the bag.
Where do you source your materials? China. I have two separate manufacturers for the 2 main parts of my product. One for the bag, and the other for the wheel part. Because they are both customised parts, they needed to have their own standards and quality control measures, so that is why I have kept them separate.
Question: What advice do you have for aspiring Mumpreneurs?
Helen Druitt: Be prepared to go back to the drawing board, not once but several times. Innovations and inventions can take years to develop, and you need to have the flexibility and determination to do it over and over again till you get it right. Make sure you know your market, do as much market research to determine that your idea is needed. A good idea is only 10% of a successful company, you need to think outside the product, and you need to reach your market's needs.
Question: What systems have you put in place to juggle work and family life?
Helen Druitt: Ensuring that everyone is being looked after, including your own mental health. Working from home can mean that it's difficult to switch off, and although you may enjoy doing it, you need to constantly balance your work and your family times. We started going camping more often to take time out and help switch off from everything, we maintain other activities that bring us joy such as church and sports.
Question: Overall, what has been the biggest lesson you've learnt since starting your own business?
Helen Druitt: Don't be afraid to take your time, burnout is real and can put you out for months. Mental health is the biggest investment that you can give yourself and your business.
Question: Do you have any advice for others hoping to start a thriving business?
Helen Druitt: Know your market, and investing in the right type of marketing is essential, research the ones that are going to draw in your customers.
Question: Can you talk us through a typical day for you?
Helen Druitt: After getting the kids off to school and preschool, I take some time out to meditate. I answer emails from customers, work with manufacturers to organise my products, put together my products, send out my orders, work on my socials like facebook pages, work in my other job 2 days a week, and that's all before I pick up the kids again and then it's homework, after school activities, dinner and bedtime.
Question: How can we find out more about you and your brand?
Helen Druitt: www.buggycart.com.au
Interview by Brooke Hunter