My husband and I launched Jack And Jill Kids Natural Toothpaste with Organic Fruit Flavours, eight months ago when our boys were aged 3 and 1, after discovering a gap in children’s oral care market.
It was a crash course in combining the mayhem of running a business and the chaos of raising 2 beautifully energetic tornadoes…. I mean boys. I think one of the biggest lessons I have learned over the last few years since becoming a mother is adaptability – especially in the area of work and career.
Choosing to be a stay at home Mum while my children are at a ‘pre’ school age has meant that my working life asI knew it has had to go through some major shifts – I know this is stating the obvious to all Mum’s – but sometimes more formally acknowledging that life has changed and therefore work/career may change can be liberating.
I spent the first ten years of my working life as a professional dancer. Then became a photographer through my thirties and now in my forties am re-inventing my relationship with the ‘working’ world. Maybe I was helped along by the fact that dancing and photography as careers can be somewhat self indulgent – and having kids makes you question exactly what you are doing with your time and how you want to engage with the world around you.
My latest move from photographer to small business owner was brought about by a few other ‘small’ influences as well as motherhood! Justin and I were living it up in New York, both working as photographers when we had our kids and hard financial times hit our industry in 2008. I was struck by the fickle nature of our photography business and the lack of stability it was going to provide our family.
At around that time my first son, Dali began to need brushing his teeth! As caring and aware parents we hunted high and low for the best oral care for our precious little one!!…..and were suprised – with all the options New York had to offer we really struggled to find the perfect toothpaste! One that was safe with good ingredients and, importantly – tasted good!!! How could we encourage a lifetime of dental care with a toothpaste that he would resist?
From that moment, I could see this business succeeding.
So – life has changed since 2008. We moved back to Melbourne at the end of 2009 and embarked on Jack N’ Jill Kids Natural Toothpaste. We moved back with our second boy Jagger as well – and began the juggling act of parenthood and developing a new business.
Justin just happened to be a pharmacist before becoming a photographer so wasa ble to formulate a natural toothpaste (after lots of swearing in the lab!!) With our backgrounds in photography and help from every creative person we knew we designed and developed the packaging and website and in early 2011 made our first batch of tubes. I wanted to run a business that contributed to improving the quality of life for it’s end users.
The amazing thing about developing Jack N’ Jill is that I can do it from home and still be a full time Mum.
My days have become pretty crazy – as are the days of every Mum – whether she is trying to run a business or not.
The kids nap times are filled with me frantically juggling online and wholesale orders whilst managing our social media machine.
And that is probably the most satisfying thing about this new business. The ability to contact people all over the world from my kitchen nook!! We are living proof that businesses can function much more efficiently these days, and in doing so are minimising our environmental footprint. Most of our work happens from our home office, and most of our communications are electronic. The ability to be at home in Melbourne and be in touch with mothers all over the world is astounding. Apart from being good for business, it also helps keeps me from feeling isolated during this period in my life.
Our brand is going global fast and most of our efforts are directed into an online marketing strategy – reaching out and connecting with Mums through blogs and Facebook and online retail sites. Jack N’ Jill Natural Natural Toothpaste is now widely recognised as the safest choice in children’s oral care.