Bubnest was founded in 2015 after Swedish Mum Astrid made a nest for her own baby to facilitate travels overseas whilst visiting family and friends. Astrid then found herself using the nest around the house, out and about, at dinner parties, while exercising, at the beach and more. She realised all parents could benefit from having a Bubnest and so, she got to work!
Astrid spoke with She Does This about being a Mum and entrepreneur and how she facilitates a flexible work environment for her employees.
1. You’re a Swedish Mum, living and working in Australia. Can you tell us a bit about life before Bubnest and Motherhood?
I moved to Australia in 2010 to live with my Australian boyfriend, now husband, that I had met on an exchange year during my studies. I said I would stay for two years but am still here 9 years later. I think Australia is the best place on earth! I used to work within finance but have always been drawn to entrepreneurship and running my own business.
2. What’s the hardest thing about being a Mum and entrepreneur?
That there are no definite boundaries between work time and family time. There is always work to do, and I sneak in an email here and there, check social media, make a phone call when I am with the kids.
Sometimes I feel like I am not a very present mum, but on the other hand when I had a full time work I didn’t see my kids much at all during the weeks. Running my own business gives me much more flexibility and I can plan my days how I like. I spend much more time with the family since I quit my corporate job.
3. What was the inspiration behind starting Bubnest?
I made nests for my babies when they were newborn and I just couldn’t live without them.
My babies quickly settled when I placed them in the nest, perhaps they recognised the smell or they liked the soft snug edges. I used them everywhere around the house, at friends places, in the park, while exercising and while travelling to Sweden where my family lives. I couldn’t understand how other new parents would survive without a nest so it became my mission to give other new parents a rest by providing a healthy safe place for their bubbas to sleep.
When having babies I also suddenly started to realise how much plastic and chemicals we are surrounded by, and the amount of allergies in kids seem to increase all the time.
Given babies sleep a considerable part of the day the first months, I want babies to sleep in an as healthy environment as possible which is why the nest is made out of purely organic materials which are free from toxins and chemicals.
4. As well as being aesthetically stunning, Bubnests are incredibly comfy for infants and toddlers. How is this achieved from a design perspective?
Developing products is so much harder than I thought, and especially organic products as the supply of organic materials are limited and expensive. Organic materials are also harder to work with as they don’t have memory such as polyester which is made out of plastics. So we have to come up with solutions that wouldn’t have been a problem if we used polyester in our products. We listen to feedback from our clients and also use our products ourselves within the team to make sure they are perfect. For us quality is
5. You are hugely passionate about supporting working Mum’s at Bubnest. How do you foster this environment?
The nests are all handmade in Australia as one of my drivers is to provide flexible working opportunities for local women. I think Australia has a long way to go when it comes to equality. Day care is expensive which often results in one parent staying at home with kids, more often than not this is the woman.
This puts her in an unfavourable position when and if she wants to go back to work later, which I don’t think is right nor healthy for the individual, the relationship or the society.
6. What does the future look like for Bubnest?
More products! We have just released a range of wraps in organic muslin cotton as well as knitted cot blankets in organic cotton. We also have a nursery bag and breastfeeding pillow that will be released soon (ish). All products are developed in-house and we won’t release them until we are 100% happy which means that the product development process takes time and involves multiple iterations of prototypes and samples.