MAMA MAYA

We love to swaddle. Our babes that is. Mini was and still is a wiggly-wormy-bean. We always felt happy knowing she was safely wrapped up snoozing away. All snug and safe in her little cot. Frey Frey isn't such a wiggly bean, but we still loved to swaddle her just the same. We were forever trying to find the best, most beautiful, super stylish swaddles in town. Our search is over. We have found them. And we will be buying them for every single babe on the block from now on. 

They are Mama Maya Organic Cotton Muslins Baby Swaddle Blankets. Soft, spotty, stylish, beautifully made and big. Which is perfect for the not-so-great-at-the-swaddle-wrap-mums-and-dads. Like us. And our babes. Both bigger than the average babe.

Even better, with every purchase, you are giving another Mama the opportunity to experience a cleaner, safer birth. We are thrilled to have chatted to Robyn, the lady behind the brand to find out more. 

TELL US A LITTLE BIT YOUR BUSINESS, MAMA MAYA.
Mama Maya is a brand of organic muslin baby swaddling blankets. They’re beautiful in quality, timelessly stylish, and ethically made - and for every purchase, we guarantee a safer, cleaner childbirth for one mama in a developing country, by funding birthing kits and caregiver training.

We launched in March this year, and after only 3 months we’ve been able to fund 378 birthing kits - that’s 378 women who will be able to have a safer, cleaner childbirth! Our muslins are being used by babies all over the world; and as well as our website we are now stocked at Jack & Willow and Baby Dino, with more retailers launching shortly.

‘OUR MUSLINS ARE BEING USED BY BABIES ALL OVER THE WORLD’

WHAT MADE YOU START YOUR BUSINESS.
When I was giving birth to my eldest son 4 years ago, the umbilical cord was looped around his neck. My OB and midwife worked to get him out as quickly as possible and administer him oxygen. 

I didn't think too much about it until I later heard about the work of the Birthing Kit Foundation Australia (BKFA) - providing clean birthing kits to women in remote areas of developing countries. A kit containing basic items like a plastic sheet, gloves, string, cotton, alcohol swab and a blade can reduce the chance of infection and mean the difference between life and death for a mother and baby.

The statistics of maternal death around the world blew my mind. Around 350,000 babies are born every day; in Australia, 6 in 100,000 people die each year in pregnancy or childbirth, but in a country like Uganda, it's 1 in 16. I realised how lucky I had been to have a clean and safe place to give birth, and also trained caregivers to support me. 

I wanted to do something to increase awareness of these statistics, and also contribute to reducing the rate of mother and baby morbidity and mortality; it’s a situation every new mum or dad can empathise with, so I took something that every parent of babies owns multiples of - a simple muslin wrap - and built a one-for-one model around it, with a focus on both stylish design and sustainability. Through a partnership with the BKFA, we fund birthing kits and caregiver training to local organisations in over 30 countries - and can guarantee that for every purchase at least one woman will have access to a safer birth.

‘I REALISED HOW LUCKY I HAD BEEN TO HAVE A CLEAN AND SAFE PLACE TO GIVE BIRTH’

BEAUTIFUL CLEMENTINE. Image Credit @lozleeds

HOW DO YOU MANAGE TO JUGGLE BUSINESS LIFE AND MUM LIFE.
It’s definitely a juggle! My boys are in childcare 3 days per week, and then the other 2 days they are with me. On those days I try to work before they wake up, during nap time, and after they are asleep, but sometimes the worlds collide and I feel guilty that I’m not giving them my full attention, so that’s something I’m working on.

WE LOVE YOUR PRODUCT. YOUR VIBE. YOUR STYLE. AND MOST OF ALL WE LOVE THAT YOU HAVE PARTNERED WITH THE BIRTHING KIT FOUNDATION. COULD YOU TEL US MORE ABOUT THIS?
Thank you! The Birthing Kit Foundation (Australia) are an incredible organisation providing birthing kits and caregiver training for women in developing countries. They have no political or religious affiliations - their focus is primarily on ensuring all women have the right to a safer, cleaner pregnancy and birth, and this is why we’ve chosen to support them. A birthing kit itself costs only $3, but contains the basic items to help a mother and her baby avoid infection, and potentially save their lives. Every month we donate to the BKFA based on the number of muslins sold, to ensure that for every purchase at least one (but actually more!) women will have access to a safer, cleaner birth.

‘A BIRTHING KIT ITSELF COSTS ONLY $3 BUT CONTAINS THE BASIC ITEMS TO HELP A MOTHER AND HER BABY AVOID INFECTION AND POTENTIALLY SAVE THEIR LIVES’

NOT ONLY THAT, BUT YOU ARE ALSO BIG BELIEVERS IN SUSTAINABILITY. COULD YOU SHARE A LITTLE ABOUT THIS WITH US.
I’ve been conscious throughout the whole process of creating Mama Maya to leave the smallest footprint possible on our planet. Our wraps are made of GOTS-certified organic cotton, and produced in a fair-trade certified factory in India. The cotton is absolutely beautiful and I absolutely wanted to ensure that it was not only safe for babies skin, but for the people farming and manufacturing, too.

Our muslins are packaged in reusable muslin bags - really handy for storing them in when out, or using as a wash bag. Our swing tags are totally recyclable, and we even post in biodegradable bags made from a minimum of 40% recycled material. When we send overseas, we do it carbon neutrally. These things all cost extra, but to us they're non-negotiable. 

‘I’VE BEEN CONSCIOUS THROUGHOUT THE WHOLE PROCESS OF CREATING MAMA MAYA TO LEAVE THE SMALLEST FOOTPRINT POSSIBLE ON OUR PLANET’

THROUGHOUT YOUR BUSINESS JOURNEY, WHAT WOULD YOU SAY IS THE BIGGEST LESSON YOU HAVE LEARNT IS?
I’m a major perfectionist - I could have kept going for years before I launched if I maintained this though, as nothing ever feels ‘perfect’! I’ve really had to let go of perfectionism, and the good news is I haven’t regretted anything!

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO SOMEONE STARTING A SMALL BUSINESS.
My biggest piece of advice to anyone starting out in business is to know your ‘why’ - why are you really doing this, what’s your purpose? (Hint: the answer shouldn’t be to make money!) If you focus on your purpose, it will always serve as your motivation, especially during the tough times.

WHAT ARE YOUR FAVOURITE PIECES FROM YOUR OWN STORE.
I don’t think I can answer this. I love all of the colours, and they are all just as popular as each other!

AND, WHAT IS PLANNED FOR MAMA MAYA'S FUTURE?
It’s all BIG - the goal for our first 3 years of business is to fund birthing kits for 100,000 women! We’ve created a beautiful product, with a big opportunity to create real change in the world. Why stay small?

GET YOUR SHOP ON.
www.mamamaya.com.au

GET YOUR STALK ON.
@mamamayaorganic

TO MAKE A DONATION.
Visit The Birthing Kit Foundation

TOP FIVE TO FOLLOW.
@zotheysay Zoe is smart, witty and super talented, and her posts always make me smile.
@tabletonic I love Louise’s store, style, everything.
@everlane I love their feed and love everything about the way they do business.
@thankyouaus Another amazing business that provided me with inspiration to create Mama Maya.
@samanthawills Samantha is so honest and generous about business and life

ROBYN. The beautiful lady behind the beautiful brand.