Wombat & Co’s range of innovative maternity jackets and coats are designed to support parents and their babies throughout pregnancy, babywearing and beyond.
Carmen Camacho explains to Nursery Online what prompted her to set up the business:
“When I was pregnant I was intrigued by babywearing and tried in vain to find a suitable coat that I could use for babywearing, that was stylish and modern, good quality and affordable. After speaking with friends and doing some research, I thought: why not? Surely it can’t be that hard! I admit I underestimated the scale of setting up a new business but at the same time loved everything about it!”
What issues does Wombat hope to address?
“Our coats are designed to be used mainly when parents are babywearing, but they can be used during pregnancy – and beyond. They are aimed at supporting families to enjoy the outdoors together without the limitations of a pushchair or if they have more than one child. As a family, we have very busy schedules and dynamics and we found that babywearing really helped. From getting to nursery, jumping on the train to get to work, going to the supermarket and pushing the trolley while the baby is comfortably asleep, to weekend countryside walks with little ones, it’s the difference between being stressed out – or having the freedom to do whatever you want without worrying about baby’s comfort.”
Why should a retailer stock Wombat?
“Our background spans the fashion, retail and e-commerce industries, so we know how important it is to offer quality products to the end customer (or parent in this case). We also understand how paramount it is to support our retailers, big or small, to do so. Retailers play a vital role in the life of first time parents who need professional, unbiased advice on what to buy (and what’s really not worth buying!) We are determined to offer the best quality products at the best prices, allowing our retailers to wholeheartedly recommend our coats as a valuable must have for the first few years of a child’s life. We also have a very responsive customer service team, meaning we are always there, getting back to customers and supporting them as much as we can.”
Babywearing is seeing a surge of popularity: why do you think that is?
“There are many advantages to babywearing, from helping babies to sleep better and bond with both parents to releasing trapped wind. For parents, it’s also about having their hands free to do things whilst the baby is comfortably carried. Ergonomic babywearing is also extremely practical and safe, and new carriers are constantly coming out in fantastic colours, and patterns, for all sorts of styles and parenting styles too. I think we are just seeing the beginning of it really!”
Did the pandemic help or hinder the progress of your business – and how?
“We haven’t seen a negative impact when it comes to sales. Last year we had a very good year, despite the personal challenges of the pandemic and of course witnessing the tragic losses many have suffered. I believe it has been a time of change and as a business we have had to adapt our processes a bit, and have had to listen to our customers, and their concerns and act upon them.”
What role does social media play in the success of your business?
“Social Media has a key role in the success of Wombat. For customers, it’s about having a direct line of contact with the brand, seeing tips, tutorials or sharing their special moments using your products through the comfort of platforms that they know. Since most people can access it at the click of a finger, it’s just so convenient and easy.
As a brand, giving access to everyone to photos and behind the scenes moments, engaging with their comments, laughing with them and sharing our experiences helps us to connect with them in a way that nobody could have ever imagined a few years ago. I still get excited when I see a Wombat coat being tagged on any socials, and I’m so appreciative of people sharing their family moments with us. It really makes it worth it!
Social Media for brands is a very powerful tool that we have to utilise, but at the end of the day, it’s a window to your business, so if you have a good business, good customer service, great products and a great team, sharing that with the world can only be fantastic and most companies should take that as a great opportunity, not just to sell more, but to increase their engagement and value to their customers.”
What do you enjoy most about the parenting industry – and what advice would you give someone considering setting up a brand in the industry?
“Listen to your customers! See if you can actually help them, and if you have to adapt your product or services, just go for it. Going to trade shows is very important too, especially if you are opening up to new markets. The parenting industry is such a great one to work in. Most people are collaborative, and helpful and the working environment can be amazing.”
What’s next for Wombat?
“Hmm, so much! We need to keep up the good work, expand the team, keep researching into new materials and eco-friendly fabrics, sustainability is our #1 priority and of course, keeping up with the latest trends in fashion to ensure we keep producing coats that are not only great quality but stylish and trendy.”