Gemma Beriman is the founder of Moon MamaTM, the brand behind the Take-Off Tote, the first all in one diaper bag, feeding pillow and play mat. Moon Mama™ is a young family-owned company who really understand the needs of today’s parents because that’s who they are. Gemma is mother to one year-old Hudson Quin and wife to the ever-supportive Jayden. Their mission is to de-clutter the traditional diaper bag and make outings more comfortable for all. Initially designed for breastfeeding mamas to feed comfortably on the go, they quickly realised the product had the potential to be used by anyone. Their dream is to improve parents’ lifestyles by keeping things simple and getting them out of the house, hassle-free! Parents shouldn’t have to give up travelling and spontaneous outdoor adventures just because they have little ones in tow and they’re bogged down by stuff!moonmama.com.au facebook Pinterest
Tell us a little bit about your idea and what made you decide to take the plunge and make it happen?
Our invention, the Take-Off Tote, is the first all-in-one diaper bag, feeding pillow and play mat. The whole philosophy of our brand, Moon Mama™, is devoted to making life simpler for mamas, papas and everyone else! While travelling overseas with four-month-old Hudson, I realised what a pain it was lugging around loads of ‘stuff’. And breastfeeding comfortably on the go was virtually impossible as existing nursing pillows were too bulky to drag around.
Poor Hudson missed out on vital tummy time too, because we didn’t pack a play mat and tummy time pillow. Returning home to Australia, I had a lightning bolt moment: ‘Surely I don’t need to drag around a gazillion different products every time I go somewhere? Why can’t these essential baby items be combined?’ After painstaking research into existing products, I realised there was a niche in the market for my groundbreaking invention.
That’s when I lodged a patent for the Take-Off Tote. We’ve been working on the Take-Off Tote for months now, testing and exploring the perfect dimensions and materials to create the greatest possible experience for you, our fellow parents, globe trotters and outdoor adventurers.
So here at Moon Mama™, we get it. Parents don’t want to lug around endless amounts of stuff. It’s time to ditch the extra baggage and combine it all in one handy product! This is the start of a whole new adventure for us; one we hope you’ll join us on as our company (and our baby) grow!
Please explain your business model.
We’ve only just launched our website and social media at the end of 2013 so watch this space. We’re currently in negotiations with distributors so hopefully we can achieve representation to get the Take-Off Tote into Australian retailers. We’ll also be selling direct through our website.
What are you working on right now and what are you most excited about in the next three months?
At the moment we’re tweaking the final version of the prototype before we formally open up for sale on our website. We’re also in discussions with distributors.
How do you make ideas happen?
With a LOT of hard work. It’s been a big learning curve getting the Take-Off Tote off the ground. It’s still a work in progress and no doubt will take months, even years, to build the Moon Mama brand.
What does you typical day look like?
What challenges have you faced when starting or growing a business/organisation in Australia?
The biggest hurdle is the cost of manufacturing. Having an idea is one thing but being able to produce it is another kettle of fish! Having no business experience, I had to research a lot before ‘diving in’.
What is one idea you are willing to give away for free?
Find out if there are free business workshops or mentoring programs you can access in your community, or online. I was lucky enough to get some free business advice through a local organisation.
What role do you think business can play in affecting social change?
Business can play a massive role in affecting social change. The aim of the Take-Off Tote, for example, is to allow mothers to breastfeed comfortably on the go. Hopefully this will encourage them to breastfeed for longer as a result and help eliminate some of the negative social stigma associated with breastfeeding in public. We’ll also be doing giveaways, charity auctions and fundraisers once we’re up and running and donating to various children’s charities. I think if every business made a tiny effort to give back then it would make a phenomenal impact. You don’t have to be a billionaire like Bill Gates to make a difference. It might be small but every little bit counts.
Speaking of affecting social change, we’ve teamed up with Shout for Good to encourage readers to ‘shout a coffee’ to charity by clicking the button below. Is there a particular charity you’d like to support?
Are there opportunities for people to get involved with your idea (e.g. are you looking for funding, interns, marketing help)?
We’d love suppliers to get in touch and anyone with marketing or business experience keen to mentor us! We’d always welcome advice and tips; we’re still new at all of this.
We’re aiming to build a community of Australian idea makers helping each other. If you could have one question answered about startups, marketing, social media, accounting, monetization, product development etc. What would it be?
Can someone set up a website that has business advice for entrepreneurs/inventors starting out? It’s really tough figuring out how to get an invention produced and it can cost lots of money using ‘middle men’.
What’s your favourite bar/café/restaurant?
There’s a fabulous restaurant at Nobby’s on the Gold Coast called Hellenika. Delicious Greek food great for sharing with family!
We thought it would be cool to crowdsource an annual prize to award to the interviewee’s choice (each person interviewed gets one vote) winner for the year’s best interview. Are you willing to kick in a prize?
Yep – I can giveaway an ad on my website for a month, or send them a Take-Off Tote or do a Facebook shout-out for them.