Jess Rennie, qualified Occupational Therapist and Owner of Mumma’s Magic founded her online business specialising in pregnancy, birth and postpartum products after the birth of her son Mack in remote Port Hedland, Western Australia. The lack of locally based supplies to help ease the burden of new motherhood led her to identify the gap in the market and launch her own successful niche enterprise serving new mums in her local community and Australia wide. Recently, Mumma’s Magic has partnered with fellow local business Amira and Co.
What led you to start Mumma’s Magic?
I was deep in the depths of new mum life with no idea how to care for a small human. I forced myself to make some new mum friends and was constantly learning about all these fancy mum/baby inventions that made things so much easier which, had I never made these mum friends I would have never known about (so thank goodness I did).
Alas, once I learnt of said inventions I’d be instantly out to purchase them BUT, of course these items were not available locally in my small remote town. Off to online shop and wait 3-4 weeks for them to arrive I went, when I really needed them NOW, because what use is a perineal bottle to me in 4 weeks time. This was the start of Mumma’s Magic; to provide essential pregnancy and postpartum items to mum’s when and where they needed it – essentially making lives easier and improving perinatal mental health overall.
How does your background as a qualified Occupational Therapist inform the direction of your business?
OT is practical discipline. It focuses on engagement in day to day activities and tasks (also known as ‘occupations’) and looks at a person’s level of functioning, independence and quality of life across their daily tasks and roles. The ‘role’ of ‘mother’ was new to me. A whole new world. A whole new skill set. A whole new life. Everything I had previously known had changed – from my leisurely breakfast while watching the morning news, to my sleep patterns, my showering habits, my ability to get out of the house, to my relationship and role as a partner. Totally new.
One of the very few things to ease this transition was access to things I needed, when I needed them. A practical need that if it was met, reduced my anxiety, kept my sensory cup from exploding, got me out of the house and kept me a far healthier and happier version of a new mum. Practicality will always inform the direction of Mumma’s Magic – no fluffiness attached, pure meeting the basic sanitary needs of new mums.
What are the key messages you would like to share with new Mums, from your own experience?
Do not be shy in communicating and asking for what you need/want during your postpartum period. There is no time for politeness and putting yourself last. You are important and the more you look after yourself the more your baby will benefit. I don’t mean finding an hour to go for a long walk each day without your 4 week old newborn, that’s the fluffy and unrealistic version. I mean asking your partner/friends/family to come round and hang your washing out or walk your dogs, ASK!
What are some of the challenges and opportunities of operating your business from Port Hedland?
Shipping costs are the biggest challenge. Some products become instantly unprofitable to stock due to the outrageous costs of remote area shipping. I never understood ‘Pilbara tax’ until now. Competing against large retailers who stock the same items, far cheaper but of worse quality is also a challenge. Opportunity wise Hedland has one of the highest fertility rates in WA which is great for us! The market is niche but absolutely needed in town.
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