Jessie Jarvie is a unicorn. Intelligent, compassionate, giving and gorgeous as ever!! Founder of online business, delivery service The Baby Bag and mother of three under five it is an absolute treat to steal a few moments of her time. (Not that it felt like theft… If she has too many balls in the air you would NEVER know - Did we mention she is also managing the build of their new home?)
Read more about Jessie’s journey from corporate life as a lawyer, her passion in helping new mothers, raising babies, her husband’s Chinese heritage, The Baby Bag and of course we couldn’t help but be inspired by her style along the way….
A laywer!? Talk to us about your journey navigating the space from motherhood to working - mother after you had your son George.
I was a lawyer at a health software company, Orion, when I fell pregnant with my first little boy, George. I was throwing up in the rubbish bin while we were preparing for a court case! When I was on mat leave, I started doing some research and I was quite surprised at the lack of infrastructure that existed to support the multitudes of women like me who were returning to work with young children. Over 70% of parents in New Zealand with children under one are engaged in the workforce or actively seeking employment. Orion was quirky, as software companies often are, and it didn’t take much to persuade the board that fostering female talent by having an onsite daycare would ultimately reduce their bottom line. About a year later, Milky Way opened its doors, and George was about 150m from my desk, in a beautiful oasis in the city environment. We believed what we were doing had the potential to change the childcare model – all of the kids and the parents were like family and mums and dads would come and go throughout the day. The kids had day trips to the office and would sell cupcakes and do art displays. It was magic!
This led you to start your own consulting business – tell us a bit more about it?
I become fascinated (okay, obsessed) with this swelling demographic – people working with young children at home or in care. Something that continued to interest me was that lack of support available to them. You could get a strawberry facial for your dog at the grooming salon down the road from my house, but nobody could help a mum transitioning back to work with the practical stuff despite the fact that there were thousands of other women doing the same thing. What the difference was between a nanny, an au pair, a kindy, a daycare, a crèche? How was I going to continue breastfeeding if I was based in an office? How would my baby fare through all of this? At the time, the retention of female staff was a big issue within the legal profession. I got together with the president of the law society and established a small consulting service designed to help transition female lawyers back into the workplace once they had children. It was here, within this consulting work, that the idea for the baby bag was born. Baby supplies were a constant niggle for busy parents, whether they were working inside the home or outside of it. Food delivery services like My Food Bag had dinner covered - but the supermarket still beckoned for baby basics. I launched The Baby Bag when my second boy, Franklin, was 6 weeks old. It was ridiculous.
The Baby Bag has grown rapidly since its birth in 2015 (a shy six 6 weeks after you had your second son Franklin) tell us how it all came together and what motherhood looked like to you in the moment?
We could only afford to launch a pretty basic website, but the vision was big. The basic website promised our customers same day delivery of everything and anything they could possibly need each week as parents. We’re focused on consumables – so food, formula nappies and baby care. We were aggregating all of this stuff together to save mum and dad multiple stop-offs with a baby or tired toddler in the backseat, and better yet, we were bringing it all straight to them within a few hours of them needing it. I remember the first day the site went live – I was so surprised that there were no orders. But of course there weren’t, nobody knew about us! And so started my first big learning curve: marketing, and in particular, social media. As a side note, our first order was placed by a friend purchasing a baby shower gift for Anna, who is now our Key Accounts Manager.
More than a business, it is evident that The Baby Bag is a support service. Tell us how social media has influenced this.
Mums are super engaged on social media, but to be frank, I’m focusing our marketing efforts this year in other places, because motherhood is extremely isolating and social media doesn’t help us with that. Y’all know what I’m saying?
Fast forward a wee bit, add in a third child, daughter Maggie, and the past 12 months have been MASSIVE! (elaborate on business / motherhood with THREE)
Being a parent is the most simultaneously wonderful and exhausting experience, right? The Baby Bag was my third baby, born six weeks after my second. Then early last year, we welcomed Maggie. And, well… straw… camel’s back… or something along those lines! The postnatal blues got me good, and I was bone tired. We were living in a tiny little 1.5 bedroom place and although my heart was exploding, my head was too. And right there, as I cooked once again in the cauldron of motherhood, this little delivery service was reborn again, and we started to conceptualise a new service, which we’re launching at the beginning of April.
Tell us your thoughts on this idea of “balance”.
I don’t believe in the work-life balance thing much. How can you have any form of balance with a 5yr old, a 3yr old and a 1yr old?! I think striving for balance creates more stress than it’s worth. Women constantly beat themselves up because if they’re being a good mum, they can’t possibly be doing a good job at work. If they’re successful at work, they mustn’t be seeing enough of their kids. The key is to accept that there won’t always be a balance. I think the most important skill a mum (working inside the home, or outside of it) can have is to realise when things become too imbalanced. That’s when she needs to sit down with her support network of people who care about her, and her children, and make some changes.
Talk about walking the walk: three out of five staff welcomed new babies last year?! That must have been some well-coordinated tag-teaming?
Not at all! I have a saying - there’s never a right time for babies, but when it is time, everything will be just right. Our superstar Anna (one of those ‘does-all-of-it’ kind of people) told me she was pregnant with her number three, and I had just started suspecting I might be pregnant with my third too. It was hilariously frightening. But we are all bang-smack in the middle of our own target market, which is a very powerful tool for our business. When Anna speaks to a sleep-deprived mum who’s babe has cracked three teeth in two days, she gets it. When I rock up to the doorstep of a mum with mastitis and a hungry baby, I get it. This is real life. We are real people.
And back on the business end we have seen The Baby Bag celebrate, The Nappy Drive, and open PlunketShop – tell us more about the social initiatives and why that’s so important to you.
For sure. It’s to do with the universal nature of parenting. The demands of motherhood are uniquely universal, meaning at some point we all face the same stuff - whether we’re a single mum, a married mum or something in-between; whether we have one child or five; whether we’re employed full time or we’ve never worked a single day outside the home. Even if we’re the Prime Minister of New Zealand - yeow! We mustn’t fall into the trap of thinking it’s easier for some, or harder for others, because it’s simply motherhood. When a baby is born, all of a woman’s layers are stripped back to reveal something raw. The details may differ, but for all of us, becoming a parent will be more commanding than anything we’ve ever experienced. Sadly for many, it’s a massive financial burden too. Knowing what I know now about the challenges, I can’t imagine not being able to afford food or nappies or basics, so I’m deeply motivated to help other parents in that predicament. Also, isn’t there something magic about mums helping other mums?
Most recently, we saw The Baby Bag celebrate it’s 15000 th order. CONGRATULATIONS!! The 15000 th shopper received their order in a Saben Freddie nappy bag, the same style you wear. Tell us why you love it
Oh my goodness, I love it. I really do. It’s such a treat to feel a little bit glam… all the while hiding three muesli bars, two packets of (opened) raisins, a dirty nappy, two bibs, a car, a digger, a bottle (milk not wine, surprisingly), a change of clothes, a cup of sand, and my Tilly. I keep all my mum stuff in my Tilly, inside my Freddie. Otherwise, I’d lose my stuff… and my remaining sanity!
Three babies!! Tell us about George, Franklin and Maggie.
George has just started school. He is outgoing and sweet, he likes to do ‘the right thing’. Frank is my firecracker. He’s a ball of fun and a force to be reckoned with. He’s the spitting image of my husband. Maggie is so loved. She is by far my most demanding baby, and she gets away with the most, too!
What has it been like adding a little girl to man-land?
Oh it’s hilarious. “Mum, where’s her penis?” “Mum, girls have no teeth and no penis, aye?”. “Mum, will Maggie stand up when she goes wees in the toilet?”. It’s been a big learning curve, to say the least.
And home-life, who does what?
My hubby cooks. I clean. It works!
Your kiwi husband is part Chinese, can you share the cultural influence in raising the kids? “Sitting the month” - Did you adopt the traditional Chinese practice of confinement during the month after childbirth?
In stark contrast to this atypical western lifestyle, sitting the month is a Chinese custom surrounding rest, which involves a new mum being confined to the four walls of her home for the first 30 days proceeding childbirth. The idea is that she recovers, usually in the full-time company of her mother or mother-in-law who looks after the baby (although none of our grandies lived in with us, they were certainly a key part to the whole operation!). I decided during my time sitting the month that parenting is a lot about your mindset. Having those 30 days indoors (okay it was 25, I went back to being a kindy mum on day 26) gave me time to bond with Maggie but it also gave Maggie time to bond with me - which in turn made me reflect on the kind of mum that I want to be for her. It’s up to me, and me only, to give my children a happy mum. I am the only person in control of that. It doesn’t really matter what external influences exist - there will always be stress at work or stress within your extended family, one of your children will probably be keeping you awake with worry because she’s being teased at kindy or he’s exhibiting aggression - it’s endless! I now know this, and I’m proud to be able to say it, because motherhood is a whole lot of learning. As much as there’s sleep deprivation and exhaustion and squabbling overnight feeds and housework left undone and too many visitors, these early days are the easy days in many ways, and it’s important to stop and to take that in. I would encourage anybody, even busy-bodies like me to have 25 to 30 days at home with your new baby. To smell your baby, stare at your baby, sleep next to your baby, drink tea while your baby is feeding and marvel at your baby’s ears and fingers and toes and get used to the sound of your baby’s cry and know the smell of your baby’s full nappy because the next few years will be harder than that, of course they will be. You’re doing your best to raise your children into good people, and that’s hard - that requires us to dig deep and to command more of ourselves each day as the wind changes and so too do the challenges. Motherhood is such a gift. As a result of the stillness I spent with Maggie, I allowed myself the head space to think about just how easy it is to stay in bed and snuggle a newborn baby and just what a deeply wonderful thing it is to mother a child.
Mama mantras you live by?
Love dearly, breathe deeply and rest easy. The exhausting, exhilarating days of early childhood are simply too short to do it any other way.
Ok, one more (we could seriously chat FOREVER) – looking forward, on the home and business front, what are you looking forward to.
At the beginning of next month, we launch our repeat deliveries. Oh my hat, I’m excited. I recently paraphrased Phil Knight’s words to describe my deep desire to create, to contribute to parenthood. When you make something, when you improve something, when you deliver something, when you add some new thing or service to the lives of strangers, making them happier, or healthier, or safer, or better, and when you do it all crisply and efficiently, smartly, the way everything should be done but so seldom is – you're participating more fully in the whole vast human drama. More than simply alive, you're helping families to live more fully. This, in essence, is what we’re striving for at The Baby Bag. Watch this space!
If you are wanting to purchase Tax Free and are departing from Auckland International Airport, please call the Saben Ponsonby store on 09 376 1007 with your flight and passport details. Please note that we need four business days to get your order delivered to the airport in time.
Pick up will be from THE COLLECTION POINT Kiosk located after customs in the departures lounge. You will need your passport, boarding pass, and the order confirmation email you receive after purchase to collect your purchase.
We are sorry but at this time we can only process tax-free shopping for flights departing Auckland Airport.
To purchase tax free, you will need your Passport number, Flight number, date and time your international flight departs.
Please ensure your flight date are correct. If your flight details are incorrect, then we may not be able to deliver to you at the correct date and time for you to pick-up your tax free order.
Please make sure you have read and understood the regulations and are confident you can take this tax free purchase to your final destination, and you understand the tax free allowances for the county you are traveling to and accept full responsibility for any breach of these allowances which your purchase may cause. Your purchase will contribute to your carry on allowance. Any order not collected from the airport on departure will need to be refunded as we cannot hold or post out orders from the ‘after security’ operation.
Note that we need four business days to get your order delivered to the airport in time.Pick up will be from THE COLLECTION POINT Kiosk located after customs in the departures lounge. You will need your passport, boarding pass and emailed order confirmation to collect your order.
We are sorry but at this time we can only process Tax-Free shopping for flights departing Auckland Airport.
To purchase tax free, you will need your Passport number, Flight number, date and time your international flight departs. Please enter flight times in 24 Hour Time as they appear on your itinerary.
You must agree with these Terms and Conditions to purchase.
All prices are shown in NZ dollars. Your shopping cart displays the goods you have purchased.Discount codes & any shipping costs are calculated during checkout, before payment. Tax Free orders may be subject to local taxes or duties depending on the Tax Free allowance of the country you are entering.
We accept Visa and Mastercard credit card payments via Shopify Payments and via Paypal. Shopify and Paypal are both secure and encrypted and your credit card number will not be stored. You do not need a PayPal account to pay by credit card using Paypal.
All orders are processed pending availability and credit verification.
For Tax-free purchases we deliver your purchase to Auckland Airport within 3 business days of receipt of payment and will phone you if there are any delays. Your confirmation email will have instructions on the pick up location at Auckland Airport.
We take no responsibility for charges or delays incurred at receiver’s end as this can vary depending on the rules of customs in each country.
We do not accept returns for items outside of New Zealand, we are unable to support exchanges through our online store
Zip allows us to offer you an 'Own it now, pay later' option for online and in store purchases through installment payments. Pay in 4. Interest free. No fees.
All Terms & Conditions relating to Zip are within the above links. To pay via Zip select Zip as the payment option instead of Paypal in the checkout process. Saben is not liable for any late payment fees collected by Zip. By using Zip you enter into an agreement with Zip New Zealand.
**CHRISTMAS SHIPPING UPDATE** Due to increased volume of orders and courier packages please allow 3 - 5 working days for your package to arrive. Thank you for your patience at this hectic time of year.
FREE EXPRESS SHIPPING ON ALL NZ ORDERS - Offer valid only for customers shipping to a New Zealand address.
Orders placed on weekdays before 10AM New Zealand Standard Time Monday - Friday will begin processing straight away and can be guaranteed delivery between 1 - 3 business days* unless otherwise stated, however those that fall after 10AM New Zealand Standard Time Monday - Friday will begin processing straight away but cannot be guaranteed for the overnight delivery.
Orders placed on Friday after 2 PM NZST will begin processing on the following Monday.
Saben will contact via email if the merchandise you have selected is not currently in stock or if we require additional information for credit verification. Please note that estimated delivery time does not include Sundays or Public Holidays.
You may be required to pay further shipping charges where a change in delivery date or delivery address is requested by you.
*These are estimated delivery times only, and unfortunately we are not able to guarantee them. Saben will not be liable for any reasonable or unavoidable delay in delivery. Orders placed during Sale or Promotional periods may be subject to delay
Possible delays: Please note, that we are unable to deliver to PO boxes as we require a signature upon delivery.
AUSTRALIA - $30NZ
Australian deliveries will arrive 3 to 10 days working using NZ Post, International Air. Tracked Australian deliveries will arrive 2 to 7 working days using NZ Post, International Economy Courier.
REST OF WORLD- $45NZ
Deliveries to all other destinations will arrive 3 to 10 days working using NZ Post, International Air. Tracked deliveries will arrive 2 to 7 working days using NZ Post, International Economy Courier.
All international orders please note, that once your order has left New Zealand it may be subject to customs clearance procedures which can cause delays beyond original delivery estimates. Inside of New Zealand you will not incur any duties or taxes however for orders travelling outside of New Zealand, please note that Saben will not be responsible for any customs or duties taxes that occur once your item has left us.
Please feel free to contact us on email@example.com if you have any questions regarding a shipment
Immune your bag!
Using a protective spray should be the very first thing you do when you receive your bag: All bags, whether they are suede or leather, need to be protected with a water proofer before use (stay away from the oil based versions). Saben recommends Wrens Total Protector Spray, this is an invisible waterproofing spray for all smooth, suede and nubuck leathers. It can be purchased from your nearest Saben retailer, online or at any shoe repair store.
Reapply protector every 3-4 weeks to keep the leather soft and resilient.
NEVER overfill your handbag or evening bag, as this can put stress on seams, fastenings and straps and spoil the shape. Please try hard to keep the load reasonable.
Light leathers should be treated with extreme care – denim and dye can (and probably will) rub off on to the leather with no easy way of removing. Ensure your denim is colour fast.
White Handbags are extremely sensitive to light, and the leather will turn yellow if it is exposed for too long to spotlights, fluorescent lamps, etc.
Avoid handling your bag after applying foundation, perfume, body or hand creams, this will stain the leather.
Do not place your Saben bag on the floor, use a handbag hook. Any tough surfaces will possibly scratch the leather.
Wearing a bag often will inevitably result in rub marks, where the leather brushes against clothing etc. Saben recommends you swap your bags often to avoid constant rubbing and wear on one bag.
For stronger leathers (nappa or pull-up), moisturise your bag with a product like Wrens Delicate Gel. A mild yet effective cleaning gel, it cleans and nourishes all kinds of leather such as smooth, patent and metallic and gives a natural shine after buffing. Be sure to test any care products on a spot of the leather not easily visible e.g. Inside seam or pocket.
Always apply cleaning and protective product to a soft cloth, not directly on the bag.
If you find you have stains that need removing Wrens Ultimate Cleanser is tough on stains and gentle on leather and its fibres, perfect for removing dirt and water stains.
Suede leather handbags should be regularly brushed with a soft suede brush. Minor stains and marks may be removed with a suede eraser. The leather should retain its colour and appearance if it is regularly treated with a water proofer. These preparations make the leather water repellent, and in particular, impart grease and dust repellence.
Suede that has been rain-marked should be allowed to dry naturally and then brushed up with a suede brush. For serious stains, it is best to see a professional. When storing suede, wrap leather handles or straps in cloth so they do not rest against the suede and leave blotches.
Leather does not like water. Wipe off a wet leather handbag immediately and let air dry. Never use a blow dryer to dry a bag.
If your bag has a chain handle, dirt may accumulate in the chain links causing it to come off on your shoulder. You can avoid this by cleaning the chain with a small tooth brush or the corner of a soft cloth. Always store the chain inside the bag to avoid any scratching or indentations on the leather.
Brass or silverware cleaner will keep your fittings looking shiny. Take care not to get any on the bag!
Keep fasteners and zips running smoothly by running pencil lead over the open teeth.
Do not hang bags in storage; they are best kept in the packing bag supplied with, lying flat or standing upright and stuffed.
To help your bag keep its shape, it is best to stuff your bag with cloth or bubble wrap to keep it safe in storage. When not in use, store your bag out of direct sunlight and do not place light colours next to dark colours as this can cause colour migration, which is irreversible.
Take your bags out regularly and let them ‘breathe’ to prevent any dust and mildew forming.
We will repair your handbag at no charge for the first 90 days after purchase.
If you purchased a bag from us on-line that requires repair, please contact us on 09 376 1007 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you purchased your bag from a retailer, please first try to contact them regarding your repair.
If there is a fault or issue with a bag we must first assess the repair either by photos or in person. As each individual bag is made by hand, from time to time faults occur in the manufacturing process. Saben bags are built for longevity and in an effort to make sustainable fashion – we always opt to repair first.
Our repair process follows a 3-step procedure:
1. If we can REPAIR the fault/damage we reserve the right to first REPAIR the bag.
2. If we can’t repair, the bag and we believe it is fault of manufacture we will REPLACEwith the same or similar bag.
3. If we can’t replace the item, we will REFUND.Repairs are free for 90 days after the purchase date. Thereafter, we charge a repair fee which is based on the type of repair. To have a bag repaired you must first obtain a proof of purchase. Bags will not be accepted without a receipt.
We hope that you are completely satisfied with your order. If for any reason you wish to return your order or a portion of it, please notify us within 7 days of receiving your order.We are happy to refund the full purchase price minus the cost of shipping of any item returned in its original condition after such notification.
Sale items are not eligible for returns or exchanges for any reason.
Returns not sent in their original condition, without a proof of purchase, or past 7 days will be accepted at our discretion only.
We do not accept returns for items shipped outside of New Zealand, we are unable to support exchanges through our online store.
If a package does not arrive, or it arrives damaged, please contact us within fourteen days from confirmation of dispatch to claim insurance on the item. We will require your details, the details of the item that was lost, and the tracking number we sent you with confirmation of dispatch. If a damaged item has arrived we require it to be returned to the postal authority in your country as near as possible in the same condition as when it was delivered.
We will then replace your item free of charge.
• the item is seized by Customs or any other government agency.
• the item is sent to a country where no postal or courier service exists.
• the loss or damage is the result of an event beyond our reasonable control.
• the loss or damage occurs after delivery.
• the item was authorized to be sent without tracking or without insurance.
SECTION 1 - WHAT DO WE DO WITH YOUR INFORMATION?
When you purchase something from our store, as part of the buying and selling process, we collect the personal information you give us such as your name, address and email address.
When you browse our store, we also automatically receive your computer’s internet protocol (IP) address in order to provide us with information that helps us learn about your browser and operating system.
Email marketing: With your permission, we may send you emails about our store, new products and other updates. We will not send unsolicited emails and you can unsubscribe at any time.
SECTION 2 – CONSENT
When you provide us with personal information to complete a transaction, place an order, arrange for a delivery or return a purchase, we imply that you consent to our collecting it and using it for that specific reason only. If we ask for your personal information for a secondary reason, like marketing, we will either ask you directly for your expressed consent, or provide you with an opportunity to say no. We may disclose your personal information if we are required by law to do so or if you violate our Terms of Service.
SECTION 3 – SHOPIFY
Our store is hosted on Shopify Inc. They provide us with the online e-commerce platform and payment processing that allows us to sell our products and services to you. Your data is stored through Shopify’s data storage, databases and the general Shopify application. They store your data on a secure server behind a firewall. When you click on links on our store, they may direct you away from our site. We are not responsible for the privacy practices of other sites and encourage you to read their privacy statements.
SECTION 4 – PAYMENT
Shopify Payments and the other third-party provider used by us (Paypal) will only collect, use and disclose your information to the extent necessary to allow them to perform the payment services they provide to us. They do not store your credit card details unless you choose to do that.
You do not need an account with them to pay by credit card – you can pay as a guest.
SECTION 5 – SECURITY
To protect your personal information, we take reasonable precautions and follow industry best practices to make sure it is not inappropriately lost, misused, accessed, disclosed, altered or destroyed.
Shopify & Saben will not see your credit card details.
SECTION 6 – COOKIES
If you have any queries please email email@example.com
The Sabenettes xx