Hailing from Hamilton we catch up with Little Mash boutique owner, pediatric nurse & midwife, mum-of-three, Renata to chat about business beyond the lock-down, the importance of cultivating community and why family is at the heart of all.
Tell us about the move from health care to retail, what motivated that leap and how do you juggle both professions now?
I work in a tertiary hospital as a midwife where normal birth is a rarity - the enjoyment was fading & I knew I needed something new that gave me joy. I would banter with girlfriends (also midwives) about wanting to work it in retail – where the stress wasn’t so acute & wrapping online orders was a particularly enticing roll. Fast forward several months & I see Little Mash for sale on Instagram. Jeremy, my husband & I had not long prior decided that we’d like to do something together so here we are - I get to wrap parcels & he gets to own a business. Okay – it’s a lot more than that but it was him that motivated me to take the leap. He’s not afraid to fail, in fact all he sees is learning & opportunity. The big dream is that we get to do this together all day, every day but in the meantime we do our best to juggle it all.
It’s real easy to look from the outside in & think I (and others) have it all together but remember – highlight reel! The days & weeks run smoother because the little boys, Sebastian & Xavier have a carer who they LOVE so I don’t spend a single second worried about them while Eli is at school. Another clog in the wheel to juggling it all is that Little Mash isn’t open long hours because I want in on that mum life too. Jeremy is a fairly busy man, he works a regular job making milk & is the Bishop of our Church so my availability to do midwifery is limited. I typically work 4 hours shifts in the evening at the hospital, 7-11pm when Jeremy is home & the boys are about to get a sprinkle of sleep dust. That kind a flexibility is unmatched & I’m grateful for that position. If you birth in Waikato Hospital we might see each other.
Need we mention the Lila Jasmine string to your bow! Tell. Us. More.
Lila Jasmine is literally the daughter we never had, a brand committed to nourishing the minds & bodies of women. I’d like to say it’s something that I dreamt up all on my own but it isn’t, you can thank Jeremy for those delicious, sell out lactation bars. They’re his baby & the education arm is mine. Right now we hand-bake the lactation bars & offer a workshop on the fourth trimester. A lot of women aren’t even aware there is a fourth trimester yet alone prepared for it. Women spend a lot of time getting ready for the birth which is typically only ONE day & then they take their beautiful new baby home & think ‘what on earth do I do now’?! I don’t want anyone to feel that way so I’m doing my best to help new & expectant mums navigate those tricky first three months of motherhood.
More than ‘just a store’ what does Little Mash and its community mean to you?
It is so much more than just a store. If you were to interview some of our community they would tell you how much I am improving with names (insert face palm & wink emoji) – I will always remember your face but not always your name! We’ve had a couple of incidences in our short tenure where we’ve asked our community for some additional love & man did it pour down on us. Our Little Mash world does not spin without them & we feel really blessed.
Its been a big 18 months! What did you set out to achieve AND What are the key take-homes that you’ve learnt since being at the helm?
In its raw form Little Mash isn’t unlike the many other baby & children boutiques out there but I believe we’re adding value & that’s what we set out to achieve. I front the business, that took a while for me to get comfortable with but I am Little Mash & Little Mash is me & that’s sets us apart. I’m just a gal, a mum of three little boys doing my best to juggle life while bringing you beautiful things!
At the 12 month mark I wrote a blog post penning 3 things I learned in business. I looked that blog up to remind myself what those learning were & I found this message my husband had left me on our 1st Little Mash Birthday
"It's been 12 months & it’s been a crazy but awesome time. This wasn't exactly in our plan but we decided to give it a go anyway & I'm glad we did. Although it's been really, really challenging, what we've learned about each other & the new skills we've grown has been enormous & worth it. I love to work with you, we've learned to ride the highs & the lows together. You know I'm full of optimism, the future looks awesome. Happy 1 year"
So, what have I learned since being at the helm? You can’t skip being a baby. I learned that from UGG founder Brian Smith – oh how that is true!
More over, the past 18days!! What have been the growths/learnings for you or your family or your business as a result of the pandemic?
Sadly, not one of us will escape the sting of COVID-19. I’m trying to look at this with all the positivity I can muster because truthfully, its long-lasting & fatal effects scare me more than a little. That mostly stems from my health professional hat – being sucked out of my bubble to work in an overwhelmed hospital is something I pray doesn’t happen & today is the first day (April 4th) where I could feel it. We’re doing so great Aotearoa. We’ve been given the gift of time, time to fight & time in our bubbles with the people we love the most so I’m trying to embrace the eternal mess & 5,000 daily meals & snacks. I’m also trying to lead from the front where Little Mash is concerned & I’m right behind our Prime Minister who said “You may not be at work but that doesn’t mean you don’t have a job. Your job is to save lives, and you do that by staying home and breaking the chain”. Gosh - I am so proud of us Kiwi’s as we unite under that direction. Little Mash may graze its knee, it may even topple right over but we’re alive & that is the greatest gift!
What are your hopes for business beyond covid-19 &/OR How do you think Covid-19 will change the way we shop?
We all know the quote by Confucius “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life”, that is how I feel about Little Mash. My hope is that I can continue to turn the key to that door each day. Working in the shop is my FAVOURITE part of Little Mash, surprisingly not the parcel wrapping, that’s a close second.
I think COVID-19 will drastically change the way we shop. There is no doubt that there will be less money circulating & I predict there will be a surge of conscious shoppers who will only purchase what they need & who will show loyalty to their favourite small, local businesses. There will be a bountiful of opportunities that come from this. There cannot be bad without some good on the other side.
The juggle is real between business and raising three boys – how has lockdown been for you so far?
You bet it’s real but my boys have really surprised me. Sure, there is bickering & fighting but for the most part it’s going ok. Eli (10) is much older than the babies (3 & 4) so he spends a lot of time doing his thing, shooting hoops & watching sport but lends a helpful hand when needed. My boys don’t colour or sit, they get muddy & rough-house. It’s full on in a loud, messy & beautiful way!
What are you most looking forward to when we resume normal (or what the new version of this looks like)
Besides seeing missed family & friends…A chicken sandwich & banoffee pie from Winner Winner!
And a message to our readers/your customers?
I’m flattered to have been invited to chat, I don’t feel nearly cool enough – thank you Sabenettes. I’ve been stuck on this question but the word that I cannot shake from my mind is ‘GIRLPOWER’. Have you ever stopped to consider how awesome you are?! You’re awesome, beautiful & capable. Don’t ever forget it!
AND - what are your fave pieces from the store for us look forward to when we can start shopping again….
Aside from all the adorable clothes, particularly the girls clothes – that’s how I get my girly fix, I can passionately talk about how much I love a Woolbabe sleep sack or suit, it very easily makes my list as a top 5 must have. I wish all homes could have one. I believe they change sleep & who doesn’t want more of that?!
Next is the Kinderfeets Kinderboard an imaginative, open-ended piece that isn’t an eyesore. This lives in our lounge & there is frequently someone on it, I even catch my not so small husband on it from time to time. I love how inventive my boys get with it, visitors too
I cannot forget my favourites for us mama’s. Last Mother’s Day I treated myself (yes, you can totally do that) to the Saben Tilly Crossbody Bag & I love her. She’s worn every single day doubling as my wallet & phone carrier & can hold a surprisingly large amount; I prefer to wear her cross-body but the ability to use the wristlet is very appealing. Then at Christmas I treated myself again (it’s ok to do that too) to the Saben Roma & this is probably the bag of dreams for us mums – you’ve just gotta trust me. It’s the bag that will take you from baby to work, to the sports field, to the airport & everywhere else in between
Images by Tash and Arie Stokes of Black Robin Photography
Visit Ren and her team in store 320 Barton Street, Hamilton or view their full collection of curated children's pieces online Littlemash.co.nz/
Stay connected and follow @little_mash on Instagram:
SHOP TAX FREE AS YOU DEPART AUCKLAND INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
Going Places? Ensure you add Saben to your pre-flight itinerary. Our store is situated in departures, after security. Shop S275 past the escalators. Open every day 4.30am until midnight. Our full collection of handbags, wallets and accessories is on offer including carry-on suitcase to ensure you travel with stylish ease. If there is something on your wish-list now, but your flight isn’t for a while, we recommend you utilise our click and collect service via TheMall.co.nz to ensure you secure your favourite style. Simply purchase now and pick up on your way through. Ready to shop all your favourite Saben styles tax free? All you need now is a boarding pass.
For more info please call 09 533 9406 or email email@example.com
SHOP TAX FREE ONLINE via TheMall.co.nz
Take advantage of Auckland Airports online click and collect service. You can now shop Saben tax free online via Themall.co.nzbefore you depart and collect your new goodies as you travel. Pick up before you take off OR pick up as you return home – ideal if you don’t have space to take your new work handbag on holiday, or your new evening clutch backpacking through Nepal.
Picking up a new Saben to welcome you home? Sounds like the perfect cure to post-holiday-blues!
HOW TO SHOP TAX FREE ONLINE with Auckland Airport The Mall
Shop Online at themall.aucklandairport.co.nz
Pick your pieces and add them to your cart, select your pick up preference: arrivals or as you depart, apply your flight information and click through to check out. You will be asked for passport details as you proceed to payment.
Receive an order confirmation email
After placing your order, you will receive an order confirmation email for each flight you have purchased for. Please keep this email safe as you will need to be able to show it when you pick up your items at the Auckland Airport Collection Point.
If your flight details change please contact THE MALL directly so they can update your order or if you miss collecting your order, so we can notify our retailers to arrange a return and refund.
Bring your email to the Collection Point
Orders can be picked up at an Auckland Airport Collection Point. There is one in departures and one in arrivals at the International Terminal. Please bring your order confirmation email and your passport for identification purposes.
Where to collect when departing from Auckland Airport
If you choose to collect on departure, you'll find the Auckland Airport Collection Point once you have cleared immigration and security screening, just past The Loop and Aelia Duty Free stores. Departures Collection Point is open from 4:30am to 1:30am NZST.
Where to collect when arriving into Auckland Airport
If you choose to collect on arrival, you’ll find the Auckland Airport Collection Point after clearing immigration, in the baggage claim hall, opposite baggage belt 3. Arrivals Collection Point is open from 5:30am to 2:30am NZST.
Pick up your order and enjoy!
The Collection Point team will ask you to inspect your items and sign for them. If you are travelling on a flight departing AKL International Airport we request you allow at least 60 minutes prior to your departure time to pick up your order.
Collection Point locations
DEPARTURES: next door Partridge Jewellers in departures.
ARRIVALS: after you clear immigration, in the baggage claim hall, opposite baggage belt 3.
Orders can be picked up from your chosen Auckland Airport Collection Point during these standard hours:
Departures: +64 9 256 8845
Arrivals: +64 9 255 9457
Fax: +64 9 256 8819
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
The Sabenettes xx