Nature Baby has long been a Newmarket destination for parents and families and the next chapter of the brand’s journey sees the move to a new retail concept space on Melrose Street.
Alongside the retail space is a dedicated practitioner room and sustainable community kitchen, COMMUNITY by Nb. Zara Overton spoke with designer and co-founder Georgia Faull to learn about the community concept.
NEWMARKET. Nature Baby has recently relocated to a new space on Melrose Street and offers so much more than the typical shopping experience that Nature Baby customers might be used to. Can you tell us what led you to launch this new concept?
GEORGIA. We’ve been lucky enough to walk alongside families on the new parent journey for the last two decades, and over that time have seen the need for a concept that supports new parents in a more holistic way. We understand what we do is part of a bigger ecosystem so we decided to create a space where customers can connect in with other parents over a coffee, or seek advice from one of the wise women in our practitioner space. We know what it’s like to have a new baby – support and connection become more important than ever.
N. You stock a highly considered and conscious edit of babywear and products that are high quality and made using natural, organic materials. How did you go about selecting the practitioners for the Community Space that would complement this offering?
G. It essentially started with the amazing Libby Cain, a midwife local to our Grey Lynn flagship store who we knew looked after many of our customers. She’s incredibly experienced and well respected (she was midwife to the Prime Minister with baby Neve), and started her midwifery journey around the same time we started Nature Baby.
We met with her to work out what we could offer that would be valuable to new families, alongside care from their own midwife or obstetrician. It’s certainly not a delivery suite, but we’ll have practitioners running weekly appointments and workshops around holistic sleep support, lactation consulting, pregnancy and baby massage, and women’s health physiotherapy to name a few.
N. Family and community are at the heart of the business. How will the new space facilitate this?
G. The space will work in multiples of ways to facilitate this. Firstly by having a community kitchen where parents can come together to meet, as well as being able to access support and knowledge in the practitioner space. We’ve partnered with other great longstanding and fledgling organic brands to nourish the community created in the space – brands like Kokako, Pukka Tea, Boring Oat Milk and Ceres Organics.
To round this all off and to connect back out to nature we are working with For The Love of Bees – a community group that works in Newmarket and throughout the country supporting bee colony health and sharing our regenerative, organic vision.
N. What are some of the key learnings that the business has gained from COVID?
G. It’s all about people. We’ve been focusing on how our team comes together in a supportive way while being disconnected, and listening to what our customers are needing both from a physical as well as an emotional state.
N. Favourite place to grab a coffee in Newmarket?
G. There are so many great places – L’affare just across from us, Little and Friday and L’Atelier du Fromage just down the road. We’re also incredibly grateful to our friends over at Kokako who are supporting our community kitchen with complimentary organic coffee – a must for sleep deprived parents to refill their cups!
N. Caring for the environment is at the forefront of the Nature Baby ethos. What are some of the processes that go into producing and sourcing materials for organic garments?
G. We have been working with most of our suppliers for up to 20 years, we visit their manufacturing hubs in NZ and around the world as well as their raw material suppliers to understand what their processes are, we also heavily rely on the certification processes of GOTS – Global Organic Textile Standards and ZQ for merino so we can ensure it meets our rigorous and puritanical ethos.
Essentially they have to grow and make in the best possible way, independently audited to ensure organic status and no negative impacts on the environment or to human health. We extended this consideration for the environment through to our fit out on Melrose, retaining original fittings and using repurposed materials wherever possible, as well as partnering with amazing local supplier The Natural Paint Co. on natural, sustainable colours in the space.
N. For someone who may not be well versed in what organic means, what are the benefits of organic garments for babies?
G. Certified Organic means the fibre is grown and processed without the use of any harmful chemicals, resulting in a strong yet soft fabric that’s perfect for babies. Organic fibres are made in a way that looks after the environment and workers – so we can be sure we’re not polluting the land or treating workers unfairly.
The integrity of the fibres in our fabrics isn’t compromised by chemicals, so garments hold their shape and last, with the intention that everything is passed down. We love the story of a customer who used the same garment for their first two babies, it was then passed through another five children, and then returned to the same customer for their third baby. It’s the perfect scenario – soft on baby, and soft on our planet.
N. Do you have any advice for new parents?
G. Don’t be hard on yourself, it’s the most beautiful yet challenging time in your life so try and go with the flow, trust your instincts, enjoy the small sweet moments.
118 Carlton Gore Road, Newmarket