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mummy and neal 2We hope you're enjoying getting to know some of our wonderful stockists as much as we are. Here we introduce you to Heather Saxena from Babies and Kids - journalist turned online retailer and a very vibrant and bubbly Melbourne mum. How long have you been in business? Six months. We’re newbies! What did you do before you started your business? I was a freelance medical journalist. I am still working as a journalist though I have dramatically cut down on the number of articles I write so I can concentrate  on Babies and Kids. What makes your business unique? As well as gorgeous fashions and great accessories, parents will soon be able to find reliable information on baby and toddler care via the Babies and Kids blog. As a medical journalist I am aware of new research or changes to guidelines, such as when to start your baby on solids. I also have a  wealth of contacts, so I’m currently teeing up interviews with leading  paediatricians and other experts. We had a strong focus on being a ‘come to’ site for advice when we started our website, but it got swamped by all the products we stock. Now we have our blog established, we can redevelop this side of our website, which I am very passionate about. What do you love most about what you do? When I get to chat to our customers. The one disadvantage of being an online store is you don’t get that personal interaction you would in a bricks and mortar store.  I love it when someone calls or emails with a query and we end up having a conversation and I get to know a little bit about them and the children they are buying for and, in some cases, to see photos of their little ones. It’s really lovely to be able to picture their baby or child wearing the outfit they bought. Where’s your favourite way of sourcing new products? Trying them out myself — we started with brands and products we used and loved with our own son. I find it useful to visit other stores to see what products grab me as a parent as well as a retailer. I also like to look at what other children are wearing when I  take my son to the park or a play centre. It’s a great way to see if a brand is practical and looks as good on a child as it does the hanger. And I love it when an agent tantalises me with the words ‘we have a new brand to show you’. What’s your favourite time of the day? First thing in the morning. My husband Raj and I bring our son, Neal, into our room and we all sit up and have breakfast in bed together. It’s a great time to get lots of cuddles and kisses from Neal — once he’s up and dressed he’s too busy roaring around the house and getting into mischief for cuddles. What’s the best piece of parenting advice you’ve ever received? Don’t worry about keeping the house in perfect order while your children are little. They grow so fast you want to enjoy every minute of their company and not waste it re-arranging cushions just so or chastising them for dropping cake crumbs. If you could become any character from a children’s story, who would you be and why? Anne of Green Gables. She always got into such interesting scrapes and had lovely red hair (except for the time she dyed it green!). Who inspires you? Raj and Neal — sometimes I can’t believe I have this wonderful family. And my mother, Julia. She is nearly 80 (she’ll kill me for saying that) but she is still attacking life with zest, including playing in a tennis competition each week. Who lives under your roof? Me, Raj and Neal (23 months); Maddie, the slightly grumpy mini-dachshund and Bilo the crazy cat who likes to chase dogs.


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