Wanaka 'mumpreneur'' Belinda Smalls takes leap of faith
Wanaka registered nurse Belinda Smalls has taken a leap of faith and resigned her practice role to work full time in her fledgling parenting consultancy, All Things Baby.
In January 2016, Smalls founded a baby massage business with Gillian White, but continued to work in community and health-related roles to make ends meet for her family.
One year on, Small has completed a business course, created a business website and extended her offerings to sleep consultancy and first aid workshops for Wanaka's booming population of parents and bubs.
Her first-aid instructor husband John Smalls, who is also a firefighter, is pitching in to help.
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Throughout last year, Smalls noticed a "slow and steady" demand for her type of work, as the region continued to attract new comers without extended family networks in town.
Clients from other parts of the country and overseas have also got in touch with her on-line.
"It is a passion for me. I've taken my skills and experience and created something I think is very beneficial for [parents]. It is about bringing them out from home to an environment that's friendly and safe. At the moment, I am doing it from home or at the St John's Rooms or other rooms around the town," Smalls said.
Smalls still does night nursing for one client, twice a week.
"But I have given up my practice nurse role. I don't want to spread myself too thin and I don't want to give nursing up completely but I had to make priorities. Babies are my passion. I was so busy, I couldn't keep up with everything," she said.
Smalls moved to Wanaka from Dunedin in 2015 when her husband took up a fire service role in the region. The couple have two teenagers.
She has worked as a Plunket, neonatal intensive care and oncology nurse and found she had to formulate her own plan so she could continue to work in her field and live in Wanaka.
"It is about taking the leap of faith and sticking with your dreams and just going for it," she said.