Getting down to baby business
A collaborative effort between family and friends is behind the launch of a baby product being distributed from Blenheim.
Husband and wife team Claudia and Oliver Wiesner, who moved to Blenheim from Germany about five years ago, set up the web-based business, BabyCloudNZ in December.
The couple started producing the feather duck down baby bundles, named Baby Clouds, after being unable to find down baby blankets on the market for their daughter, Sophia, now 19 months.
The products are available online, and she has a contract to supply national chain store Baby on the Move.
"They are super breathable and safe and light for babies," she said.
"It's just like wearing a down jacket, they regulate their body temperature which we believe is incredibly important for new borns."
The baby clouds had a firm down base to support the baby, and a thicker down duvet that folded up over the baby's body and tied in place, Mrs Wiesner said.
Down baby blankets were very popular in Europe and Mrs Wiesner remembered having to pluck seven geese while helping her mother make one for her sister.
The 100 per cent cotton duvet covers were made by two Blenheim seamstresses and packaged in re-useable cotton bags, to continue the natural and sustainable theme, she said.
The duvets are manufactured in China using a 50/50 duck down and feathers.
The first line of Baby Clouds were vintage 1950s style with pastel polka dots and stripes, but feedback from mothers had indicated she should produce some bright and neutral colours too. She was also producing a range of toddler blankets and pillows, based on the same concept as the Baby Clouds.
The process of rolling out the business from idea to finding a manufacturer and building a website had taken more than a year, with help from family and friends, she said.
Her eldest daughter, Leila Marie, 24, had done all the research to ensure Baby Clouds met safety regulations.
And family friend and "mother figure" Francina Carlson helped with the design and produced the first 12 prototypes of Baby Clouds, she said.
The Marlborough Express