Little Treasures - - INSPIRATION -

Heather Baker From a young age, it was ap­par­ent that Heather Baker would work with ba­bies. Her fam­ily owned child­care cen­tres and Heather would spend many af­ter­noons help­ing feed and en­ter­tain the lit­tle ones. So it was no sur­prise when she be­came a post-na­tal nurse and had three chil­dren of her own: Reece, 13, Leela, 10, and Siena, eight. What no­body could pre­dict, how­ever, was that Heather would even­tu­ally be the boss of her own food com­pany. Lit­tle An­gels Pure Baby Food was es­tab­lished in 2013 af­ter Heather dis­cov­ered a de­mand for healthy, or­ganic, home-style baby food that busy par­ents could pur­chase, rather than spend hours in the kitchen mak­ing it. “I was a Mother­craft nurse and used to cook up baby food for my clients as many were re­ly­ing on jarred food,” she says. “The word got out that I was mak­ing hand­made baby food com­mer­cially and I was in­un­dated with phone calls from peo­ple want­ing it.” That ini­tial suc­cess was just the en­trée; Heather now em­ploys a team of cooks, has at­tracted nearly 11,000 fol­low­ers on Face­book and her prod­ucts are re­ceiv­ing rave re­views. Her daily du­ties range from vis­it­ing veg­etable sup­pli­ers and su­per­mar­ket buy­ers to pre­par­ing fi­nan­cial re­ports from her Auck­land home of­fice. It’s been a whirl­wind, but that’s not to say she hasn’t hit any hur­dles along the way. “I wanted to make food for ba­bies that was nourishing and the best we could make, with­out tak­ing short­cuts,” she ex­plains. “But there were peo­ple in the early days who said I should add fillers or preser­va­tives, so many meet­ings were cut short be­cause they didn’t hold the same val­ues as me.” Also, like most star­tups, there was an el­e­ment of fi­nan­cial risk in­volved with giv­ing up her day job and kick-start­ing a new busi­ness. But Heather says if you are pre­pared to work hard, own­ing your own busi­ness can be fi­nan­cially re­ward­ing. “If you make er­rors, you have no-one to fall back on. If you don’t make money, you don’t get paid, so it’s not for the faint­hearted,” she says. One thing that’s price­less, how­ever, is the sup­port of her hus­band, Jeff, and three chil­dren, who have en­cour­aged Heather on her jour­ney from nurse to busi­ness­woman. “I can hon­estly say I’ve never once felt guilty about be­ing a work­ing mum – I trea­sure my chil­dren and they are al­ways my pri­or­ity,” she says. “Some­times I need to do im­por­tant Lit­tle An­gels work, but other times I’ll say, “Okay, I’ve been work­ing a lot, let’s play cards and hang out.”

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