Name: Katrina Ward
Short Bio about yourself and business:
I used to be a secondary school teacher (English, Art and Art History) and I used to have a lot of fun in the classroom. Fun is important to me and the Outie brand began as a ‘fun’ way of celebrating pregnancy – and then parenting and the messes that happen on a daily basis, and the brand has grown alongside us as a family and me as a mother.
Outie is not yet two years old and it has showcased a collection of things that were originally made to solve my own parenting ‘problems’. The more I found that my problems were not just ‘my’ problems – the more I want to share my own quirky solutions.
Overall Outie is a fun NZ brand catering to maternity and beyond with a strong local and environmental backbone.
What influenced you to start your business?
I had a goal to stay at home for the first two years of my son’s life. When I made my own maternity tees for my first pregnancy and was literally chased down the street by strangers asking me where I got them from, I saw a way to help finance that goal. I am not sure I ever imagined that it might become the living breathing ‘baby business’ it has become – it has moved in some surprising directions and I am happy to watch it grow and branch out further in the future.
What tactics helped you get your business started?
A lot of mad marketing brainstorms. I have zero budget so I have to be creative. I employ a lot of the tactics I was well-practiced at as a teacher trying to get my students to be engaged and want to come to lessons. Having fun is so important. It also helps that I love writing, drawing and designing – and those skills have been key in setting Outie up as a new business.
Would you change anything about what you do?
I would love to stock my products overseas. I would also love to become big enough to employ someone to help me because it can be extremely challenging juggling everything.
Anything exciting going on right now or about to happen?
I am about to have my second baby! (Due any day now!) It has been really interesting being pregnant again and wearing my own tees again – yet this time people recognise the brand. That has been pretty special. Other exciting things coming up for Outie include a new range comfortable nursing wrap tops with matching wide tummy-tuck belts, a brand new range of Splat Mats and some more innovative Splat Mat solutions for the car.
What is your greatest achievement to date?
I made a quilt for a friend’s wedding present with limited knowledge of quilting. I managed to replicate an Art Deco entranceway in perspective and I think it is the coolest thing I have ever made by hand.
Where do you see your business in 5 years?
I would love to see the Outie label take a few little leaps and be stocked further afield than NZ and Australia.
What do you do in your spare time?
Play guitar, draw, read, hang out with my family and my dogs – go exploring in the bush and I am looking forward to getting back into running.