We talk to Maileen Martin about her business Little Leaf Eco
Tell us about your business:
Little Leaf Eco is a family owned New Zealand company that is focused on offering products that are intended to preserve the environment, cut down on waste while maintaining a high level of standards.
Starting with the Lunch Tote, Little Leaf Eco now offers a variety of items such as the Stinky Bag, Kid’s Backpacks and Wooden Toys that are designed not only to inspire but to deliver quality and that unique Kiwi style. It’s still that same family business driven by passion for the environment and the family.
Why did you start Little Leaf Eco?
Having two fast growing boys at school I was never satisfied with the lunch boxes. There were never the right size, broke too easily and contained who knows what chemicals. I thought there must be a better option but couldn’t find anything.
Speaking with my friends they also experienced these issues and this led me to design and make my original concept. This proved popular so I thought there must be others out there looking for these type of eco friendly lunch totes so I started Little Leaf Eco.
It was the same with the Stinky Bag, my son’s P.E. bags wouldn’t last the year and they had to throw their smelly and often wet shoes in the one bag. I thought a two sectioned bag big enough for everything would make much more sense, and one designed to last. My kids loved the prototype and I loved the way it kept the stinky stuff separate making everything last longer, so I added it to my Little Leaf product line.
What do you love about it?
I love that we as a family have all in some way contributed to solving real world problems. That we can make a difference and have a positive impact on the lives of others. I’m also very proud of the quality and style of the products. That I started with just an idea and now have a business is amazing. I also had to learn a lot, particularly about building websites, becoming part of an online community and how to connect with retailers.
What are your top 3 favourite products ?
The Monster Lunch Tote, Super Hero Stinky Bag and Princess Stinky Bag
My products are not only eco friendly they are designed to solve a problem while still being stylish and cool. They are uniquely Kiwi, fun and practical, 100% fabulous and suitable for all ages.
What are the plusses and minuses about being a Mum in Business?
Plusses – I can create my own schedule and plan it around my kids and hus
band. I can also challenge my mind and love my kids at the same time, at the same place
Minuses – Sometimes, it can be difficult to separate personal life from your work life.
What are your hopes for the future?
I am constantly looking to solve problems so expect more products that will do just that. I am also looking to continue to get exposure of the brand and the products both online and through a retail network.
Anything else you would like to add?
I’m excited to be part of BabyView
To find out more about Little Leaf Eco check them out at the website http://www.littleleafeco.com, or on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/littleleafeco/