I love it how the world works and how you cross paths with people in life. People who you just click with and feel like you’ve known for much longer than you have. Do you ever have that? That feeling of being comfortable and at ease with someone from the moment you start talking?
I had this with Michelle from Nordic Baba. What may help this sense of ease is the fact that our little boys go to the same school so from day one we had that in common. (Plus both our little ones are just about the cutest boys you will ever lay your eyes on so we this mutual obsession we can’t get enough of!) But then I’ve gotten to know her as this creative, interesting and very talented person, someone apart form just being a mom and it’s been the most amazing thing collaborating on a creative level.
When Michelle told me she was thinking of starting this little business of hers, I told her right away without any hesitation that she was onto something amazing and tried to encourage her as much as I could to get the ball rolling. We saw such an exciting opportunity for her to market her new business by jumping on board our Master Bedroom Makeover campaign. I wanted to help her get a foot in the door and introduce her to our local online world of decor and design. She was all too happy to join forces with us and since then, her little start-up has already seen so much growth and boasted so much potential. It’s just too exciting!!!
These genuine sheepskins are so luxurious and so on trend with the whole nordic/scandi- inspired theme at the moment. They are so versatile and can be used for so many things : Chair/couch covers (To add warmth and coziness), rugs, baby play mats, cot covers for winter babes and even dog mats for those who believe their pets deserve to be spoilt. I even have a pair of her sheepskin slippers that I literally live in at home!! Yes thats right she has a whole range of products and can make pretty much anything you want. For me personally, I just adore the look the sheepskins give a space. I mean look how gorgeous it looks under my little girl’s bassinet stand in our bedroom…….
And here it is featured on our bed in our Master Bedroom Makeover last month….
Interested to take a deeper look into how this little business has developed in such s short space of time and the creative brain behind it? Read more…..
1. How was your business/brand born and how long have you been running?
When I was 18 year old I was an au pair for a family in Germany. The little girl (5 y/o at the time) had a sheepskin on her bed, and I soon realized that in Europe, each baby has a skin and grows up with it. I just loved the idea. My first son was born in April 2006. When he was about a month old I went to visit my mom (I grew up on a farm near the Drakensberg mountains). That’s where I saw some old sheepskins that she had. Winter was just around the corner, and I realized that these sheepskins would be ideal to keep my baby snug in his cot. She put me in touch with an old family friend who does the cleaning and brushing of the skins to get them into this beautiful condition. When I got back to Cape Town, some friends saw the sheepskin and asked if I could get some for them, and it just grew from there.
2. Tell us a bit about your brand and business ethos.
Honestly, I just love the products myself! There’s nothing better than the softness and luxury of a sheepskin. And they look great too. I think my enthusiasm is just contagious because when people see the sheepskins in my home, they immediately want them too.
As for the name, Nordic Baba is 100% South African, but we felt the Scandanavian element would add an exotic flourish. Also, the fluffy white sheepskins evoke the pure white of snow, and imply the warming element of the product. Ultimately – it’s just a cute name!
3. What is your signature product?
It’s quite simple, really – we sell top quality sheepskins in a market that tends to settle for artificial or synthetic alternatives. Our signature product is the large white sheepskin, which you can use as a mat or a throw, but our brown and grey sheepskins are becoming increasingly popular. Sheepskins are machine washable and autothermoregulating – which is a fancy way of saying that they keep you warm in winter but do not get hot in summer. We have a sheepskin that is older than a decade and it is still going strong – so they genuinely last for a lifetime!
4. Where do you get your inspiration from?
My family is my greatest inspiration. I have watched both my children grow up on sheepskins. My eldest is 11 years old and he still has a sheepskin on his bed. It’s almost as if we have developed relationships with these skins! They become a part of your home.
5. What have been some of your greatest highlights so far?
What began as just selling a few sheepskins to some friends has grown to a thriving little business. Honestly, one of the highlights has been being featured in this very blog. Our Facebook fan numbers have shot up, and there’s definitely more traction.
6. What have been some of your greatest challenges?
There have been quite a few challenges along the way! At the moment, it is quite difficult getting the product in front of the right people in the retail space. I don’t really have a network or knowledge of the formal retail sector so I wouldn’t know where to start. In a way, I prefer keeping it as a small business but it also has huge potential which I feel I need to tap into when the time is right.
7. How do you keep up with trends while still remaining true to your personal style?
My personal style is quite natural and old-fashioned. I love wood and warmth. My favourite part of our home is our old fireplace. (There’s a sheepskin in front of it!) So the product really does suit my personal style and aesthetic seamlessly.
. 8 What do you want your customers to feel when they have purchased something from your store?
I want them to feel as happy and spoiled as I feel when I snuggle into a sheepskin. As mentioned, the sheepskins are not just pretty, they are truly useful, and they last for ever. I’m quite confident that they are getting the very best product. It sounds corny but I genuinely feel like I am improving people’s lives!
9. How do you juggle family/personal life while still looking after your business?
That’s a tough one. I am actually juggling a few businesses at the moment, and I have apart time job too. I’m lucky that I have a lot of flexibility but it’s difficult to give every project the love and time that it deserves.
10. Where can we find you?
One last thing: it’s been a real privilege to have been part of Style My Space. I’m very grateful for the opportunity, and a shout out to all the other brands featured in this issue – your stuff is beautiful!
Thanks Michelle for featuring in todays post and we loved having you on board our project. ♥
Look out for our next collaboration with this talented lady!