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Mom-owned Businesses We Love >> Punky’s Box

Living in South Africa, we know the mix pot of cultures and colours and customs and clothes we all call home. But this brand is taking it to a new level by adding her amazing French flare to our beautiful country and children’s wear.

Punky’s box combines our beautiful culture with her home country, creating matching sets for babies that reflects her love for South Africa as well as love for fashion and pretty things. She understands what our babies need, being a mom herself.

We love this mompreneur because she is fearless, creative, strong and a great example for our daughters (and sons). Read more about our latest Mom-run Business We Love and the woman behind this amazing brand >>

1. Tell us a bit about yourself and what motivated and inspired you to start Punky’s Box.

My name is Blandine. I’m French and I have a daughter, Zoe, 1 year old. I left my home country 6 years ago to follow my South African partner and we decided together to settle in Cape Town. I took sewing lessons when I was pregnant and decided to create my own brand. My biggest source of inspiration is my grandmother, Bernadette. For me, being a mother is synonymous with heritage.

2. How did you come up with/ decide on the name for your business?

It wasn’t easy to find a name for my business! I started brainstorming with my closest friends. My ideal name was meant to recall a hero I had during my childhood. Being born in the 80s, I was a huge fan of Punky Brewster. Do you remember the TV show? Punky was a little tomboy.

3. What type of products do you sell?

Punky’s Box is an original giftbox for babies. With its range of carefully selected fabrics and matching accessories, it offers a full trendy set for newborns. I designed two different sizes. The mini box includes a dummy clip, a blanket, baby shoes, and a giftcard. I added a bunting and a bib in the big box. I select all my fabrics based on the inspiration I get from my home country (French style) and my country of adoption (African Wax).

4. What was the first thing you did to make your business dream a reality?

I told my grandmother that I created my own brand and that I owed it to her!

5. Does being a Mom change the way you do business?

Absolutely. I started my business just after giving birth, so it’s like I discovered two new roles (being a mum, being an entrepreneur) at the same time!

6. Tell us about how your daughter has inspired you.

When I was pregnant, it was quite difficult for me to realize what was growing inside my belly. To make it less abstract, I decided to take up sewing lessons to create my own baby stuff and prepare Zoe’s bedroom. My daughter is half French and half South African. She therefore is the perfect incarnation of my brand: a mix of Liberty fabrics from France and Wax fabrics from South Africa !

7. What has been the biggest challenge of your career so far?

Getting my work permit is the biggest challenge I had to face! You can’t imagine how proud I am to be able to stay in South Africa thanks to my skills! It’s proof that my business is welcome and that South Africa opens its doors to my brand, my creativity, and my inspiration.

8. What is your go-to social media platform for your brand?

Communication is not my biggest strength. I’m using Instagram and Facebook to communicate about my brand, my products, my workshop, and my sources of inspiration.

9. Who are some of your own Mom-run Business you love?

I support my friend Elise with her brand We All Share Roots  and WEWEWE from Cristina.

10. What are you currently working on?

I’m getting ready to participate in my first big event on October the 5th! It’s called Cape Kids Collab and takes place in the Waterfront. I’m so eager to interact with potential customers!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

11. Where do you see Punky’s Box in 5 years?

I can’t really project myself, I have rather a « step by step » way of working. Ideally, I would like to have a shop where customers can design their own boxes, selecting their favourite fabrics and items among a huge range of choices. I’m also thinking about creating a monthly subscription: Punky’s boxes would evolve with the babies / children to adapt to their needs.

12. Since you’ve been through it, what advice would you give someone thinking (dreaming about!) starting their own business?

Always follow your instinct and rely on your closest people (family, friends): they are by your side to help you see things differently and make decisions.

QUICK FIRE:

My favourite superhero is … Punky Brewster or Marry Poppins
I love receiving … flowers
When I’m alone in the car, I … listen french music
The app I use most on my phone is …Word reference!
In my bag, you’ll always find … Wipes and lipstick = Mompreneur!
What did you want to be when you grew up? Indiana Jones
You’d never expect this from me, but … I love trans music!
The words I live by … YOLO!

Finally, take us through a normal day in the life of… (From wake-up to lights out)

Every morning, Zoé wakes me up at 6.00, and she finishes her night in our bed until 7.00. It’s early, but it’s probably the best moment of the day!! Breakfast, bottle and egg and then go to her creche in Hout bay. It’s a beautiful place in the nature, very simple and lots of love!

I come back home and work in my office until 2.30pm, and then I (or my husband) go to fetch Zoé. She usually sleeps on the way back up until 4pm. I’m fortunate to live in Camps Bay, so when she wakes up, we like to go for walks with our 2 dogs (Wolf and India) to the beach for playing and walking on the sand. From 5.30pm, the marathon starts –  bath, pyjama, dinner. And from 6.30 to 7.30, we play or read a book in the rv room, close to the fireplace! At 7.30, Zoé goes to sleep. So I have lots of time to call some friends or family in France, or watch TV. 🙂

 

Find these and much more on Punky’s Box Facebook page and Instagram. Or email her directly – punkysbox@gmail.com

 

 

Checklist before Baby Arrives

I am 5 weeks away from having our little princess and although the excitement is high, the last few days the reality of having another baby has really hit. And I keep wondering if we are really prepared.

So perhaps it is the “nesting” talking, but I have put together a list of things we need to do in the next couple of weeks. Whether you are having your first or your fourth, the list does not change much.  I hope my obsessiveness during my nesting stage can assist you on your journey to motherhood.

Checklist

1. Freezer Meals – As it gets closer to your due date start preparing some good freezer friendly meals. I made sure to stock up the house on our grocery necessities and packed our freezer full of our favorite meals because the last thing you will want to be doing that first week is cooking. This gives you a break and more time to focus on your new little bundle of joy.

2. Order your MonaLisa Baby Wrap and Nursing Cover – Whether you are planning to breastfeed or bottle feed through expressing, a nursing cover is a must. I have had the awkward moment or two in the hospital while receiving visitors and baby is hungry..and did not have my cover with me at hospital. Also having our Baby Wrap at the hospital allowed Daddy to continue kangaroo-care while I was getting some much needed rest.

3. Schedule Newborn Photos – It’s a lot easier to photograph a newborn the first 4 – 12 days after they’re born. Waiting a few weeks makes a big difference because they’re more alert and usually when you change poses or try to use different props they’re fussier because they want to be swaddled. So try to book an appointment with your photographer ahead of time to ensure that you’re able to get in a newborn session, most photographers are booked so far in advanced anyways!

4. Finish Nursery – Make sure all of the last minute touches are finished and all of the baby furniture is built or bought. You want the room ready for the baby to use it as soon as you bring them home! Nothing like trying to build furniture or paint a room when you have a newborn!

5. Choose Your Baby’s Name – Some people know what they’re naming their child before they even find out their pregnant. We had a list of possible names for boy and girl, but after our gender reveal, our 3-year old started telling everyone the “name” of her new baby sister! Luckily it was my favourite anyway, so in essence, our daughter decided on her sister’s name.

6. Packing Your Hospital Bags – I started packing my hospital bags early and kept it in the car once it was packed with my previous pregnancies. It’s a good idea to have a list that you can check off once you pack the item so you know nothing is left out and what’s already packed. Rather than searching the Internet silly for what to pack (most of which was unnecessary anyway!) , ask some of your friends who had babies. Those are more helpful and useful.

7. Wash, Sort, Organize – After your baby shower I’m sure the baby room is filled with bags and bags of clothes. Start washing the clothes, blankets, and bedding with a gentle detergent. After everything is washed start sorting and organizing the clothes by size. Because your baby will be growing so fast it’s ideal to keep out a few sizes bigger so that you’re not constantly unpack and packing clothes away.

8. Schedule a Pedicure – Probably the most important tip is to take care of yourself. So take yourself out and get pampered. Because once that baby comes it’s going to be so hard to find time for yourself not only because your newborn is going to want you 24/7 but you’re not going to want to leave them! And your feet could use some attention considering you probably haven’t seen them for a few months! *Remember, if you are having a C-section, you should not have any nailpolish on your nails!

9. Date Night – With how busy your husband and you are with preparing for your new baby, you have to remember that besides becoming new parents or increasing your family size, you are husband and wife! And that date night isn’t going to come as often as it does before the baby arrives. So get in those last few dinner dates or try to get one weekend away and enjoy some alone time.

10. Sterilize Bottles and Breast Pump Supplies – Even if you don’t plan on pumping if you’re breastfeeding, it’s still a good idea to have a breast pump ready because labor is unpredictable. Some friends have had babies who were born premature or had some difficulties in the first few days, and were able to express and feed their babies even though they were incubated. So start sterilizing everything now so they’re ready to use.

11. Big Brother/ Big Sister – If this is your second (or third or fourth or fifth!) child don’t forget to show them how important their role of being a big sibling is going to be. Make them feel partof the process by letting them feel baby kick, and perhaps even make or buy the new baby a little gift. Also remember to get a little gift from new baby to her/his sibling(s) to help them celebrate the new member of your family, instead of feeling resentment towards this new little being everyone is giving gifts and attention to.

12. Finalize Plans for Other Children/ Pets – Contact your babysitter or petsitter and finalize everything to make sure you have someone to take and collect them from daycare/ school and watch your child or pets on the day of labor.

13. Finalize UIF – you can print out all the forms needed from the Department of Labour’s website and have the money paid right into your bank account (instead of waiting in long queues with a newborn). www.labour.gov.za

14. Install the Car Seat – A week or two before your due date read over the car seat manual and install it according to Safety Regulations.  (Same applies to the pram – make sure both you and Daddy know how to do it.)

15. Preregister with the Hospital – Unless you want to answer your families health history and search for insurance cards during labor make sure to preregister with your hospital. Most hospitals offer this and usually recommend it. It eliminates a lot of steps that you’ll have to do the day of labor.

Lastly, remember to just rest as much as you can and enjoy as the excitement grows just as your belly grows! This is such a precious time that passes in a wink of an eye!

 

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Our Brand New Product Range for Tiny Humans

MonaLisa Mamas was born (right after the birth of our boys) through a need for freedom and simplifying our life with all the crazy demands of a new baby in our homes, in a comfortable and stylish manner. We love giving other new parents the joy and freedom we have discovered, and we thank you for growing alongside us.

 

But just like our babies, our business has grown and we have had to adjust to meet these growing needs. Today we are launching a brand new product line, created especially for our tiny humans! In keeping with our feel of comfortable, but stylish designs, we are now offering your baby a Reversible Soothing Blanket and Reversible Bandana Bibs.

 

Our Reversible Soothing Blanket comes in a variety of colours, but has an added feature that we have come to believe is the most valuable; each of these blankets have a matching soother or comfort-toy clip attached so that you will never loose yours again! Gone are the days of keeping three pacifiers in baby’s bed at any given times just to loose all three in the middle of the night! Each blanket is 100 cm x 75 cm, and is made from light-weight, breathable material that is safe for your baby.

Blanket Australian

The Reversible Bandana Bibs also come in a variety of colours, and you are welcome to buy your blanket and bib in matching colours! You have the option of waterproof-toweling or plain on the reversible side. Your little one can comfortably drool away, but still look stylish in his/her MonaLisa Mamas Reversible Bandana Bibs.

Bib Australian Baby-001

…Then lastly, due to (much) demand, we have added to our Tiny Humans collection your toddler or older child’s MonaLisa Mamas Mini Baby Wrap! These wraps are a replica of mommy’s Baby Wrap, but are shorter (2m) to comfortably and stylishly fit around your child’s little growing body. It is extremely valuable for toddlers to imitate and teaches them excellent skills.

 

We are so grateful to be part of your family and to be able to give so much joy and freedom back to the most precious and valuable big humans who are responsible for our amazing tiny humans. Thank you for being part of our journey, too.

 

So happy shopping through our new, exciting products. Order yours today on our online store and get it all at the amazing, low launch prices!

 

And remember; YOU ARE DOING A GREAT JOB!

 

 

All our love,

The MonaLisa Mamas