Creative Entrepreneur, TED Talker, Clothing Designer, E-commerce Queen, and Super Mum
Hi, I'm Franny!
I believe that business is about following your heart and trusting your instincts. I run two businesses – Breastmates (maternity products) and Creative Club (inspiring creativity in young minds) – these have grown and succeeded through my devotion, passion, attention to detail, and never-give-up attitude.
I’ve been told I’m the definition of a self-made woman, and although I’m not an expert, I have a proven track record with business success, and I’m proud of what I’ve achieved.
Now I want to inspire and motivate others by sharing what I’ve learned.
I began my career as an engineer, but it wasn’t the right role for me to thrive in, and I wasn't fulfilled. I kept ignoring my inner voice that was shouting, “Be creative! Be an entrepreneur! Follow your dreams!” When I started Breastmates in 2004, my overarching goal was not to go back to my old job – it took me many years to embrace my true calling as a creative entrepreneur.
Breastmates started as a small hobby business after I had my first baby. I had one simple homemade product that I would sell on auction sites. I didn’t have any business experience so I had to teach myself every aspect of running a business. I didn’t have any money to invest, so I funded my business through cashflow and my DIY skills.
Over the years, I’ve developed Breastmates into a premier motherhood brand that’s well-known throughout New Zealand and Australia. I design and manufacture my own clothing range and develop products for mums while managing a great team of staff. I’ve built up a massive e-commerce website and social media community which reaches millions of women around the world. Customers love my products, and I’ve received some great press and won a few awards along the way.
But the most rewarding part of my work is my ability to have a positive impact on women’s lives – whether it’s hearing from a new mum who loves wearing my designs, starting community charity campaigns, or encouraging others with a dream to start their own business.
“If someone has a dream to start a business, I would encourage them to make a start. If you want something bad enough, you can make it happen.”
Breastmates is my online maternity store supporting mums throughout pregnancy and motherhood with clothing, products, advice, and a worldwide community of encouraging women.
The Breastmates clothing range and products are all my own original designs. I control the whole process, from drawing, specifying, choosing fabrics, testing, overseeing the production factory, and logistics. I started creating my own designs after feedback from customers who wanted maternity clothing that could be worn for longer than nine months, so all my styles have secret breastfeeding access and are flattering to post-pregnancy bodies.
Creativity is part of my personality! I came up with the concept for Creative Club after realising that children were interested in my quirky, crafty ideas and that I could inspire them to use their own imaginations to make something. I think that encouraging children to “have a go” at creating can develop into a passion for ingenuity and resourcefulness. I want them to learn there’s no such thing as a dumb idea!
I'm now running creative classes for small groups of children. We get to be inventive, creative, innovative, make stuff, have fun, and have a chat at the same time. The children inspire my own creativity in return!
What Can I Help you With?
- Motivational Speaker - for adults
- Creativity Speaker - for children
- Business Start Up - one-on-one chats
- Business Startup 1-Day Group Workshop
- Importer's 1-Day Group Workshop
Let’s have a chat about what inspires you. Get in touch and we can work out how to make this happen!
Based in Cambridge, can travel.
"Franny is a creative and humble entrepreneur who has created a wonderful online business. Franny's experience would be invaluable to small business owners as she's successfully navigated her way through the many challenges of small business ownership."
- Steve Stark - Director PKF Chartered Accountants-
“We have watched Franny’s company grow from kitchen table to a fully-fledged business. Passion, customer centricity, an absolute commitment to quality and sheer hard work have contributed to Franny’s success. The experience and learnings Franny has gained in growing her business make her an ideal candidate to mentor other business owners.”
Keith Goddard | Commercial Manager | ASB Bank Limited
World of Wearable Art Designer
These are some of my successful entries for the World of Wearable Art international design competition. The meanings of my costumes centre on feminism and empowering women.
Interior Design, Renovation & Styling
My home is my creative space, and I’ve recently renovated my house top-to-bottom on a limited budget (I was on the tools myself!) My interior style is “colourful clash”, and my home was featured in Resene’s Habitat Magazine.
"In 2017 Franny came to Cambridge East Primary School to share her journey and passion for art with over 150 students. The whole time she spoke, everyone was captivated and in awe of the Wearable Arts that she had brought along. To this day we still have a large number of students who talk about how awesome this experience was and they have taken away her message that we can all be creative and brave through how we express ourselves through art."
Lee Bird, Assistant Principal, Cambridge East School
Send me a message!
"Franny invited us to her workplace and showed us how she had grown from selling home made items on trademe to moving to a warehouse - a huge inspiration! She also mentored us through developing our own business and shared what she'd learnt on her journey.
I have stayed in touch with her years later, she has gained some amazing knowledge as her business has developed and to learn from her is always a pleasure! She has so much time for other people and that should never go under appreciated. Her success is something I’ll always admire."
- Levi Lewis -