We discover the ins and outs of aden + anais, the swaddling company founded by former advertising exec Raegan Moya-Jones
Words Helen Baron
Tell us about aden + anais? How did you start the business and how did you get to where you are today?
I started aden + anais while I was still working a full-time job in advertising sales. I had the idea when I was pregnant with my first daughter – the anais in aden + anais – and it was really born of necessity. I had looked everywhere for a simple staple that all mums in my native Australia used: a simple cotton muslin swaddle blanket. Every new mum in Australia gets stacks of them, and uses them for swaddling, burp cloths, playmats… everything. Try as I might, I couldn’t find any of them in New York. That was mad to me: I knew that if mothers in the US experienced swaddling with muslin, they’d fall in love. So I decided to be the person to make that happen.
What’s the importance of swaddling babies?
Swaddling has been around for centuries for a reason: it recreates the comfort of the womb and gives baby – and parents! – a sound sleep. Go to any hospital around the world and you’ll see babies sleeping soundly in their swaddles – because it works. Cotton muslin is ideal for this because it’s got an open weave, which makes it breathable and gives it a natural give, so baby stays comfortable and you have an easier time swaddling.
For other mothers wanting to start businesses, is there a litmus test you can apply to know if your product will be successful?
Unfortunately, there is no shortcut or secret to success… it’s just all of the stuff your parents told you growing up: that you need to work hard, you need to be committed, and that you can’t be afraid of failure and setbacks. I tell other women that they need to get comfortable hearing the word ‘no’ and not let that word completely derail them.
What’s been the biggest challenge in running your own business and how did you push through?
Aside from the fact that I was running the business for years while maintaining a full-time job and raising two daughters, there was the very practical challenge that there was limited access to the capital I needed to grow the business. That’s really where my background in sales came into play: I had a thick enough skin to be told ‘no’ by one person and to keep going.
Has having more children [Raegan is a mother of four] made the work-life balance harder? Do you have to run a tight ship?
I run my house with basically a military precision. We have four girls and two dogs and there is only one me and one Marco: there’s no choice but to keep a tight ship, or we’d all go under! Everyone knows when dinner is, everyone knows when bathtime and bedtime are. Kids crave routine, and we need it for our sanity!
What do you love most about your work?
I love going to work every day with people who care about what we do, and put their time and passion into it. I love knowing that we are a company who makes products that are trusted and loved by families in 65 countries around the world. We are really a part of people’s lives, and that’s a great feeling.
What do you like to do when you’re not working?
If I’m not working, I’m at home with the girls or at one of their million activities. Someday, I hope to have some of this ‘free time’ that I hear so much about…
Where do you see yourself and the company in five years’ time?
We’ve got big plans for aden + anais. It’s all onward and upward.