I started Babymama in 2009 when I resigned after 10 years of corporate work. Shortly before I resigned, I got pregnant with my second child while still pumping at work for my first baby.
My breast pump was my best friend at that time. But I had to ask an uncle from the USA to buy the breast pump abroad because the leading brands available locally were too expensive (above P25,000). The other pumps available at the mall at below P10,000 prices had horrible reviews (painful, ineffective or both).
I saw the need for effective breast pumps at prices that made sense for the average working mother or the Filipino family. I sourced for Korean-made breast pumps and had nursing friends try the breast pumps for 1-2 weeks at a time. When my first ever tester wanted to buy her demo unit, I knew I was on to something big.
I decided to sell directly through the website rather than distribute through department stores to keep prices low and affordable. Distributing through malls will mean marking up the price from anywhere between 30-50% and this would make the products out of reach again to the working mom.
So I focused on building the Babymama brand as a trusted brand for moms by providing sincere and professional customer service. At the same time, this was supported by developing the online platform for true e-commerce capabilities, expanding the product line to include other breastfeeding accessories and developing good relationships with suppliers.
Babymama is now the exclusive distributor of Spectra (Korea) and Ameda (USA) breastfeeding products in the Philippines as well as the Simple Wishes hands free bra. 2014 was a banner year for Babymama as we moved to our first office outside our house and expanded the team to better focus on growing the business and serving more breastfeeding moms and families.
Mi’Ann Oblea has 10 years of marketing background in Home Cable, SKYCable, Smart Communications and Citibank with the last 5 years in growing the online banking business. Career highlights include product launches of Smart Infinity and the new Citibank Online. She has been married for almost 10 years and have 3 children.