Feature - Baby Peppers
Please tell me a little about you and your business?
Hello everyone! I’m Gaayathri, founder/owner of Baby Peppers. Baby Peppers, like most novelty stores, was born out of a personal need. The need to satisfy nostalgia – a longing to revive centuries old art-forms and the need to amplify slow fashion for kids' goods. The need grew stronger when I was shopping for our first son and hardly found anything of value for him when most play items and were mass produced and made of cheap, plastic materials.
Why is the sustainable and natural lifestyle important to you?
This lifestyle is important to us because it aligns with our personal values. As strong believers of sustainable global trade and the socially conscious movement, we partner with fair trade artisan groups in Chennai, Andra Pradesh, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh and Jaipur to produce something bespoke for little ones. These artisans work with some of the oldest art forms in the world and we like to keep it that way. Utilising slow fashion like woodturning and hand blocking promotes sustainability because it helps preserve exceptional skills and family traditions that are apathetically replaced by fast fashion, robots and electronics. Our intention is to create quality goods that will last a long time (a lifetime even!) and reduce consumption and waste - all while practicing ethical and eco-friendly methods.
What inspires you?
The biggest inspiration has always been my family, especially my kids but what keeps me really pumped and driven is having a proper support network. Having constant motivation and encouragement from like minded individuals and businesses can make a world of difference and give you that additional boost to just keep going even when the going gets tough.
What made you want to be part of Wild & Free boxes?
Well, prior to this I have never heard of W & F but when you got in touch via Instagram wanting to discuss collaboration opportunities, I sat up and noticed what a wonderful branding W & F was. The subscription box full of divine goodies going out to mummies to be was such a meaningful action plus it gave exposure to so many ethical brands by doing this wonderful task. The branding and concept is awesome and it completely aligns with my brand values and ethics. No reason why I wouldn’t want to be part of such an empowering brand.
What is one organic/natural product you just can’t live without (excluding your own gorgeous products of course!)?
With the kids, I just can’t live without the AromaBaby organic barrier balm. We have tried so many barrier creams and balms and this one just smells divine and works like a miracle balm. For me, I can’t live without my MooGoo organic lip balm. I have very sensitive lips so getting a proper lip balm that doesn’t dry out my lips was crucial and I was so glad to have found the MooGoo range.
Let’s get back to your business – how did you find the process of creating a business that was ethical, fair and sustainable? How do you ensure your products are truly ethically made?
Researching on numerous suppliers and ensuring that you find one that matches your brand values and ethics. By ensuring that your supply chain is ethical, you can be confident to create a business that is ethical, fair and sustainable. Ask lots of questions to your suppliers and if they are confident in responding, keep them in mind. If they are playing dodge, keep moving on till you find a suitable supplier. Our supply chains have an open door policy and are transparent about their production ethics. The companies we partner with commit to some of the highest regulated standards in the world, including no child or forced labour and ensuring fair wages and proper working hours.
What makes your brand unique?
My brand is unique because we are all about slow fashion literally! Every product we sell is hand-crafted using centuries old art forms and investing in us means giving families the opportunity to continue using their generational crafts to earn a sustainable income. We don't just sell products; we create a unique, personalised experience for both the consumers and artisans. We make ethical shopping affordable and accessible for consumers and give them the opportunity to make social change on a global scale. We do our little part by giving consumers sustainable choices.
Have you got any exciting plans for your business this year (maybe an exciting new print design or a new product?)
Yes, we have some really exciting plans coming up! We are currently working with Rainbow Mannion, a Melbourne based textile designer to come up with an Australian flora and fauna theme for our swaddle range. Plus we are also discussing the possibility of reviving 19th century blocks that belongs to a family of wood carvers in Jaipur. We are hoping to revive these blocks and make some creative textiles out of them.
Do you have any tips for our readers who are transitioning into a more sustainable and natural lifestyle?
Asking the right questions and researching on sustainable lifestyle choices are fundamental to transitioning to a more ethical lifestyle. By questioning, you are also making an informed choice on whether or not a certain product/choice is suitable to your lifestyle. Transitioning to such a lifestyle means that you need to feel competent and confident in your choice to live a more sustainable life. This competency and confidence stems from having all the required knowledge on every choice they make.
Lastly… Do you have a quote you live by?
‘Take the Plunge’. As a woman, I think we are constantly being held back by so many factors and the two things that really hinder a woman’s progress is judgement and comparison from other women. My personal advice would be to just follow your intuition and take the plunge because the time is now, it doesn’t wait for anyone.
Gaayathri Periasami is a full time lawyer and compliance manager working at one of the major Australian banks. She loves the corporate grind but during her maternity leave following the birth of her first son, felt a compelling need to make a difference in the lives of mothers from all walks of life in her own community and overseas. Shortly after the birth of her son, Baby Peppers was born to manifest this need.
Baby Peppers is a novelty artisan online store that specialises in products created with traditional vintage crafts. Our niche is in creating baby and kids’ block printed textile collections but we do stock other products that have been made from traditional crafts. The store was born out of a personal need - the need to satisfy nostalgia – a longing to revive centuries old artforms and the need to amplify slow fashion but overtime out branding has become synonymous with the notion of motherhood and ensuring that parents have access to a wholesome and affordable shopping full of ethically crafted goods that will last a lifetime. We don't just sell products; we sell a unique, personalised experience for both the consumers and artisans. We are premised on making a global social change and giving back is the lifeline of the brand. The shopping experience we provide informs and educates consumers on how their purchase is actually an investment in a whole community.
Check out her products here.