natsandjun mummyonmymind

Local Flair Issue 28: Nats&Jun

natsandjun mummyonmymind

Local Flair is back yet again, this time with a woman who wishes to #normalisebreastfeeding with her efforts and business idea. Natasha Bajaj is the founder of Nats & Jun, UAE’s first Designer Breastfeeding Fashion Label. Read on to know more about Natasha’s passion and drive to making breastfeeding mainstream as well as the benefits that her business offers. 

Tell me a little about yourself.

natsandjun mummyonmymindA happy soul with a happy heart. I was born in India to a super loving family. I left home 15 years back. Let’s not calculate my age here :/ I studied and worked in Singapore and got married in Dubai. I love backpacking, outdoor sports, yoga and kissing my 2 an half year old baby boy endlessly. 

Tell me about Nats&Jun. 

N&J stands for NatsandJun N= to my name Nats as lovingly everyone calls me and J= Jun my husband’s name. I conceived the brand when I was pregnant, if you see closely the ( &) sign is a needle and a thread, and as I didn’t have a name for a baby then I decided to ride with our initials.

I always say the person who designed the “nursing wear” was a man. Not understanding how a woman’s body changes and how she doesn’t want anything that sticks to her body and highlight her contours. I met a lot of fantastic mothers in this journey and realised that the pattern was very common either they would not come out and attend functions with the whole stress of “breastfeeding their little one” or be perpetually cautious how they were looking if they were out. 8 out of 10 complained that they didn’t like to step out as they had nothing to wear, and the clothes they bought were not making them feel good and if they were they were not breastfeeding friendly. I knew I had to do something so I started designing for myself I nursed my now 2 and half year-old baby boy for 18 months publicly everywhere. That’s when a lot of mothers came in to seek help and asked me to design for them and before I knew I was supplying to Dubai marina mall , Mumzworld, Sprii , Vanity Kart, Baby Boutique, Mummies , Abu Dhabi mall to name a few.

What was your breast feeding journey like, and why is it so important for Nats&Jun to not just be a brand, but a movement to #normalisebreastfeeding?

If we don’t normalize the word, it will always be a taboo. Millions of mothers around the world feel overwhelmed to breastfeed in public places because of many factors. Coming from marketing background I know how beautifully a formula company plays with the psyche of a mother. If we can produce babies, we have the ability to produce milk as well. But if for many reasons the milk doesn’t come or is not sufficient we can think of an alternative then, but all that can be handled with right guidance and help. #normalizebreastfeeding in public is a cult if you empower the mothers and give them the comfort of feeding their little ones anywhere at any time it won’t require a separate # anymore.

It’s a simple theory; a mother’s milk is packed with great nutrients which is essential for a baby’s growth. If you notice, it is in today’s day and age that we are facing with growing health issues, if we start being natural from day one and looking after our babies from the very beginning in terms of providing them natural food rather than packaged, it will be a small drop in ocean with a big sea awaiting at the end. I loved breastfeeding my little one it’s a beautiful connection that made me nurture my relationship more.

natsandjun mummyonmymind

What’s the most rewarding part of your business so far?

Meeting mothers from all different nationalities and helping them in the journey called motherhood. Connecting with them emotionally and feeling what they feeling, getting beautiful thank you messages and yes of course the smell of a new born baby 😛

What’s been the most frustrating or challenging aspect of your business, and how have you overcome it?

People feel being an entrepreneur is a very fancy thing and is far easier.

1st nothing which comes easy is fun and second I feel more like an admin/counselor then a designer 😛 I hate paper work and now it’s no escaping.

  • Like all mompreneurs I suffer with the guilt factor of not spending enough time with my little one.
  • As a one-woman army certain big companies that we will be supplying to do-not take you seriously till they hear you have more than “50” workers in your company.
  • Lack of education on breastfeeding

What materials/fabric do you use for your nursing wear, and where do you source them from?

N&J is a local designing firm. We manufacture here and get our fabrics from Vietnam, India and Morocco. The garments are hand-made and certain part of the proceed goes to a mother who can’t afford 3 meals a day.

natsandjun mummyonmymind

How do you find new design inspiration and what makes the designs of Nats&Jun so unique?

You give me anything I will convert it into a feeding dress or top!

Nats&Jun also provides some really fun onesies for the little ones. How did those come about?

When my little angel was born, I always wanted to dress him up in something fun and I realised there were not many fun options for babies to capture that memory for lifetime so I started putting my feelings into these onesies and before I knew it they became a part of N&J and a very popular one I must say!

I absolutely love the idea of the boxes for New Mums, New Dads and the one specifically for Breastfeeding? Can you tell us a bit about what these boxes include, and why it makes the perfect gift?

Why should babies have all the fun :P.

We often tend to forget that dad’s play equally an important role, once the baby is born the entire attention goes to the mom and the baby forgetting the dad in the bargain. New dad box is a reminder of love to these amazing fathers who contribute equally or more.

Breastfeeding box – Keeping in mind we live in an expat community I decided to come out with this box which has everything essential for a breastfeeding mother. It’s like a gift of encouragement and support to her, to make her feel loved and empower her to continue her journey of breastfeeding. The box is filled with amazing goodies for mommy.

Tell me about a day in your life, as the owner of Nats&Jun?

Wake up at 6 / 6.30, have my warm glass of water with lemon, go for a run/ gym/ swim. Come back, wake the little one, prepare lunch for hubby , eat breakfast than drop the little one and head out for work. Pick up my boy by 12 feed him lunch and leave for work again. Meetings- work – workshop visit, then head home around 4 to be around him, play a little with him, feed him dinner and then he heads out to play so I prepare for dinner and finish some of my emails. He gets back by 7 to lots of cuddles then bath time story, milk and sleep. 8.30-10.30 onwards is me and my husband’s time, 10-30 – 11.30 email check and then I unwind for the day.

What advice would you give to other women looking to start up their own business in the UAE?

There is no force more powerful than a woman determined to rise. It’s definitely not an easy journey there are heaps of ups and downs but allow yourself to be a beginner. No one starts off being excellent.

Where would you like to see your business in 5 years time?

I want to open a breastfeeding boutique café where mothers can meet other mothers from different nationalities and share their experience and enjoy some retail therapy along with some yummy food and child care. In the mean time, we will be launching a new “Star Collection” very soon, so stay tuned on our socia media to be the first to know all about it.

And not forgetting, next time when u see a mother breastfeeding her baby, walk up to her and say “ I am so proud of you for doing this, I know its not easy but kudos”.

Mummy On My Mind Review

If you’ve been following me on social media. you will already know that I am currently breastfeeding my 6 month old son, and breastfed my first born till he was about a year and a half too. I am a strong advocate of breastfeeding, especially in public, and not letting that limit where I go or what I do. However, it does mean that I am often limiting myself to shirts or dresses with buttons.

When I came across the concept of Nats&Jun, I was eager to learn more about it, and very quickly the passion of Natasha shone through right from the beginning. Natasha was kind enough to offer me a breastfeeding piece from her collection which not only allowed me to breastfeed discreetly in, but also ticked all the boxes for me in terms of modest wear, with long sleeves, opaque material and long enough length to cover my back.

I loved that the piece discreetly hid two zips on either side for me to be able to breastfeed with ease, yet was amazingly fashionable for me to dress it up or down as I wished. What really struck me is the philanthropic nature of Natasha’s business which provides meals to mothers from the proceedings of every single purchase you make from Nats&Jun.

natsandjun mummyonmymind

Thank you Natasha for sharing with us your passion and fight to #normalizebreastfeeding. For more information, head to their website or follow them for updates on Facebook and Instagram.

Note: All photographs in this post belong to Nats&Jun and have been used by the owner’s permission. 

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