Bon + BearWe are a small, independent online retailer based in Cheshire. Mama-run, family-owned and passionate about supporting style-conscious mamas navigate the challenges in their motherhood journey.
I had a tough start to motherhood with my first baby, a traumatic birth, postnatal depression, difficulty breastfeeding and months of therapy to unpick it all. Instead of crying anymore, I got out my notepad and started dreaming up what I could do to help other Mamas who had journeys similar to mine and how I could help them in the 4th trimester.
After breastfeeding came to an abrupt end the experience I had drove my mission to help at least one Mama on their journey after my own struggles postpartum with my first baby; challenges such as colic/reflux, breastfeeding issues, navigating becoming a Mum, and a shift in my identity.
"I always struggled with — even though I was more than happy to breastfeed in public — the anxiousness of being ‘exposed' and a lack of privacy. Something I knew I wasn’t the only one struggling with, confidence to breastfeed anywhere, but staring at the uninspiring apron-style covers that saturated the market, I didn’t want to lose my identity even more than I felt already."
I couldn't find the products that I needed, but that were still me, and that didn't feel like I was giving in to the 'Mumsy' things out there, or totally for the baby either. This was particularly true of breastfeeding covers that were outdated and the aim of the product was to 'cover' Mum and Baby completely — which to me felt like you were hiding yourself. But also Baby Wraps which were all super plain in grey, black, way too long and equally uninspiring.
So I set out to create what I couldn’t find – a modern breastfeeding cover - something that was stylish, in an always-on-trend print (leopard is a basic in our wardrobes, right?) but also fuss-free that would support breastfeeding wherever I went.
Sketching on our first family holiday 8 months postpartum and prototyping on my living room floor as soon as we got home. Playing with fabrics (cutting not so evenly) attempting to sew and then finally trialling the finished product on my baby. There were many iterations with rings and ties, wraps and flaps but eventually, we settled on our simple Chicago Loop style which requires no faff because who has time for that when your baby is ready to feed!
Launching + Testing
After a slow first year through a pandemic, not knowing what I was really doing and selling bits here and there things slowly picked up. We also started to get lots of feedback to sell our print as a baby wrap too! Having already marketed our Maine wrap for skin-to-skin, we decided to test out increasing the length on these for Babywearing but I wanted to make sure these weren’t bulky, after trying wraps with my first baby (he had colic, reflux and CMPA) which was the only place he slept, but at the expense of me being flustered after tying swathes of fabric which never quite fit and drowned my small frame.
A few months later after wearer trials, safety testing, Hip Dysplasia endorsement and amazing feedback from our mama community, we were ready to relaunch our Maine Wrap. Slightly smaller than the average wrap to fit perfectly for petite frames, or even fathers if you tie at the back. Trust us, we know this is the only wrap you will need for babywearing and you will love it!
Our collection features our award-winning breastfeeding cover and baby wrap which is designed with the sole aim to make a Mama’s journey through the fourth trimester stylish, practical, help you feel more like you, but most importantly – supported. So you can take care of your littles with ease and confidence.
We are here for you. You've got this Mama!
I still don’t know what constitutes success, but my only objective when I started this was to 'help at least one Mama' and as long as I keep doing that then I will keep on growing this little company.
Follow us on Instagram @bon_and_bear
Read more about my first breastfeeding journey or other mamas' experiences over on our blog The Feed.