The Feeding Friend story

0
150
Amanda Rowe and her three children
Amanda Rowe and her three children. Images supplied.

Last week, Amanda Rowe pitched her Feeding Friend business at Freo Startup Fest, co-winning the Golden Ticket through to Plus Eight’s Bootcamp in early 2022. Here’s her amazing entrepreneurial story, from working teenage jobs, to mother of three, to a problem – she experienced first hand she knew had to be fixed. Her product now retails in 8 countries, including the US…

I started working from the age of 13 at my local Chicken Treat.

On my first shift, I was abused in the drive-thru by a hungry customer for accidently leaning on the window button which resulted in squashing his quarter chicken and chips. 6 hours later of free labour, I resigned and headed to my local shopping centre with my resume.

At the age of 14, I secured my dream job working at Sanity Entertainment. I was the youngest employee nationwide. I worked part-time while completing my studies at Balga Senior High School.

I was one of 13 students who sat my TEE exams at a nearby private school. Prior to sitting my exams, my employer offered me a full-time store management position. Much to my surprise, I was accepted into Curtin University to study Human Biology but after needing to remember all of #Chem101 and the periodic table in 5 days (not one of my high school subjects by the way) I felt inadequate and officially accepted a position as a Retail Store Manager.

I progressed throughout the management chain and by the age of 21, I was an Area Manager responsible for up to 15 stores at a time with over 150 staff. I lived and breathed work.

It was my life until I reached the pinnacle of my career. At the age of 24 (before the recession) I accepted a Project Management role within a ‘sister brand’ to expand stores across the UAE. 7 days after accepting this role, my older brother lost his battle with Leukemia. It was from this moment on, I knew I could never put a price on spending time with family. I told myself that I never want to work as hard as that for somebody else’s profit.

Entrepreneural mindset is born

I learned a hard lesson about intellectual property. After importing a specialised churro cart from South America, I was officially the first custard-filled churro outlet in Perth.

Within 2 weeks though, I received a cease and desist letter for using a name that was protected in Melbourne. I rebranded, created an ops manual and sold the business while breaking even.

In 2015 I was blessed with my second child. However, I developed Carpal Tunnel Syndrome in both my hands from kid wrangling and uncomfortable breastfeeding positions.

Feeding-Friend-woman

Anxious and feeling deflated to feed my children outside the home, my doctor advised me to find a nursing pillow. I was on a mission to find the perfect modern nursing pillow but annoyed to find everything on the market was big, bulky and flat. This is when Feeding Friend was born.

I invented a self-care, portable arm support pillow to reduce pain in the arm, back, neck and shoulders while feeding a growing baby on the go.

Go for launch!

I launched in 2016 and expanded into the eastern states.

My product was noticed by Australia’s breastfeeding expert, Pinky Mckay and I started securing wholesale orders. While bootstrapping my brand, I introduced a third human into this world and launched into the USA with retail giants such as Target, Buy Buy Baby, Macys, Amazon and most recently CVS.

Feeding Friend saved my arms while travelling sometimes for more than 40 hours with a 4-month-old.

I was invited to participate in last week’s Golden Ticket pitch competition – thanks to ‘West Tech Fest’ – and today I am proud to say my product now retails across 8 countries on 25 platforms.

As a mother of 3 children with special needs, I know how important it is to prioritise self-care.

I strongly believe “when we take care of ourselves first, our children benefit.”

Feeding Friend is for anyone holding a baby and is designed to reduce pain while connecting, talking and nourishing our next generation.

Feeding Friend’s unique patented design, offers flexible levels of arm, hand and wrist support to suit women of all shapes, sizes and unique feeding styles. It is suitable for both bottle feeding, breastfeeding or simply improving posture while enjoying cuddle time.

Feeding-Friend-man

Plans for the New Year

As I continue to commercialise this invention, in 2022 I will show my support towards my loyal community of followersby launching a not for profit business that offers support to parents who are navigating through the system in having their child pre-diagnosed with special needs.

~~

For more on Feeding Friend® visit the website.