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Katie O’Shea

Sunshine Coast, SEQ
Retail Trade

After having 3 babies in 3 years, Katie O’Shea started Ninja Babies while on maternity leave from teaching to provide other mothers with a fashionable and functional range of jewellery to help teething babies. Driven by customer feedback, Ninja Babies changed direction and expanded to provide affordable sensory products to families, many with disabilities.

Hi, I'm Katie O’Shea. I own Ninja Babies and I’m based on the Sunny Coast.

It was started for teething babies because I had babies, and through talking with customers and other professionals, there was a gap in the market for unisex resources that are socially and age appropriate. They want something funky that doesn’t look like a chewing aid or a sensory resource. They want a cool funky pendant that they’re not going to get teased about.

I have taken the opportunities that the Office of Small Business has given me, so I've been and done their Mentoring for Growth program and I got a home-based business grant where I got 25 hours of mentoring; that was awesome. It's a total emotional rollercoaster. When I'm getting heaps of orders in and I'm getting beautiful feedback, I feel like I'm on top of the world and a superstar and a superhero that's saving t-shirts one chewie at a time.

While Ninja Babies started out by providing products for teething babies, Katie changed her business model based on customer feedback and demand. She expanded the product range to provide age and socially-appropriate designer chewable jewellery, educational tools and sensory resources for children, teens and adults. A large portion of her customer base is school-aged boys who need sensory stimulation to reduce anxiety and stress, and to help children with disabilities such as autism.

Ninja Babies’ products are now available through an increasing number of therapy centres and other stockists, and they’re regularly featured in a national special needs magazine. Katie has been able to grow her business using social media, and traditional mail-outs have helped her reach hundreds of allied health professionals.

With a dedicated storeroom in her house, Ninja Babies’ monthly sales continue to increase. Katie wants to continue to grow her business and increase exposure by registering for the National Disability Insurance Scheme. She prides herself on helping customers easily access her products through her website, making them affordable for all families.

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