Franny is the very definition of a self-made woman. Her business has continued to succeed through devotion and an intense attention to detail. And this is no surprise, as she focuses on trusting her heart and instincts.

She began her career as an engineer but didn’t feel like it was the place for her to thrive. She didn’t get the excitement of sealing the deal in the engineering industry. While focusing on surviving, and being determined not to go back to her previous job as an engineer, she developed a successful business and found her true calling as a creative entrepreneur.

She has successfully turned a sewing hobby into a growing business. She had to learn every aspect of running a business, and experience being part of her own target market. Her business experience began when she became a stay at home mum and created items to sell on Trade Me. She started her business Breastmates in 2004 with no money and limited experience.

Breastmates is a maternity store helping mums through their pregnancy and post-baby journey. She started it because she saw a gap in the market as a new mum for products and information. Breastmates started out only having one product, each one created by Franny herself. Now it has seasonal drops of maternity clothing and other mummy-related products, and Franny’s own designs are featured in the majority of items for sale.

She focused on having a sales pitch of kindness and creating a sense of community on the website, so people can interact even if they aren’t purchasing.

Her motivations come in the form of “staying alive, staying in business, being a good mother, and designing awesome products that help mums.”

She enjoys expressing herself through creating, painting, crafts, design, upcycling, being busy with projects, and making costumes for the World of Wearable Art.

Her big idea and advice for other people: “If someone has an idea or dream to start a business, I would encourage them to make a start. If you want something bad enough, you can make it happen.”