Hawkes Bay Company Takes First Steps To Tackle Global Baby Market

Pandora-based sheepskin tannery and retailer, Classic New Zealand, has launched its new Baby by Classic range of sheepskin products. The new collection promotes the benefits of wool for babies to new parent’s across the globe. Made of locally sourced and tanned lambskin, hand finished and packaged in Hawkes Bay, the range presents a traditional, natural and nurturing product in a very practical new way.

Highlighted in the range is baby sheepskin rugs for Sleep, Play & Move. All packaged in New Zealand Made organic cotton grab-and-go duffle bags, making it easy for mums and dads to take a really familiar and comfortable place for baby with them wherever they go.

Complimenting the new range is a continuation of the baby footwear range, including lovingly hand-crafted Crochet Booties which provided the inspiration for the recent Karen Walker X Classic collaboration slipper.

"Across the 50 years of operation, we have had to respond to many challenges, and 2020 is no exception," explained Classic New Zealand's general manager, Gavin Foulsham. "We have been working on this range for the last 12 months, with the final piece of the puzzle being our packaging. Ultimately, because of COVID 19, it made sense to manufacture our duffle bags in New Zealand, giving us control over the volume and quantity, while keeping cash in the New Zealand economy."

Sheepskin has long been renowned for its nurturing properties for babies, helping maintain a regular temperature and providing calm, familiar surroundings that can aid sleep and wellbeing.

"Our research with mums across New Zealand, Australia, the UK and US, confirms that mums are keen to use natural products with their baby, but when it came to sheepskin, there was some uncertainty around how and when to use the product," added Foulsham. "By outlining the clear purpose of the rug, based on wool length & shape, and then packaging it accordingly, we aim to help mum’s get the most out of their baby rug, whether it is in the cot, on the floor for tummy time or out and about in their buggy."

Like most businesses, COVID has challenged Classic, but it also has presented opportunity, such as their recent sell out launch of the Karen Walker slipper. Hand-made in Hawkes Bay using Classic sheepskin & locally spun yarn, these slippers were an instant hit with those working from home during Lockdown.

"We had been working on our collaboration with Karen Walker for around 18 months, and were ready to launch just as the lockdown hit. Karen had been wearing hers at home and posted on social media as we hit level 3, selling out the first supply in 12 hours, and the second consignment inside an hour so it was a huge success for use, and our timing couldn’t have been better."

"We are very optimistic that the Baby by Classic range will also benefit from timing, as Kiwi’s look for
local, natural, sustainable products. Being the only 100 percent New Zealand owned, produced and finished baby rugs
on the market, we are confident these rugs will find favour, both locally & offshore."

The company may also benefit from an increased customer base if the reports of a COVID 19 Baby boom around Christmas time prove to be correct.

For more information, call Gavin Foulsham on 0272 645 462 or email gavinf@classicsheepskins.co.nz.