We talk to three women about what inspired them to start their companies and the highlights and challenges along the way. In part 3 we talk to Susan McAskill of Blankids.
Born in 2020, Blankids can be dubbed a ‘Covid baby’. “We launched during Covid, crazy huh?” says owner and founder, Susan McAskill.
“While we can’t measure the impact of the pandemic, yet, customers are now spending more time online then they ever have. They are looking for unique products with a touch of personalisation to make their loved one’s day and we feel we have nailed that brief.”
McAskill and her sister Katz started in the print industry back in 2012 with a little start-up home project. They were printing t-shirts and selling them at the markets around Brisbane every weekend, but the arrival of kids changed their perspective.
“In the last few years, we’ve had the amazing arrival of our three beautiful nieces and Katz’s little ones Ella and Noah. This gave us the energy and inspiration to look at other kinds of products and print processes that would suit this much cuter market. Enter, Blankids, personalised baby blankets.
“Blankids gave us the ability to get creative with the designs we could offer and still give our customers the ability to put their own touch on them. Our goal is fast, high quality, safe products printed and sewn right here in Brisbane.”
The two sisters have been working together for almost 10 years. McAskill is the operations and creative one, running the day-to-day business and ensuring that the printing is of high quality and heading out the door. Katz is the customer liaison guru looking after all the enquiries, sourcing new leads plus social media.
“As sisters (18 months apart) we intuitively understand each other’s skill sets and we feed from what we are both great at. We are the best of friends―when we do have a disagreement it blows over quickly. It has been the best experience of our lives to date and wouldn’t have it any other way,” enthuses McAskill.
With a growing brood of family members the sisters are conscious and passionate about sustainability―not just for their business but in their personal lives too.
“At Blankids we do not use any individual use plastic/packaging or mailers and partnering with Heaps Good and No Issue is a no brainer. We believe we are all responsible for the future of our planet and Blankids will lead by example.
“Customers are also more conscious about the sustainable practices―where products are made, the quality of the materials and how durable they are.”
When the brand first launched, the sisters spent a lot of time researching the right colour combinations and trends, even polling new mums and key opinion leaders. They then carefully selected colour palettes that they knew would be unique and an adorable combination with bubs and toddlers.
“Being ahead of the curve and setting the trend is important in this industry. As you know the personalisation marketing is saturated, so we are constantly innovating the way we print, the styles we release and evolving to ensure that we are unique.
“We will expand our core collections, introduce limited edition collaborations with wonderful established and inspiring artists, add new products to the site and launch something special for fur babies too. We can’t wait.”