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Meet Lisa Balakas the Creative Director of Ripe Maternity

Posted on 1/08/2013 in

Why were you inspired you to begin Ripe? 

Personal experience. Typical story……pregnant and nothing on offer that appealed to me.
I was at uni studying Interior Design during my first pregnancy and I was so shocked at what was on offer in the market. I had another 2 children over the following 5 years and nothing changed. I experienced the gap in the market first hand. Kate and I had worked together in pubs during our uni days and we kept in touch. I chatted to her about my idea and she was keen to get involved. Neither of us had industry background. But that did not faze us, we just looked at it logically, planned, committed to the challenge and got to work. 

Describe a typical weekday

Up at 5.15 most days for a training session. 
I then do my fresh food shop at 7am so I don’t have to do it when it is busy and I am rushing home.  
My work day is pretty hectic. I have set meeting times in the week so I can catch up with everyone, however different issues arise during the day that need immediate attention…so it's predictable that my day will usually be a little unpredictable. I work with an awesome team of people, they are so motivated and talented. I am lucky that I look forward to weekdays and being in the office. 

What have you had the most fun doing at Ripe?

Collaborating with my business partner Kate and the team and feeling the momentum of positivity. 
Growing the business from nothing and being rewarded with little wins along the way for the work we were putting in in the earlier years was great. It was a positive cycle that drove momentum.

I am excited by what I believe we can create as a team at Ripe. I love the collaboration of building something together with others and achieving. I love that the people in the team are not in my eyes ‘replaceable’ they are an integral part of the mechanics, it fuels my belief that we are in good hands because everyone works from their heart. 

I like to be a part of something healthy and good. PANDA (the Post and Antenatal Depression Association) is very important to me and a representation of our culture. In my view it is negligent of us to paint the picture of pregnancy as all happy days. Life is not like that, and I would like to think we are ‘real’ and caring enough to give what we can to support the women who are our customers. In my mind, our support of PANDA is not negotiable. It’s the least we can do. www.panda.org.au 

Who is the ‘Ripe Maternity woman’?

She is your contemporary pregnant woman or nursing mum who is active, intelligent and aspirational in her life for herself and her child. 

What’s the best shopping advice you can give to new mums?

Buy some base pieces early on. The amount of women we see in the stores buying when they have only 6 weeks to go (because they just want something comfortable) is amazing. Had they bought earlier they would have been more comfortable and had great wear out of the items. 
The catch phrase is “But I am only going to wear it for 6 months”. The girls in the office wear the product daily and they are not pregnant so its life is a lot longer than that.  But the truth is women buy things every season they only wear 6 months. We just don’t like to admit it….

Shop for Ripe Maternity clothing here.


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