SUNSHINE COAST DAILY
Ninja Babies’ accessories are functional, colourful
Sunshine Coast Daily 16th Dec 2016 5:00 AM
Some of the Ninja Babies’ products (pic in Sunshine Coast Daily).
ALTHOUGH a teacher by profession, Kate O’Shea continues her life-long learning journey – clearly seen through her Ninja Babies range.
Kate started Ninja Babies while on leave from teaching with a couple of bangles and hand-held Ninja Chew designs for teething babies.
It was then a parent suggested that Kate source designs for a child with autism and unisex designs to cater for boys needing sensory stimulation.
Kate said she had had the opportunity to talk directly with her customers at Caloundra Street Fair.
While customers are able to buy her products online, it is the markets where she gets the wonderful feedback that drives Ninja Babies and she loves talking to people to see what they choose, why they choose it and how they are going to use it.
“Judging by the feedback I get from the wide range of customers I get, I’d definitely say that anxiety and stress are growing issues in our modern society,” she said.
“While my biggest growing customer base is school students needing sensory stimulation, one of the other main reasons for purchasing some of my designer sensory jewellery is for anxiety reduction/management.
“Being a teacher has given me the inside access to the educational benefits of using Ninja Babies’ products and I always recommend to my customers to talk with their teachers and call the jewellery an ‘educational aid’ that will help their child self-regulate, concentrate and participate in class.
“I know when I was teaching, I would have given my eye teeth for my students to be easily calmed.”
Through Ninja Babies, Kate has specifically created a wide range of unisex designs to cater for all ages.
There are so many uses for each product and it really just depends on the individual customer.
The pendants are popular with students as they can be discrete and fit under uniforms, yet they are also chosen by men and women.
All the designs have different colours, shapes, textures and finishes (matte or gloss) which appeal to different people.
Kate said customers used the designs as fashion accessories – matching an outfit, adding a pop of colour to a uniform and to accessorise their swimwear when going swimming or to the beach.
“Office workers like the bangles as they are soft and don’t clang on desks, annoying their colleagues,” she said.
“The bangles are also great to squeeze like a stress ball while at work, home and school.
“The pencil toppers are perfect for school, university, home and work – rest assured you only chew on your own pen.
“It truly depends on what you want, what you need and how you are going to use them.
“All these aspects will help you decide which design you purchase because not only are the designs and colours stylish, they have a dual use to reduce stress and anxiety.”
The reasons why customers choose different colours and designs continue to fascinate Kate including: a retiree from a small town who struggled with anxiety in crowds so bought a sky-blue Munkee Maijik to wear as a necklace and fidget with; or tween boys buying smoky black Zeppelin necklaces to feel the beads bump as they roll them between their hands; or even men and women buying something to help them with the anxiety of quitting smoking.
“My fashion-conscious customers are really fun and we get to talk about the gorgeous bright colours and the events they are going to wear them to,” Kate said.
“However, it really is the customers with special needs or those requiring sensory stimulation for a range of reasons that get me pumped.
“These customers are always so appreciative and genuinely thankful for being able to purchase such a practical and useful resource that is also stylish (instead of looking like a ‘resource’).
“Customers always leave with a smile and generally walk out using their design straight away.
“It’s great to watch customers take ownership of their choice and truly love their choice in the end.”