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Meet the owner

How I started my e-commerce business...

picture of louise sala founder of ayla mai baby boutique
Kia ora,
My name is Louise, and I am owner and operator of Ayla Mai Baby Boutique. I am a stay at home mum, e-commerce business owner and a trained teacher. Needless to say, it's a busy life! 
After going on maternity leave from teaching, and surviving the first year of motherhood, I realised I had developed a love for dressing my baby in beautiful, quality clothing that was a little bit "different" to what all the other bubs were wearing. I found there was a bit of a gap in the market -either baby clothing was very cheap and not of great quality, or it was far too expensive for my (and the majority of people's) budget. I wanted to create a shop that catered for the 'middle ground'. Parents who wanted to dress their children in lovely materials and classic style, but still have it be within their budget. Above all else, I wanted to be able to package each order and check it over for quality before sending to the customer, as opposed to many businesses who dropship directly from the supplier and never actually see the product themselves. Amazing customer service was really important to me. All this coupled with the fact I have always dreamed of having my own business, was my motivation for taking the plunge and starting up Ayla Mai Baby Boutique!
It was vital to me that the quality be high and the style be classic, so people will want to hold onto the clothes for their babies, and maybe even for their grandchildren in years to come! There is so much fast fashion out there, I wanted to rebel against that by only buying in small quantities and concentrating on the pieces that I genuinely felt passionate about selling. I love the fact that because the clothing isn't mass produced, it means not everyone has them and they are unique. 
So I began the journey of sourcing from wholesalers overseas with the same values as I, and spent months and months curating and sampling a huge range of baby clothing. This was a very long process, and it took me a long time to sift through the different suppliers to find the ones I could trust who were just as passionate about the clothing and accessories as I was, and also with high standards in the way they operate.
The business was launched in Melbourne where we were living at the time, and I was so excited about how it was received! At the end of last year (2020) my family and I relocated to New Zealand, which is where we are both from. I was so excited to be moving back near family and old friends, but at the same time I was terrified of 'starting again' with the business in a new country and market. Would kiwi's like the products? Would the locals in our hometown of Invercargill support the business? Luckily I have a super supportive whanau network around me, who have been encouraging me to give it a go!
my family
Well, it took a lot of work and guts to move the business over to NZ, but I'm so glad I did! Although it has been in many ways like starting all over again, the feedback I'm getting has been amazing. The other day I was at a large group activity I take our daughter to most weeks, and there was a mum there with a baby boy who was wearing one of AMBB's knit jumpers. I almost jumped out of my skin with excitement! Moments like these keep me motivated and are the reason I do what I do.
I can promise you that I would never sell anything that I wouldn't dress my own daughter in. To this day she still rocks the looks from AMBB almost daily -although, being three she is starting to grow out of the largest sizes!
I sincerely hope you love the clothing and accessories as much as I do, and if not please let me know as I value all feedback and love hearing what is and isn't working.
Thank you so much for supporting this small business, it means the world.
Louise x