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The AnneeMatthew Story – How we got started (Part 1)

We have been around for a very long time, when most of the new mommies are still in school (made me feel like… ancient!)

This is the story of how we got started… Be sure to leave us a comment if you have any questions/feedback 🙂

Long time ago…..

It was year 2000 and I was 100% breastfeeding my daughter, Rayann. My main intention to breastfeed fully was to save money! I knew how expensive formula milk was because I have an older boy, Ryan. I reckoned I must have spent thousands of dollars on formula for Ryan!

The other reason was because of a genetic condition. Allergic rhinitis is a condition whereby you will get clear runny mucus trickling down your nose on most mornings. I have this and so does Ryan. Normally this condition is mistaken as the common cold. It’s not. People who suffers from allergic rhinitis also suffer from eczema. Ryan and I have both.

For adults, the problem is manageable. But how do you tell a baby to blow his nose or, cough out the mucus? You can’t. We tried using those things that promised could suck out the mucus, but in the end, the best thing we ever used was our own mouth! Yes. Suck it out and spit it out! I know, it’s yucky but it works!!

The worst part about allergic rhinitis is that Ryan would vomit all the time, especially if he coughed on a full stomach. I was cleaning vomits almost on a daily basis and it drove me nuts! His vomits were EXPLOSIVES! He would vomit on his bed, our bed, the stroller, the sofa, the floor, the cat, other people….. anyway, you get the picture!

Rayann’s paediatrician told me to breastfeed her for as long as possible to help build her immune system, because allergy rhinitis gets better with age or, with a stronger immune system. Oh…. I can tell you now, it doesn’t get better with age! Ryan is still suffering from it 20 years later (but thank God the vomits stopped long ago!)

Hence, my breastfeeding journey started. It lasted for 2 years with Rayann. It was also how AnneeMatthew got started…

I didn’t have any proper clothes to wear! I mean, we are talking about 20 years ago! Seriously NOTHING proper to wear. My husband insisted that I ONLY breastfeed at home, or in the car. That made my trips to the malls so inconvenient. 20 years ago, there weren’t any nursing rooms in the malls either. And public breastfeeding was totally frowned upon! There were some breastfeeding outfits available in the stores (but all are imported, expensive and ugly). Hence, another reason that prompted me to design my own clothes.

I wanted to breastfeed anywhere in public but having lack of proper breastfeeding clothes then made my breastfeeding journey so…. unglamorous! Before I designed my own, I was only stuck at home. With proper discreet clothing, I could breastfeed in public. I was so happy!!

The breastfeeding in public movement just got started back then. Moms were demanding that they were allowed to freely breastfeed in public but, being an Asian country, we needed to do it discreetly. But it was a good movement to educate the public on breastfeeding. It also helped the business to take off.

Here’s me breastfeeding in the cafe for the first time ever in one of our earlier designs!

My sister in law was a tailor. I asked her if she could sew me a top that allowed me to breastfeed easily. I drew some sketches and she agreed to sew my first ever design! She also sew a matching baby dress for Rayann! I was so excited to wear it! We got so many compliments from friends and mothers in our playgroup that some asked if they could order the same!! Very soon, we were producing and retailing to close friends.

And hey, suddenly a business is born 🙂

Here’s us looking at each other so lovingly in our first twinning set!

Be sure to read the second part of our story in the next blog!

Love,

Annie

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