Angelique Woodburn is a busy mum of three primary school aged children from Melbourne who has always had a passion for all things kids. Before having children Angelique was a primary school teacher, specialising in the junior years of school. After leaving teaching in 2011 to have her first daughter, she started a Melbourne made clothing label called Howi. As her children grew and began the toilet training phase of life, Angelique had first hand experience of having to strip the beds in the middle of the night when there was an accident. As a sleep deprived mum she knew there must be a better solution, and so The Midnight Gang was born.
Angelique developed a product called ‘Bed Mates’, which are waterproof sheet protectors. They go on top of the fitted sheet so when there is an accident, you simply whip them off and the sheets stay perfectly dry allowing mum or dad and the child to get back to sleep with very minimal disruption. The health and safety of children was a number one priority so the Bed Mates are made plastic free, non toxic and free from any nasties. Having experienced bed wetting til the age of 9 herself, Angelique was passionate about making sure kids loved having the Bed Mates on their beds and so she created the most stunning and colourful prints to make the Bed Mates look more like a beautiful piece of bed linen. The Midnight Gang now has a large and loyal following and has been endorsed and loved by celebrities and influencers across Australia.
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Table of Contents
Thank you for joining us, please introduce yourself to our readers.
Angelique Woodburn: My name is Angelique Woodburn and I am Melbourne mum of 3 young kids. I am also the founder and owner of The Midnight Gang. We make on trend waterproof sheet protectors called Bed Mates that eliminate the need to strip the entire bed when there is an accident in the middle of the night.
They go on top of the fitted sheet so when it gets wet you simply whip off the Bed Mate and all the sheets stay perfectly dry. So essentially we save mums and dads time, stress and extra washing and we give them back more sleep! What sets our Bed Mates aside is the stunning artwork that we have printed on our sheet protectors. We make them look like a stylish piece of bed linen as opposed to a bed wetting product.
Can you tell our readers in what ways you are disrupting your industry?
Angelique Woodburn: Before I started The Midnight Gang, the only waterproof sheet protectors I had come across were disposable ones that hospitals use or plain white very clinical looking sheets. They were quite thick and rough to sleep on and there just weren’t any other options available.
Did you become a disruptor by choice or by necessity? Tell us more about the journey.
Angelique Woodburn: I think a bit of both. I started The Midnight Gang because there was certainly a necessity for a product like ours but I also had a very clear vision that I was going to stand out in our field and do something that hadn’t been done before. My daughter was 5 at the time and I remember having a sheet protector on her bed. It was plain white and really stiff. She hated having it on her bed as it covered her pretty fitted sheet she loved so much and it made her self conscious as it was very clinical looking.
I was looking at all her beautiful bed linen thinking ‘I wonder if I could create a product that looked just as beautiful as all her other bed linen, but has the use and benefits of a waterproof sheet protector?’. And so my journey began! I was so excited to create a product that took away the shame and embarrassment that some kids experience with bed wetting and also to create a product that the style savvy parent would love to feature in their children’s room.
Now for the main focus of this interview: Many readers may wonder what are the biggest challenges women entrepreneurs must overcome to be successful?
Angelique Woodburn: It sounds so cliche and obvious but one of the biggest challenges for many women is juggling the work/life balance. Having children adds a whole new dynamic and it can be difficult to take off your mum hat and replace it with your entrepreneur hat. I think most women would agree that instead of taking hats off and replacing them with other hats, we just continue to pile the hats on and wear multiple at a time! I think sometimes the biggest challenge can be ourselves and our mindset.
How did you overcome these obstacles? Who helped you during these difficult times and how did they?
Angelique Woodburn: By having very clear boundaries, structures and routines. As a family we created a family schedule that plans out the entire week, day by day. We know who is cooking dinner and what the meal is, who is going to gym/extra curricula activities and when, and even further than that the details of my days are planned down to the hour.
I know what time I will be eating lunch, what time I will be checking my emails and what the tasks are for that day. Some people may read this and think how restricting this must be but it is completely the opposite. Having such clear structure in our lives brings such freedom. Instead of wasting our time trying to work out what we’ll have for dinner, or trying to check my emails while the kids are nagging me, or trying to complete tasks sitting on my laptop at all hours of the night I have dedicated times for these things.
It frees up so much space in my brain to allow for creative thinking time and also allows me to only need to wear one hat at a time! My husband has definitely been the driver of this. While I completely support this idea and method, my creative mind means I can start to get distracted so having his support to keep me on task has been invaluable!
How did these lessons shaped the way you conduct business today?
Angelique Woodburn: I now know that planning and structure is key. I have spent most of my life ‘winging it’ or flying by the seat of my pants however to be successful in business this way of working will not be sustainable long term. I am very structured and considered in my routines and my time management skills have improved due to having a clear routine to follow. I am also much more efficient in my daily tasks as I am clear about what needs to be done and in what time frame.
What advice you wished you had received when you started, that you’d like to share now with aspiring women entrepreneurs?
Angelique Woodburn: Identify your strengths and weaknesses in business and find someone who is strong in your weaknesses to support you. I did a business personality profile test recently and it highlighted that I am a creative personality. Most entrepreneurs are. While I knew this about myself it went deeper into personality traits and made very clear my strengths and weaknesses.
I was able to identify that I love networking and being social, I have big ideas and dreams but don’t get as motivated by the smaller details, I have a very clear vision about my brand and products and know exactly how I want them to look however when it comes to numbers and figures, no thanks! So I knew I needed to find someone whose strengths were in the details, the numbers and figures, the behind the scenes stuff to compliment my strengths.
Out of all of your proudest moments as an entrepreneur, is there a particular one that stands out the most?
Angelique Woodburn: The wonderful thing about being an entrepreneur and business owner is there are many opportunities to get excited and feel proud but one moment that really stands out to me was when my I made the decision to have my products sent to a 3PL (3rd party logistics company). Before then I was packing all our orders out of our garage. Each time a new shipment would come in my husband had to build more and more shelves. I would have to physically lift the boxes off the back of the truck and carry them into our house.
When a new shipment arrived our lounge room and driveway would be filled with boxes for weeks while we tried to sort them out. My days were filled with packing orders in between looking after the kids. So at the beginning of 2021 I made the decision to use a 3PL. All my shipments now go directly to them and they pack all my orders. It has been an absolute game changer and such a proud moment for me to see my business go from a small garage based business to a large warehouse with all the potential in the world.
What do you plan on tackling during the 2022 year? Share your goals and battles you expect to face.
Angelique Woodburn: My youngest started school this year so for me, 2022 is going to be my year! I am planning on taking The Midnight Gang up a notch and giving it the love and attention it deserves. My goal is to continue to grow the business and to see our products in more bricks and mortar stores. I’ve been so focussed on our online presence that it would be wonderful for customers to be able to see and touch our products in person. I expect to face supplier delays and possible price hikes due to the past 2 years and with our rapid growth, I also expect to see more and more brands creating similar products!
I’m sure our readers will be very thankful for the insights you have shared. What is the best book you’ve gone through lately and please share some take away lessons from it.
Angelique Woodburn: Reading books relevant to your industry/business is invaluable and I highly recommend you read as much as you can. The best book I have read recently that relates to anyone in business was called, ‘They ask, you answer’ by Marcus Sheridan. It completely changed the way I thought about how I do business and completely flipped my current thinking about marketing strategies. As Marcus says, ‘stop selling, and start answering. Be seen as an authority, not just another advertisement’.
Thank you so much for your time but before we finish things off, I do have one more question for you. When was the last time you did something for the first time and what was it?
Angelique Woodburn: Over summer my family and I went camping near Bright with about 12 other families. We all went to a nearby watering hole where all the kids were jumping off a little cliff that was about 5 metres high (I can assure you it seemed higher!) It hadn’t even crossed my mind as we were all standing on the bank watching the kids, but someone said to me ‘will you jump?”. So I thought, why not!! I climbed up, took a deep breath and jumped…..I may or may not have screamed all the way down, but the point is I did it!
Jerome Knyszewski, VIP Contributor to ValiantCEO and the host of this interview would like to thank Angelique Woodburn for taking the time to do this interview and share her knowledge and experience with our readers.
If you would like to get in touch with Angelique Woodburn or her company, you can do it through her – Instagram
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