Rach Waia is a wife, mum of two (Melakai and Huxley) and the Co Founder and Director of Tiny Hearts Paediatric First Aid and Hero HQ. She is one busy lady with a beautiful family and successful business.We were lucky enough to ask her a few questions to see what keeps her going and if there is a secret to her success.
Tell us a little bit about yourself, your family and your business background? Hey I’m Rach – Wife, Mumma and Girl Boss! I’m an 85’ model, so the big thirty this year (sigh!). Craig, my better half, works a FIFO roster out of Western Australia and we are lucky enough to be blessed with two healthy, creative, very smiley and hilarious boys. Melakai who is 5 years old and our baby Huxley who 8 months old. Us Waia’s love spending time at the drive-in eating loads of popcorn, at any one time in the pantry there are at least 10 packets of microwave popcorn ready to go! Our family also loves to travel, we recently went to Hawaii with Nikki (co-founder and CEO of Tiny Hearts and Hero HQ) and her husband for business, and Melakai said he wanted to work at the resort when he is older! Both boys are frequent travellers with both flying at just 8 days old, and are very much looking forward to spending four weeks over Christmas in America and Huxley’s first birthday at Disneyland. Nikki and I don’t have any business background but have always had an entrepreneurial mindset, with business ideas flowing since we were six and eight. As adults we had formed careers in Paramedicine (Nikki) and Education (Rach), yet we were always investigating business avenues to pursue. The lightbulb moment came through a text message from Nikki when she was on shift with Ambulance Victoria and I was in the classroom saying “ I have a business idea… call me when you can”. Of course I excused myself straight away to call her and she said “ lets start a first aid training company” to which I responded “okay!”. Five months later I uprooted my then one year old and my North Queenslander born and bred husband back to my home Melbourne to bring the dream to life. Our first two years of business was spent preparing for our initial audit to become a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) – a system with thousands of documentation, policy writing and student protection procedures… not just as easy as getting an ABN which we once thought! Originally we were just going to specialise in workplace first aid, but three months into being an RTO we saw a HUGE gap in the market for paediatric first aid that actually teaches the appropriate guidelines. We wanted to empower parents with the vital knowledge and skills to act in an emergency – after all there is nothing more important than your child life! As a mother myself I knew there was no accurate information on first aid specifically for infants & children but an abundance of information on prams, bottles, wraps and breathing monitors… but what if the monitor went off? What if the baby choked on the milk in the bottle? Nikki and I sat down on a planning day and wrote the Tiny Hearts course in just a few hours which since has developed into a 3.4 hour course covering all the relevant topics that a parent, caregiver or grandparent might face in an emergency.
We just love your boy’s names – Melakai and Huxley. How did you come up with them? Good Question! ….and I wish I had a great story for you, but I actually have no idea where we got them from. We are not planning any more kids in the future, purely based on the fact I don’t know if we will stumble upon another awesome name ☺
Congratulations on the success of Tiny Hearts First Aid. We think it’s a wonderful business and something that all new parents should do. What made you start Tiny Hearts? Well thank you! We have worked really hard to get to where we are, although, Rome wasn’t built in a day! We are really proud to be the only paediatric first aid training company in Australia that is its own Registered Training organisation. We strongly believe in education and having access to accurate information. When I became a Mum I wanted to know clearly and accurately how to feed, wrap and sleep my baby, and for that information I went the leaders in their fields. I didn’t feel trusting of any old book or company, so I researched to find the best of the best in the in the field. This is exactly why Tiny Hearts is the leader in the industry, we provide the most accurate and up to date guidelines available and deliver our information to parents by advance life support paramedics and paediatric nurses from the leading hospitals.
We’re sure you have had many success stories with Tiny Hearts First Aid. What has been the highlight to date? It’s funny you ask that… Nikki and I have just begun a progression & depression tracker to record all the highs & lows of our journey. With now managing almost 30 staff it is quite easy to forget your key milestones, so popping the good things into the progression tracker and the not so good things into the depression tracker is a great way to map out where we have come from, and where we are heading. A huge highlight for us is the growth of our amazing team. We are lucky to have attracted such passionate, driven and crazy women to our team. In our four years of operation Nikki and I both got married and were each others maid of honour, built several houses, welcomed babies (both fur and human!) and became more like twins rather than just sisters. We compliment each other so well it drives our husbands crazy! ☺ Our celebrity endorsements have also been a huge highlight and have helped our business become a household name for new and expecting parents. One of the best days was when Queen B herself accepted one of paediatric first aid kits. Nikki took out the title of the NAB Emerging Entrepreneur of the year this year which was a HUGE proud sister moment. I was felt like the paparazzi snapping photos flat out and was bragging to everyone about her.
How do you manage your time with your two little boys and your business? It was only a few months ago that I had the realization that I actually can’t be fantastic at everything… I know right, I admitted it! ☺ I felt like I was not good enough at being a mum and a ‘girlboss’ at the same time – let alone a good wife. It felt as though was always rushing around and not getting anywhere nor any quality time with the boys. While trying to be a picture perfect mum – ensuring that the boys had been fed and bathed, washing was done and their beds were made was when I realised WOW I need help! So I bought in the big guns – my Mum has started helping me a day per week and on the other days I have Bridget… I cant live without either of them. I am able to give my business everything it needs and when I get home I can have as much time with my boys as I can get until bed time. It works perfect. For months I felt like I had to be good at both 100% of the time but sometimes you just need a little help ☺
What is the best part about running your own business? ‘Uniform’ shopping is a definite bonus *haha*. “Oh I need that shirt… its uniform” Nikki and I always joke about it. But really, the best thing about having a business is knowing that you are helping your staff reach their personal goals. Everyone in our company has a wishlist, and when they do something out of the world they get to pick something off their wishlist. Some of the wishes on there are crazy like holidays and designer bags, but I have no doubt that i’ll be walking into Gucci and buying one of my girls their first designer bag for smashing their work goals. I love how we all motivate each other ever day.
On the flip side, what is the best part about being a mum? What’s the bad part? Even when they drive you to insanity, it tests you and teaches you to be a negotiator or better lover. I have never felt love like what I have for my boys. It’s a feeling I can’t even describe… I feel whole.
You must be so busy. How do you relax and unwind? Double Vodka & Redbulls… I wish I was kidding! I love to dance spesh that bump & grind – self taught mind you * haha*. But really, there is actually no better feeling in this world then crying from laughter. I get that all the time with the girls in the office and with my girlfriends. Nikki & I literally tell people how funny we (are our husbands disagree) but we make each other laugh so much.
What is one tip that you would give working mums or mums just starting up a new business? Keep hustling! You’ve got this! What you do for you family, you must do for your business because it will benefit your family in the long run.
Thank you so much for answering our questions. Best of luck with Tiny Hearts, we think you are doing a fantastic job. If you would like to become a proactive parent check out http://www.tinyheartsfirstaid.com/ or follow @tinyheartsfirstaid on Instagram.