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Big things begin with baby steps

Big things begin with baby steps

Dynamic entrepreneur Kathryn Wilson is New Zealand’s premier footwear designer and has won a string of awards, including the ANZ Young Business Person of the Year 2015 and Sir Peter Blake Trust Leadership Award 2014. Now, Wilson wants to help save babies lives by providing funding for Sir Ray Avery’s LifePod Incubators.

For every pair of ‘Baby Wilson’s’ – her latest line of footwear created for babies aged six to 18 months – sold in-store or on-line, Wilson will donate $10.00 to Medicine Mondiale, to support their life-saving work building LifePod Incubators.

Sir Ray Avery said that he was “blown away by Kathryn Wilson’s generous offer.” He said that New Zealanders were incredibly giving and wore their hearts on their sleeves when it came to helping others, particularly young people. Avery says Kathryn’s $10 donations represent “little feet helping keep little hearts beating”.

Wilson has been a long-time admirer of Sir Ray’s work, deciding to support his LifePod Incubators initiative after recently becoming a mother. Recognising that not all babies are born equal and wanting to do something tangible to make a difference, Wilson said, “when it comes to quality medical care I am so fortunate to have been born in New Zealand and know that my lovely daughter Lola has access to the best care possible. For too many babies in the developing world this is simply not the case.”

Medicine Mondiale has committed to building affordable LifePod Incubators – around $2,000 per unit – for developing countries. Modern incubators need purified water and a continuous power supply to run properly, both of which are often unavailable in growing countries. Sir Ray Avery’s LifePod Incubators were designed to overcome these odds, with a built-in water purifier and back-up battery, made at a fraction of the $45,000 cost of their modern counterparts.

Medicine Mondiale plans to start producing and rolling out the first wave of their affordable LifePod Incubators in January 2016. Focusing on countries who need them most, they will start by supplying the Pacific region, including Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Samoa, Fiji, Tuvalu and Tonga. From there, they have their sights set on India and Nepal.

Finding simple, low-cost solutions to problems and taking ‘baby steps’ in that direction is how Avery has always done business. This is hugely appealing to Kathryn Wilson who, over the past decade has built a major fashion brand. In 2011, Wilson launched a more affordable line, titled 'Miss Wilson' with an accessible price point and more varied style options.

With the success of her Kathryn Wilson and Miss Wilson collections, and new line of children’s and babies footwear, the time was right for Wilson to look to the next generation. The unisex styles of her ‘Baby Wilsons’ have been hand-made in supple calf leather in shades of cream, ink and black, with polka dot accents. A lace-up bootie named the ‘Lola’ was the first style to be released in February 2015.


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