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“Just trying to do the best we can”: Beginning Boutique founder starts medical supply site

Last Saturday, Beginning Boutique founder Sarah Timmerman was inspired by her sister in the medical field to launch a personal protection equipment site for consumers.

Four days later, Timmerman and her team’s new online business, AuMedicSupply went live.

“Basically my sister is a junior doctor and working in a clinic where she’s highly exposed and for the last few months, she’s been telling me about how screwed up it is that there’s not enough medical equipment for doctors,” Timerman told Internet Retailing.

“The whole aim is to keep [the products] as cheap as possible and get them in the hands of everyone. The better I can stop transmission in the community, the better I can protect my sister. We’re just trying to do the best we can. I can’t even believe this is happening.”

It’s been well-reported that there is currently a shortage of face masks and other protective supplies around Australia at the moment, leaving the general public as well as medical professionals in danger of being exposed to the virus. Timmerman described the Government’s response as “inadequate”. 

“They’re importing 30 million masks in two weeks, but what good will it do if you have to change it every four hours? They’re not testing enough, either. If you want to control this and get an excellent outcome for society, you need to test it. I understand there are limitations on testing equipment, but people are being turned away. It’s not travellers, it’s the community – if they’re not tested, they can’t self-isolate and they’re only testing under strict guidelines.” 

AuMedicSupply’s products are FDA- and CE-approved and available for fast local and international shipping. Products included face masks for both medical staff and the general public, hand sanitiser and gloves. 

Personal protection equipment may be a world away from the glamorous world of fashion, but it was because of Timmerman’s experience at Beginning Boutique that she was able to successfully launch her new site in just a few short days.

“[At Beginning Boutique], I definitely learnt how to procure product and I have the right people in place around that. Fifty per cent of the game is that – having the right suppliers,” she noted. 

“I guess we just know how to do retail – we know how to get people’s stuff to them on time and we know how important it is to communicate well. We’re not a dodgy retailer that sees an opportunity to make a buck. We know how important consumer experience is.”

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