Please tell us a bit about the nature of your business...
Childs Farm is an award winning British brand that uses naturally – derived ingredients and essential oils to produce mild, kind and delicious smelling toiletries that care for the skin and hair of newborns, babies and children. We are currently the UK’s number 1 sensitive toiletry brand for baby and child, so you can rest assured that your little one’s delicate skin will be well looked after.
What inspired you to start your business?
I’ve always believed that every child deserves to be happy in their skin. It’s the reason I started this range for my two daughters who both suffered with sensitive skin from a young age; I want products that are fun yet fit for purpose.
In 2011, I made our first shampoo and bubble bath before approaching a contract manufacturer to develop these further.
After trying these initial products on my own girls and friends’ children, the feedback I received was fantastic; the products not only performed beautifully and smelled fantastic, but also worked wonders on sensitive skin and safe for people who may be prone to eczema.
What was the most challenging aspect of building your business in the beginning?
The biggest challenge initially was trying to find toiletries that were suitable for my daughter Mimi, who suffered from sensitive skin and fly-away hair. But it was precisely this struggle that inspired me to start Childs Farm in the first place. Mimi had so many allergies as a baby, and she also suffered from atopic eczema. The pain she was in because of her skin was heart-breaking. I tried everything and failed. Bath time was a complete nightmare because we couldn’t use anything on her skin without causing her pain. Eventually I decided to produce my own range that would be suitable for my girls, and Childs Farm was born.
If you were to launch your business again, would you do anything differently?
Not really. I would urge entrepreneurs to savour the start-up phase: “That’s when all the challenges come, and when it’s most exciting.”
What keeps you motivated?
The positive feedback we get from parents and other adults around the world is completely overwhelming, and the difference our products make to people’s lives continues to motivate me. We receive hundreds of drawings, pictures and notes from our users and their children, which we display in the office so the team can see the amazing work they are doing. The genuine belief in what we do keeps me going!
How do you balance work and family life?
I work very long days, but I make sure I turn the laptop off as soon as the girls get home from school each day - and then I often work into the small hours once they are in bed! Mimi and Bella have also been very involved with the creation of Childs Farm, and love trying the products. They are both my biggest fans and my harshest critics!
What’s your proudest business moment?
The move towards sustainability – we’ve made great inroads in that by packaging in recyclable plastic – and the trend towards using more natural materials, which we pioneered.
What’s been your most successful form of marketing and/ or brand awareness?
The before and after cases of people who’ve transformed their skin using our products have been a revelation to us. From a small brand with no marketing budget, the wave of social media photos being shared showing people’s skin before using our products, and afterwards, have completely changed our business. In particular it was when mum Paige Sweeney shared photos of her daughter Evie-Rae’s hands before and after using the Baby Moisturiser in March 2017. The story was shared over 35,000 times on Facebook, and was picked up by UK national press before hitting the social media wires globally.
Do you have any positive habits or routines that you feel have attributed to your success?
I feel that my solutions-driven spirit and work ethic has helped me overcome challenges within the business, and also led me to create the products in the first place. I’m also extremely passionate about what I do, and have an honest and fun approach to business, which I think is important.
What's your favourite business app/ tool/ book/ podcast etc?
Our social media platforms which have allowed customers to share their stories with us.
What advice would you give to new entrepreneurs just starting out?
It’s important to believe in yourself, your products and your success. I always remind myself of the Walt Disney quote, “If you can dream it, you can do it”.
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