Many a pioneering product has emerged from the mind of a busy juggling parent, always on the lookout for ways to make life with their little ones easier. So ever wondered what it takes to be a successful parent entrepreneur? In 2013 two Edinburgh mums, Julie Wilson and Amy Livingstone, founded Cheeky Chompers, selling over 400k of their pioneering teething bibs and comforters in their first 2.5 years. Here Julie and Amy take a few minutes to tell us about their journey…
We met at an antenatal class in Edinburgh when we were expecting our first babies and we hit it off straight away. We were happily enjoying our maternity leave but slightly frustrated that babies would drop their teethers regularly in the nearest dirt or lose them completely! Coupled with the fact they were dribbling and chewing on anything they could get their hands on. So we thought ‘why not create a teether that was attached to our babies. Clearly we had found a gap in the market and so the innovative Neckerchew was born.
The Neckerchew is a world first, combining the popular dribble bib concept with an attached chewy teether to sooth painful young gums. A great time saving solution for busy parents like us, and thanks to the teether being attached to our three layer absorbent bibs, the days of constantly retrieving and re-sanitising dropped teethers from cafe floors or the back seat of cars were banished forever. We soon expanded our range to include the Comfortchew; a teether and comforter which attaches to a car seat, pushchair, baby’s wrist or a dummy.
Being interviewed by Simon Mayo on Radio 2 was a pretty high moment for us. We also appeared on the BBC Dragon’s Den in March 2014 and we had some great endorsements from the dragons who loved the product. They didn’t believe our projections so we did not secure their investment, but luckily for us Cheeky Chompers since exceeded all those projections and the exposure from the show was phenomenal for us worldwide.
The day after the Dragon’s Den show was aired we had a call from Tom Joules to say how much he loved our concept. When we founded Cheeky Chompers our aim was to provide stylish and quality solutions that fashion conscious parents would love, so a partnership with an iconic British brand like Joules, with family values to match ours, made perfect sense. We met with Joules’ talented babywear team to explore how we could work together, and by October 2014, our beautiful collaborative range was launched, intergrating unique Joules prints into our teether bib design and the Comfortchew.
Joules founder Tom Joule
Cheeky Chompers proudly manufactures the Neckerchew and Comfortchew in the UK and we have now created over 20 jobs. Just in time for Christmas, we’re expanding our range with two exciting new products and four new stylish designs in collaboration with Joules, shhhh!