A business to keep dreams safe
Inspired by a frightening experience with her own little boy Ali, Louise Guinda was determined to create a safe product to give piece of mind to parents.
by Louise-Anne Geddes, Mindful Mum, 12 September 2011
Louise’s idea for the Cot Wrap resulted from a particularly harrowing experience with her newborn son Ali.
Louise explains, “He used to love to sleep with his face pressed into his cot bumper and I thought nothing of it as I thought surely if bumpers were unsafe then they wouldn’t be on sale. One day I got out of the shower and found Ali blue in the face and really struggling to breathe as his face was completely submerged in the bumper.
I stopped using it right away but after that Ali would constantly get his arms and legs stuck through the bars and lose his dummy through the gaps. I couldn’t find any solution to this problem and 18 months later I finally launched the Cot Wrap.”
The Cot Wrap is breathable which means even if a baby puts their face into it, they can breathe through it. It has no dangerous ties and keeps all four sides of the cot covered, keeping arms, legs and dummies inside.
As a busy single mum, Louise has continued to balance having a baby with launching a hugely successful business thanks to the help and support of those closest to her.
“Running a business as a mum, especially a single mum, is very difficult but there are good points too such as the flexibility of being able to go to daytime appointments without taking time off work. Ali has gradually spent more time at nursery as the business has taken off and now goes four days a week. I also have a very good friends and family who will look after him overnight when I have to go away for trade shows etc and I have a very reliable babysitter that I use when no friends or family are available. My tip is to build up a good support network.”.
Before becoming a Mum and launching her product, Louise had a career in chartered accountancy – a job she didn’t particularly enjoy! Safe Dreams has given her the motivation to make sure she never goes back.
“I couldn’t stand the thought of going back to work and putting my son in a nursery for five days a week whilst doing a job that I didn’t enjoy. This is what gave me the push. In fact, whenever I am feeling lazy and unmotivated, the thought of having to go back to accountancy gives me the kick that I need!
Getting the funding for the business wasn’t easy and I had no experience of manufacturing which held me back in the early days. However, I was very persistent and eventually things fell into place.”.
Being a working Mum
Balancing work with being a full time Mum, Louise tells Mindful Mum what she would advise herself to do if she could go back to the time before she had her first child!
She says, “I would advise myself to take lots of holidays, go out every night and do all of the things which you cannot do when you have a child to care for! Although, to be honest, my life has actually changed for the better since having a child so I really don’t miss those things that much!”.
It isn’t always easy to be a working Mum, and Louise admits that despite her support network, “there was one point last year when I was forced to take a break before I burned out completely”.
Turning dreams into reality
Having been a success with her own business, Louise offers some advice for Mums who have excellent business ideas but don’t know how to go about making them a reality.
“My advice would be to network with others who have successfully launched products. Most people are very happy to be approached and share their experiences. I was very shy about doing this when I started but most people love to talk about their businesses. Also, a lot can be gained in business from collaborating with others, and those that you help now may be someone who could help you in the future”.
“Believe in yourself and never think that others know better than you. You will hear lots of people’s advice and opinions on your product/business and it is important to consider this but at the end of the day you have to trust your own instincts”.
Since launching in November 2010, the Cot Wrap has going from strength to strength and is now stocked by retailers such as Amazon and Firebox and exported throughout Europe.
Find out more at www.safedreams.co.uk