Be-Baby Ltd has been taking the baby product industry by storm, creating innovative multi-award-winning weaning brand ‘Tidy Tot’ which now sells its products in most of the major retailers in the UK, (Ocado, JoJo Maman Bebe, Amazon) along with exporting to 17 countries worldwide. We caught up with founder Jennifer Unsworth to talk growth.
After 7 years supporting long term unemployed and vulnerable members of society to enhance workplace skills, Jennifer decided it was time to take the plunge into self-employment and in 2015, Be-Baby was born “I loved my job, and the decision to leave to set up a business of my own was not an easy one. But having my daughter helped me find a real gap in the market for effective feeding bibs for when babies learn to self-feed, and I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to take my idea for a product further.”
The Tidy Tot brand was established to make mealtimes less stressful for parents by introducing the Tidy Tot bib and tray kit. The unique products not only close the gap between the baby and highchair to prevent food from falling onto the baby’s lap, but the large tray means food cannot be dropped on the floor.
Operating from a small home office with 4 staff, Be-Baby are aiming high by forecasting 100% growth in 2019.“This year we’re being particularly ambitious – primarily as a result of rapid growing sales in China and the Far East”
To help with the growth of the product, Be-Baby has been receiving support from Greater Manchester based Excelerate Labs programme, working with Senior Business Adviser, Mike Marsden: “We’ve had regular meetings with Mike and always left every meeting brimming with ideas and new ways to tackle problems. Members of my team have attended training at The Women’s Organisation which has been invaluable to my business”
As a born and bred proud northerner, Jennifer says the North West has helped nurture her entrepreneurial flare, telling us: “The North has more limited top employment opportunity compared to London, I think the entrepreneurial spark is better able to grow”
Be-Baby started 2019 off on a high, winning numerous awards such as Amazon’s Export Champion of the Year, being crowed small Business of the Year at the North East Cheshire Business awards and have recently been invited to join the Northern Powerhouse as one of DIT’S Export Champions in their 2019 campaign. With all these achievements under their belt, they aren’t stopping there.
“We have secured two big name partnerships that will really help support our position as a weaning brand of choice amongst new parents. We are incredibly excited that the partnerships we’ve harnessed will really help to put the Tidy Tot brand and products front of mind as parents research weaning methods and equipment, and all serve to make their weaning journey a little easier.”
And what has been Be-Baby’s key to success?
Jennifer said: “We’ve never been afraid to take risks, sometimes you have to trust yourself and give it a go. In a product-based business like ours, there are some key things that we’ve learned along the way that have really contributed to our rapid growth”
She added: “Not waiting for product to be 100% ‘perfect’ before you show it to your customer is one – there is time to refine and develop product once it’s in the hands of the consumer – they are your very best source of product development and we never stop listening to them.”
Finally, we asked Jennifer who inspires her in her professional career “Women in business are always inspiring to me. It’s a real struggle to juggle demands of family and work, and in male dominated industries like manufacturing it can be difficult to have your voice heard.”
To learn more about Be-Baby and its Tidy Tot products, you can visit their website https://tidytot.com/
If you would like to benefit from the support received under the Excelerate Labs programme, then please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.