Helen Davies, founder of EasyTots needed help to secure funding to take her product to the international stage. Since approaching The Women’s Organisation, Helen has secured £80k in funding and taken her product worldwide, from Europe to South Korea, Australia and beyond.
We caught up with Helen to find out how business is going and what’s in store for 2019…
Anyone who has experienced feeding time with a little one will know that it can be a messy business. This is where EasyTots’ unique range of baby feeding products come in.
Designed to make it easier for babies to feed independently throughout the weaning process (that’s the transition from milk to solid foods), the EasyMat has quickly become a must-have in the baby feeding world.
Helen’s flagship product, the EasyMat is the world’s first compact and foldable suction plate. It’s designed to make the weaning process easier for little ones aged between 3 months to three years. The placemat encourages exploration and independence at meal times, helping to foster a lifelong love of food.
Since launching her first product in March 2016, Easy Tots now carries 21 products in its range with even more in the pipeline for the New Year.
Helen explains that the aim is to carry a full range of weaning-led dinner ware products, adding to the current range of placemats, spoons, cutlery and bibs. All EasyTots products are designed to be complimentary to create a complete dining set, with a range of colours available.
As a proud mum to two girls, Helen first developed the idea of a range of products dedicated to the weaning journey whilst on maternity leave with her youngest daughter.
Helen tells us how meal times often ended up with more food on the floor than on the plate. After discovering this was a common problem for parents, she decided to see what products were on the market but couldn’t find the right solution for her family.
She explains that developers in America had made some headway, but there was still a major gap in the UK market. And so, the EasyMat was born.
Keen to develop the idea, Helen went on an e-commerce course where she learned about the practicalities of selling using online platforms such as Amazon.
After 12 years building up a commercial window cleaning business as Managing Director, Helen decided it was time to pursue EasyTots and dedicate herself to growing the product.
She says: “I just had a gut feeling that I needed to run with it and work to make the product reach its full potential.”
She sold the commercial cleaning business and launched herself into EasyTots full time.
After a whirlwind start to the business, quickly building momentum on social media, EasyTots soon entered an exciting stage of business growth. Helen was referred to The Women’s Organisation where she received support under the New Markets 2 programme.
In order to secure the funding needed to take the business to the next level, Helen needed a watertight cash flow forecast for the next two years.
Working with business advisor Claire Pedersen, Helen received “fantastic support” over a number of sessions to put the forecast together. This enabled Helen to secure £80k in funding from Merseyside Special Investment Fund (MSIF) to fund the growth of her business into international trade.
What started in St Helens, is now a worldwide product. EasyTots is exporting across Europe, with a large customer base in South Korea and now Australia and New Zealand.
International success is not without its challenges, though. Helen explains that managing shipping and cash flow require tight management, alongside striking the balance in exporting in the B2B market, whilst continuing sales directly to consumers.
At the tender age of two, the business has seen a lot of traction. This year alone, Helen is celebrating two prestigious award wins. Winning Retail Business of the Year at the MIB awards just last week, Helen also picked up a WeAreTheCity Top 100 Rising Stars Award earlier this year.
It’s certainly been an exciting couple of years for Helen and we’re sure we’re going to be seeing a lot more of EasyTots over the next few years. With ongoing talks taking place with some big names, watch this space…
If you would like to find out more about EasyTots you can visit: https://easytots.com/
Helen received growth support through our New Markets 2 Programme, which is aimed at women who are running a business focussing on business to business activity in the Liverpool City Region (Liverpool, Sefton, Wirral, St Helens, Knowsley and Halton) and who are ready to take their business to the next level, either by expanding their team or significantly increasing turnover.