Like so many of us, my life is all about trying to find the right balance between being a good Mum and still having a life of my own. Travel has always played a big role in my life and continues to be now that I have young children. With family in Denmark (my mother was Danish) and my husband’s family in the US; being able to travel without feeling that my children are suffering as a result is really important to me. As a family we also love to camp and stay with friends and wanted to continue doing these things while the children were small.
The Cot Canopy story
When Andrea Anna was born I worked hard to establish a good sleep routine and darkness was key to her sleeping well. Away from home I found maintaining her sleep patterns difficult and she became overtired and grouchy (as did we!). Darkness helped to protect her sleep routine but made it hard for others to use the room when she was asleep. On holiday sometimes we couldn’t leave our room in the evening because we couldn’t find a babysitter prepared to sit in the dark with her.
I spoke to other mothers and it appeared to be a universal issue. Some were even saying that staying away from home for the night was too much like hard work and so they weren’t bothering. And I spoke to nursery owners, who talked about how difficult they found it to maintain a child’s sleep pattern when the lights were full on to suit other children in the room.
After searching for a product out there that would solve this problem and being unable to find one, I decided to develop the Cot Canopy and in 2007 gave up my job as an advertising lawyer to concentrate on bringing it to market. It launched in May 2009, which was really exciting and by then the next two products were well on the way too.
The ProtectiShade story
ProtectiShade® came about when I realised there was no really good way to shade babies and children in the car – as soon as they are old enough pulling the window shades off the window becomes a great game, but even before that the sun always seemed to be coming in at the wrong angle so the shades didn’t work in any case. Once the idea for the car seat sunshade was coming together, I worked on adapting it to fit all car seats (from infant to high backed booster) and strollers and pushchairs too – so there’s just one shade to take with you when you’re out and about!
The TrayKit story
My third product – TrayKit® – I came up with after too many flights jumping up and down getting toys and snacks out of the overhead locker or scrabbling under seats to find lost treasures. It was the same in the car and on the train – so I set about designing a solution. A backpack that my children could pack with all their favourite things, that strapped to the seat in front in the car, or to a tray table or sit on a lap and would become an extendable play tray with special raised sides so no more toys on the floor!