Julie Wilson and Amy Livingstone told us that, “Our story began when we met and became good friends whilst on maternity leave. When our babies were teething we turned a frustration into an innovative product and new business! We launched the world’s first teething dribble bib, the Neckerchew in 2013 and Cheeky Chompers began its incredible journey.
Today, Cheeky Chompers is a global brand leading the way in designing and producing ingenious baby essentials that make parents’ lives easier, including comforters, dribble bibs, blankets and teething toys – all with an intuitive twist that make us different. Babies’ safety is at the heart of everything we do, so all of our teethers are made from food grade silicone (FDA approved) and contain no BPA or phthalates. What’s more, our products are beautifully made, easy to clean, multi-use and attachable, which makes them super practical and the perfect gift for newborns through to teething toddlers and beyond! Our Vision is to be THE trusted go to brand worldwide for baby products and baby gifts with innovation at its core, delivered with intuition, quality and style.”
What were your initial years of growing up like? Tell us about your life before starting your corporate journey/venture/initiative.
Julie Wilson says ‘I was working for a company for 20 years before maternity leave inspired a big change in my mind-set and opportunity came along…and I’ve never looked back! Being my own boss means I have the ability to shape my own destiny and take the business where I believe it can go. I think it’s made me much more focused and goal orientated than being a smaller cog in a bigger machine.‘
Every industry that is now a large-scale, top-notch business once started as a small idea in the minds of entrepreneurs. What was that idea or motivation that made you start your business /initiative? What motivated you within to say YES, go for it!”
We originally met at our antenatal class and became friends. When we were on maternity leave and our babies were teething, we were constantly picking up and sterilising dropped teethers and thought ‘Why doesn’t someone invent a teether that stays attached to the baby’? Sometimes the simplest ideas really are the best. Over nine months of long nights we put that thought into action. We designed our bibs to be the best they could be to make lives easier; super absorbent, soft, reversible and stylish designs. We sourced the best fabrics and materials, tested everything for safety and quality and we launched the World’s first chewy teething dribble bib, the Neckerchew, in 2013. And we haven’t looked back with an ever expanding innovative product range!
Tell us something about your initiative or current role. What is it about, and what impact are you trying to make?
Our Vision is to be THE trusted go to brand worldwide for baby products and baby gifts with innovation at its core, delivered with intuition, quality and style. Our design principles of quality, fashionable, solution-led design is culturally considered for parents around the world. We understand that it’s the little things that make the biggest difference. Our product innovations centre on being multi-use, practical, intuitive and stylish! To help make parents’ lives that little bit easier.
Your journey and your vision are very inspiring, but are there any achievements or accomplishments you would like to mention?
We’ve recently celebrated our 10th birthday in business and have now sold 3 million products to date – that’s a lot of happy babies! We were also thrilled to have been honoured with a Queen’s Award for Enterprise: International Trade a few years ago. The most prestigious award given to recognise business success in the UK. We also got to meet King Charles at a presentation for the Award at Buckingham Palace.
Would you like to share with our young budding women entrepreneurs the change you would like to see in the world if given an opportunity?
We would love to see more women entrepreneurs supported with their businesses, with practical and emotional support and networking. We have been lucky enough to have a great business support network of other female founded businesses along with business networks for advice and support for all different aspects of running a business and it has been invaluable for us.
What would you want to say to our young women leaders/audience reading this?
Starting a small business, especially as a mum is not the easiest option, but definitely a rewarding one. It’s really important to do something you’re passionate about and excites you – this motivates you at work and home and really gets you through the tough times. We have a genuine passion for our business and for helping to make parents’ lives easier, and I can honestly say I’ve never been bored in my job, which not many people can say! Working in the baby market is a lot of fun and I feel I can always relate to it having been through it myself as a parent. I also think having a great team to work with makes such a difference, and one we are very lucky with. Here’s our advice for young women to succeed with their own business: 1.Having your own business is definitely a viable option for women – all the factors that might make it seem too complex are very surmountable. 2. Listen to your gut feeling – trust your instincts. 2. Make sure you have identified a genuine gap in the market then make the solution the best it can be from all angles…then go for it! 3. Do something you’re passionate about and excites you – this motivates you at work and home. 4. Prioritise a work/life balance to make sure you are looking after yourself. 5. Remember it’s not the easiest option, but definitely a rewarding one.