Sleeping with the ‘frenemy’!
I was lucky enough to find the inspiration for my business from being a mum of young kids. Without my children I wouldn’t be in business at all. The brainwave came from the problems I was having trying to encourage my then two year old, Cillian, to start sleeping in his own room. We nicknamed him the ‘Star Fish’, as each night he would creep in between mammy and daddy and sprawl, leaving us with our heads on the locker or toes up our noses! When I think back on that time three years ago, how we both must have looked with black circles under our eyes, craving an uninterrupted night’s sleep. Something had to change! We were not interested in the ‘cry-it-out’ method. So we researched every conceivable way to get him to want to sleep in his own bed rather than being forced; we redecorated his room, we tried a reward system, we tried sleeping in his bed with him until he dropped off but nothing seemed to work! Eventually I came up with the concept of designing him novelty toddler bed uniquely for him, as there was nothing too special on the market. We ended up with an old-style 1960s racing car with window and door openings and custom-coloured it a two-toned green and white as Celtic FC is his team of choice. Safety was paramount; I designed it with easy access in and out but with raised sides to give extra protection against rolling out of bed. The paint was used conformed to BS 5665 - EN71/3 Toy Safety Regulations 1995. All screws were countersunk (buried) and filled over so no danger of scratching him.
It was an immediate success; he looked forward to bedtime stories in his car. He talked about his bed to anyone and everyone. Before long we had an order list for friends and family. Three years down the line my product range comprises of a collection of hand-crafted children’s novelty car beds. They can be custom-coloured to whatever the child dreams of! Cillian is hugely important in the design stage, as I come up with fun designs I run them past him and his friends and turn them into reality if they get the seal of approval. After all, it is children that I’m trying to impress!
In order to turn it into a career I needed to up-skill in many areas. Essentially, I needed to get from basic knowledge of a lot of things to fully competent in everything - a long and tedious process to say the least! I needed to up-skill myself to use jigsaws, circular saws, drills, routers, a variety of hand tools as well as learning to silk screen images onto the beds, bonding techniques and graphic design. I was lucky enough to know a few talented craftspeople to give me guidance and advice. I spent a long time on trying and testing various construction methods, painting techniques and solving the many various problems that arose – eg. – how do you cut a perfect circle?! Eventually I came to a product that I was fully satisfied with and immensely proud of.
I hope you enjoy my products as much as I do. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or suggestions, all feedback is greatly appreciated.