Lorna Smith, creator of Baby Aid, a great new take-anywhere first aid kit for babies and children was very pleased with what the show had to offer. Her product Highly Commended at the Baby & Child Recognition Awards, she said: "I have met buyers and taken some very good orders". A major department store and Independent retailer were at the show and snapped up Lorna's product - another example of what the Launchpad can do for start-up businesses.
Over at Natural Baby, Claire Bowen said that Sunday had been a good day with lots of potential leads, while Alison Withell of Dribblebuster dropped by the Nursery Industry stand to say ‘hello', before taking me off to view her range of neckerchief dribble bibs. Talking of the show she said: "I'm glad I've done it. I have had a lot of interest and taken two really good orders. My pastel coloured sleeping bags seem to be doing well - they are a unique selling point as the traditional colours seem to be more popular at the moment. That said the Liberty Print in the neckerchiefs has done really well here too."
At Schnuggle, Director Adam Murphy said: "Sunday was great, but Monday was an even bigger success - I made some good contacts and have lots to follow up on. Keira O'Mara of Mamascarf, which enables mums to breastfeed discreetly in style added: "I have really enjoyed being part of the Launchpad...we have all been sharing customers and information...there's a strong sense of community. I have had lots of orders and potential orders, and linked up with an international distributor. This is the best place for a small stand....I have had lots of passing trade."
Monette D.Stransom, Owner of Eleanor's Closet, a distributor of personalised books and puzzles which are perfect as gift purchases, said: "I have had some good conversations with independent retailers and been exposed to new people and ideas. Sharing her stand, Barbara Hobart, President of Homeplates, a manufacturer of decorative light switch covers said: "I don't think I will really know until after the show whether or not it's been worthwhile. I have had a lot of interest though, especially from the small independent buyers."
Having just won its third award, the absorbent, washable, re-usable bed pad Aquasolari has become very popular with retailers since launching earlier this year. CEO Patrick J Fischer was in good spirits: "I had no expectations really - this is my first trade show. Eventually I want my product sold in every shop and major department store in the UK, alongside other bedding ranges."
Over at Baby Tourist, Leigh Cromwell said of his Holidoze travel cot and play area, Slumber Bumper bed guard and Cosy-Crib travel moses basket: "We have had people coming to the stand and spoken with a couple of large suppliers. People are very positive about the products, they tend to say: ‘Wow, what a great idea,' when they see them." Shortlisted for a BACRA, the BPA seemed to agree!
Monique Nanson, of Toys4Life, a range of beautiful wooden, transformable toys that grow up with your child explained: "This is my first show; I did it as a taster to see if it would work. It has been really good - I have had some very positive responses, which will hopefully result in orders. The toys encourage sustainability and because they are so beautifully made, can become part of your everyday furniture."
Alistair Antoine, Managing Director of Stellina Baby was also keen to talk: "The show is going really well, it's busier than I expected. Sunday was particularly good - I had a lot of interest from buyers." Ian Elliot, inventor of the tap strap - designed to childproof taps - added: "On Sunday I met a lot of good independent retailers, while Monday brought some of the bigger companies. We have been very well received here."
Natasha Poffley, Director of Piccolo Lusso, the UK's distributor for Chic ‘o'
Bello baby changing bags said: "I have had a really successful few days, with lots of orders and interest to follow up on when I get back. The Launchpad seems to have come together really well from a brand awareness point of view - it has really gelled." Sahil Jain Director of babiesblankets.co.uk agreed, he said: "It's been busy, I have taken a lot of orders and would definitely come again." Sarah Tague of Indicare added: "The show has gone really well for us, there has been a real buzz in the air and people have been nothing but positive about us."
Ginny Jogee of 1 two kids, winner of the play time award for the ‘Vegging Out' range, made on a fair-trade project in Egypt and designed to encourage positive food associations, was over the moon at the response: "It's been a great show. We came to find independent retailers and exceeded our expectations massively. Sunday and Tuesday were the best days for business. I also want to promote Sophie, made of 100% natural rubber it is the perfect gift purchase and I want it to become the UK's number 1 selling toy."
Over at SnoozeShade, the blackout blind for babies on the move, Cara Sayer was certain she made the right choice to exhibit: "It was either do Dragon's Den or the BPA Show. I chose the BPA Show. It seemed sensible to try and work out if there was a market for the product first and it seems fairly obvious that there is." Over at Pourty, John Rathbone had similar questions: "We wanted to work out whether it was worth spending the money on tooling - there has been lots of interest here, so now we definitely know it is."
Geraldine Abrahams Managing Director of TWM Productions said of her new relaxation concept for babies Tummy with Mummy: "The show has been very good. I have found the whole experience really encouraging - we are just launching and the PR surrounding the Launchpad has been great for us. It has been the perfect platform."
Christa Morris of The Stripy Company added: "We have had a lot of interest - we are in 10 shops, three online, and want to expand. Sunday was good for independent customers in particular. The Launchpad has been great for meeting new people; we have all been exchanging ideas and helping each other. It's great that visitors can go to an area where everything is new."
Having travelled all the way from Australia to bring his Boys Toilet Trainer to market, Terry McGrail of Weeman said the visit had been worthwhile. And having won in the Bathtime category at the BACRAS, the sheer number of visitors to SplashnBump was a guarantee of future success.
Dr Bee meanwhile was another busy stand, with the unveiling of its Dr Bee Electronic Nasal Aspirator. Similarly, Lights Out seemed to be doing well with its black out range of blinds designed to fit any window.
A representative from vida & colour dropped by the Ni stand to bring the company's baby blankets to our attention and judging by the number of visitors they had, these quality products clearly went down a storm.
Betty Zi from Sunny Spread was keen to show me her range of fun and funky tie backs - perfect for brightening up any nursery, while Sunproof Ltd came in as a late entry and highlighted Sunday as its best day.
Jane Ebejer Managing Director of Babyglow a company producing baby sleep suits that change colour to indicate temperature said that thanks to a lot of media coverage in the run up to the show, she had managed to meet with a big international distributor and use it as a meeting base for a number of prospective buyers.
Jacqueline Ottewill of Slade + Ottewill Distribution brought Kiddy Balm and Thailand's No.1 balm, Golden Cup to the show in addition to a range of beautiful hand made soft toys, raved about by Vogue. She said: "I lived in Thailand for 8 years and that's where I discovered the balm; I want it to become the No 1 balm in the UK because I know it works."
Moving out of the Launchpad...
Emily Sheldrake of Green People, home to the Organic Babies range that won the Environmental award at the BACRAs in addition to a Highly Commended in the Bathtime category, reported some quality leads.
Matthew Turner at Britax gave this comment: "A really good show, we have been a lot busier here than at the NEC and have had some really good feedback." Paul Walters of Tippitoes added: "It's been a good show. We are very pleased to be supporting the BPA. A lot of people don't buy in the run up, so those that don't exhibit are missing out. We have seen lots of new customers and met with existing customers who have come for top-ups."
Andrew Payne of Baroo commented: "Sunday was better than I thought it would be, with lots of leads and orders. All leads have been quality ones, it's been a good show - very worthwhile with a steady flow of customers."
Peter Shaw, Hippychick's Sales Manager also spoke highly of the event: "We have done great. Our ranges all complement each other. We are so glad we went for a bigger stand, because of the amount of traffic we have had.
We are keen supporters of the show - it has given us a massive boost for October. This is the first time that the Dusky Moon Dream Tubes - Cot Bed has been showcased and a real highlight of course, was it winning Best Debut...we got a few other short listings and a Highly Commended. The first visit to our stand on Sunday morning resulted in a new account and they selected the majority of our product ranges. 30% of the business we have done here has come from new accounts, with many others topping up existing orders."
Petite Star used the show to introduce the first lines of Ed Hardy Baby products to retailers. Since 2000, Ed Hardy's iconic design has become a global phenomenon, making it instantly recognisable to millions of people worldwide.
All the products are beautifully designed and manufactured in Europe, the bottles are Bisphenol-A free and both the Ed Hardy bottles and pacifiers come with silicone teats.
Kiddy really got into the spirit of things, dressed up as pirates throughout the event to promote Capt'n Sharky's new KIDDY DESIGN range of personalised car seats. Eye catching and chic, they come with your very own pirate bandana.
Over at Dorel, I was shown the Maxi-Cosi Pebble car seat (0-13kg, up to 12 months), the Pearl car seat (9-18 kg, 9 months to 3 ½ years) and the FamilyFix Isofix Base which make up the new Maxi-Cosi FamilyFix Collection.
The Chicco stand was busy throughout and I loved the Black Label Limited Edition Range. The Trio Living combines class and functionality - you can use the stroller in parent-facing or front facing mode, as a pram or with the Auto-Fix Fast car seat which, together with the special baby carrier "...gives to the parent a catwalk beauty."
John Crane himself dropped by the Nursery Industry stand, pleased to collect his front cover board and having been over to them earlier in the day I can confirm that their stand was busy with buyers, keen to find out more about the educational value of their toys.
The Cheeky Rascals stand was popular and a representative told me that there had been a lot of interest generated by its most recent signing, Merino Kids. Clevamama did well too, introducing the Splash & Wrap baby bath towel into its range, where all products are designed to make life easier.
Over at Content&Calm, Solvej Biddle was busy launching her latest product, the ProtectiShade - believed to be the first true in-car sun shade, kindly taking the time to demonstrate how it works. Following the huge success of the Cot Canopy, I expect this to be just as popular with retailers.
Javaid Gilani from Out n About was another happy customer: "It's been a very good show. We have just launched distribution of the Mountain Buggy range and it has generated a lot of interest."
It was great to see Silver Cross back at the show....they were very warmly received by visitors and their stand was filled to the brim throughout.
All in all a fantastic show, well done to the organisers!
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