This week in my Mums in Business series I’m delighted to be interviewing Katie from Matchstick Monkey who set up her own business when she realised that there were no teethers on the market that allowed parents to apply gel or granules to, and instead had to withstand having their fingers nibbled by their child.
Katie’s story is really inspiring, and I am so impressed that she managed to set up her own business whilst looking after her young children, which goes to show that anything is possible if you put your mind and hard work into it. Have a read of her inspirational story below, after you’ve read my own review of a Matchstick Monkey.
Why we love our Matchstick Monkey
We love our Matchstick Monkey and I wish I had one of these when my daughter was teething from Day 1 until she was about a year old. Even though she’s now two she loves to play with the Monkey and chew on it, and it will definitely be being used when our little boy arrives later this year.
The Monkey is safe and soft, and made out of silicone, so there’s no chance of it breaking in your child’s mouth. I love that it’s small and it’s a perfect size for your child to hold and play with. Depending on what Monkey you select, the arms or tail are looped, which means you can easily attach it to your pram or buggy, so there’s no chance of it going missing.
The other great thing about the Matchstick Monkey is you can apply teething gels or granules to the bumps on the back of its head. This is a genius idea and will save your fingers from being bitten by your child’s razor sharp teeth. I’m already looking forward to using this over the Summer when the little one arrives.
And now it’s over to Katie to talk to us about her business.
Tell me a little bit about you, your background and Matchstick Monkey?
I’m a mum of 3 girls aged: 8 weeks, 2 and 4, so life is very busy with the girls and the business. I have always been creative and love product design. I have gained all my inspiration from the girls with their ups and downs, and I wanted to help other mums with their teething children. I found that there was nothing on the market that was suited to what I was looking for so Matchstick Monkey is born.
What were your drivers and motivations for setting up Matchstick Monkey?
Minnie had such bad teething pain and I found things really tough. It was hard to apply medication to her side and back gums without getting bitten. I couldn’t find anything on the market that catered for this problem and so I set about designing a new teething toy, which would help other mums who had the same problem. Monkeys were Minnie’s favourite toy and so it had to be a monkey!
How do you balance the business around family and childcare?
It’s so hard to find a balance between the girls and the business as I do love them both! My girls always come first though, Coco & Bailey are always at home with me and Minnie has recently started school. I do have a bit of help now and work in the evenings to get everything done. It is hard to balance everything but if you want something to happen you can make it happen. I never liked TV and have 0 hours left after the girls and work, so it’s just as well I love them both!
Since setting up Matchstick Monkey what’s been your biggest success to date?
It’s hard to pin point just 1 part of the business to being the most successful as there are many parts I consider successful – from the reaction from mums when I first developed the first working sample to partnering with Touker, taking on some big industry distributors and expanding the range to include muslins, blankets and plushes. There are many successful parts in different ways and on different levels.
What’s your top tip for anyone who is thinking about setting up their own business?
Check your idea through with your audience. Gauge the reaction, tweak and listen to their feedback or ideas. When you think things are in place then go for it. Have faith in yourself and your idea and if you want it to happen enough you can make it happen. Just be prepared to put in the hours!
Thank you so much Katie for taking part in my series, it was lovely to interview you, and I wish you the best of luck in the future.
If you would like to be part of my Mums in Business then just drop me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Or have a nose at some of the other businesses I have featured in my series: Cherry Tree Vets, Selfie Clothing, and Sweet Hearts Hair Design.