This week on my Mums in Business I’m delighted to be featuring Jo who created and set-up Naturelly; a business that provides healthy snacks for children. The key to this business is simple; a snack that is healthy, low in naturally occurring fruit sugar and is ideal for children with allergies. Jo spotted a gap in the market and went about developing her own snack that features all these benefits that many parents are looking for.
I am also pretty impressed with Jo’s top tips for setting up your business. So if you’re looking for a healthy snack for your children why not give Naturelly a try, and have a read of my latest post for inspiration on setting up your own business.
Tell me a little bit about you, your background and Naturelly?
I’m Jo Dempsey, I co-founded Naturelly in 2015. Naturelly is a healthy snack company for children, we are currently stocked in Ocado, Wholefoods Market, Holland and Barrett and Boots as well as many leisure destinations and gyms throughout the country. I had previously worked as a fashion buyer for Liberty, Harvey Nichols and Selfridges. After having two children I decided I wanted a job which didn’t involve too much travel and would allow me to be flexible with my work / family life.
What were your drivers and motivations for setting up Naturelly?
I found it hard to find fun and healthy snacks for my children whilst on days out, which were low in sugar and suitable for children with food allergies (Della my youngest child had a food allergy). Naturelly, Juicy Jelly is a jelly made from real fruit juice and puree, its low in naturally occurring fruit sugar 7grms and contains 100% RDI of the immune boosting Vitamin C, with no added sugar or sweeteners, and free from all the 14 allergens. I wanted to create a brand what kids love and mums can trust to be a healthier snack for school pick up or as part of a lunch box.
How do you balance the business around family and childcare?
I am one of three founders who set up Naturelly, I work with my husband Dean and brother in law Liam so we’re a family run business, and this helps a lot in terms of fitting work around the kids. Most days I finish at 3pm, collect the children from school and I try to get back on my laptop in between making dinner and helping with homework, then again when kids go to bed. Although half terms can be tricky!!
Since setting up the business what’s been your biggest success to date?
In 2017 we launched a campaign to find the Chief Imagination Officer for Naturally. We asked children to tell us what they want to be when they are older, to enter the competition they had to submit a video, drawing, or story which would be judged by a panel of children and business entrepreneurs. Three were shortlisted out of hundreds of entries and Oscar Murry won. The space-loving 7-year-old, (he was only 6 when he started), wants to be a space food blogger and critic when he grows up, now plays a key part in the decision-making process on big issues such as; flavour tasting, video animation and new formats.
We are now recruiting for our next Chief Imagination Offer, so if your child is FULL of IT! (Imaginative Thinking that is) then we would love to hear from them. Please apply at naturelly.co.uk
What’s your top tip for Mums who are thinking about setting up their own business?
My top tips are:
- I would say firstly, do your research and know your market.
- Invest in good branding
- Be prepared for a long ride of ups and downs
- Take on board all feedback good or bad
- Don’t give up, setting up a new business is a journey, highs and lows come in many different forms.
Thank you so much Jo 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: Les Petit Tigres, Trotting Dog, and Pavara.