Recently I reviewed spots n bots after trying out some of their fabulous products, and I have been back to buy Mickey Mouse things which I absolutely adore. I thought it would be nice to learn a little more about spots n bots founder Sarah McKellar so I approached her for interview and this is what I discovered about the birth of spots n bots.
Hi Sarah and welcome to Beauty and Lace, thanks for talking to us.
What made you decide to start spots n bots?
Spots n bots started after the birth of our son in 2012. I wanted to be at home with our son but like many families, we relied on two incomes. My husband suggested that I start a small business from home. Once I tried cloth nappies on Oliver for the first time I knew that’s what my range and business would be.
Where did the name come from?
I wanted something to do with babies and I loved “bots” as the majority of my items are for babies bottoms. I also wanted something catchy and that would rhyme so that’s where “spots” came from!
How did you decide what products to stock?
This was an easy decision. Once I tried cloth on our son for the first time that was it! I was sold! At first I wasn’t going to use cloth but I purchased one anyway just to try as I hated wasting money on disposables each week. I couldn’t believe how absorbent and dry the cloth nappy was when I first took it off him even though it was evident he had wet it. It felt so soft and gentle on his delicate skin wrapping a cloth nappy around him. We’d always had trouble with nappy rash when using disposables but that soon cleared up once we switched to cloth and so did the need to apply nappy creams to his delicate skin. Next, the “wet bags” went hand in hand with the cloth nappies. Shortly after, I came across “washable bamboo breast pads” (one of our best selling products). I had been searching for alternatives to disposables as I was spending $10 a week on them and I needed something long term to last me until my son had weaned. I still have the same pack of 20 washable breast pads that I started with. I used them for approx 11 months saving myself more than $440 in the process! “Swim nappies” were next as this was around the time our son started his weekly lessons and I was not prepared to spend over $10 a pack for disposable swim nappies! “Training pants” shortly followed from customer feedback and our son is currently “toilet training” and absolutely loves picking a pair of “undies” to wear! All of our range is designed to be washable, reusable, waterproof, money saving & environmentally friendly.
Can you tell us a little about your suppliers and how you chose them?
I spent many months searching for a supplier. One that was accredited, certified, followed workplace health & safety standards and had spot checks carried out. I feel that I have found the perfect supplier for spots n bots. I am very happy with the level of communication between my supplier and I and am extremely proud of the work they carry out, attention to detail and quality of the products produced for myself and my many customers.
Do you design the products and how did you come up with the designs?
My supplier sends through the available fabrics for me to choose from. One day I hope to have our own “spots n bots” fabric range for our products but as our business is still young this is a future goal. I communicate with my supplier as to how I would like my products made ie: with my cloth nappies I have changed the design quite significantly from the start of production to now. Originally, our cloth nappies were snaps for the tabs, micro fleece lining and microfiber inserts. From customer feedback and trialing the products on our son we have slowly changed our cloth nappy design along the way to Velcro tabs (much easier for dads, grandparents and squirmy babies), micro suede lining (doesn’t pill like micro fleece), double leg gussets (extra barrier against leaks), hip snaps (another leakage prevention) and we are currently upgrading all of our nappies to receive a 5 layer bamboo insert as standard. I am always thinking of ways to improve our products and value customer feedback greatly.
Do you choose all the fabrics and the patterns?
Yes, all of the fabrics and patterns are chosen by me as well as customers! One customer asked for “blue owls” in the cloth nappies. So, we now have the “blue owl” in cloth nappies, wet bags and change mats! It’s one of my favourites! Also a few customers have requested plain colours in the change mats…they will arrive in the next few weeks.
Have you got a favourite print from the range?
I love anything minky (soft fluffy fabric). I love the “blue owls” for the boys, or “pink flowers/owls” for the girls! One of our most popular prints is the “animal” print. It’s the most popular choice for unisex babies. I have trouble keeping it in stock!!! I also love the cloth nappies in bright colours especially the yellow, hot pink, apple green, ocean blue and lavender. Of course you can’t go past the swim nappies in the blue & white stripe or cheeky monkeys!
Are there plans to extend the range with either new patterns or new products?
Absolutely! We recently added a new product which is a “pail liner”. Perfect for cloth nappy users, the pail liner fits into the nappy bucket to store soiled cloth nappies. Can also double as a XL wet bag – we take ours to swimming lessons. Fits all of my sons wet stuff and mine also! I am also looking at including washable “wipes” as well as a trifold nappy insert to our range in the near future.
Where do you hope to see the business in the future?
I am working on online advertising this year to get my name out there Australia Wide!
What does being a woman mean to you?
Being a woman to me means strength, the ability to have a voice and stand up for yourself. To fight for what you want and not settle for second best. The power to live your life the way you want to. To help others and ask for help when needed. And take a little time out for yourself.
Thanks for talking to us Sarah, I will certainly be recommending the site to my friends and I will be back for any future MCN needs I may have.
Thanks for the opportunity!