Jules and Simone have just created and launched their brand new baby product, the Sucker, which is an awesome little invention converting an ordinary store bought water bottle into a refreshing cold water for your baby.
Beauty and Lace had the opportunity to find out a little more in this recent interview with Simone:
What inspired you to create the Sucker?
We were out for lunch with a friend and her six month old baby one day and, of course, just as the meals arrived her baby started to grizzle and want a feed.
Our friend was breastfeeding at the time and had to stop eating to feed her baby. She mentioned she wished she’d brought along a bottle of water to buy her some time. From there the idea for a teat that fits a standard bought water bottle grew and eventually Sucker was conceived (pardon the pun!).
How did you come up with the design for the Sucker?
Both Jules and I have worked in design in past lives, particularly packaging design so we were confident we’d get the packaging right. We used a fantastic Melbourne design company, called Asprey Creative, to help us and were really pleased with what they came up with (with a few tweaks from us!).
The actual product design was quite simple as it was dictated in part by water bottle opening size and us wanting an easy to use shape for Mums to be able to screw on the bottle tops quickly. We chose an orange and white colour scheme for the product as it is gender neutral and also stands out on shelf.
There was some trial and error with our moulds but we’re really happy with the end result. We love that the hard case that forms part of the Sucker packaging also acts as a carry case.
What sort of obstacles did you face actually getting the Sucker into production?
We brought in another partner, Fran Helfenbaum, who has a number of products that she has manufactured in China. Fran has overseen it, showing us samples and discussing what we all wanted along the way.
Fran then spoke to buyers and made sure she had some interest before ordering the first batch to be made. They only arrived in Australia in late October last year so it’s all very new!
Do you think it was more difficult to get this product into the market because it is a baby product, did it need more rigorous testing?
Of course with a baby product you have to make sure you tick all your boxes. For example it was important to make this product BPA free. We also had to get approval from TGA which we managed to do quite quickly as the teat was standard (and thus complied with their regulations).
The process to get the product right took a little longer than we’d hoped, but I guess that is probably the case with most new products. We work with a distributor that specialises in baby products so utilising those existing relationships with buyers has been extremely valuable.
There are so many bottle shapes and teat shapes in the marketplace now, does the Sucker cater for different teat designs?
Sucker uses a standard teat design. We sell it with a medium flow hole, however Mums can also use a faster flow if they have a teat at home they would prefer to use.
We really wanted to keep it simple and offer something that most parents and babies would recognise and be familiar with.
The product has been out for a little while now, what has the interest been like?
It’s actually only been around for about 4 months (with Christmas and the summer holidays in the middle of it) so the interest should build from now on. However, we get really excited as more and more stores decide to stock it.
We launched it at the Pregnancy Children’s and Baby Show in Melbourne at the end of last year and every mum that walked past told us what a great idea she thought it was and bought one. It was very encouraging. Even now we’re getting great feedback from Sucker buyers.
Is there a particular demographic that the Sucker has been popular with?
Mums of all types love it! It retails for around $12.95 which is pretty affordable for most families. Generally, any Mum who likes to be prepared wants this product.
It’s great if you need to buy a little extra time – perhaps to stop by the butcher or bank before heading home to feed bub. Of course it appeals to mums who like to keep their babies hydrated when on the go.
Have you got any innovative and exciting plans for more new baby products?
We’re always thinking about new products. We also have another baby product on the market called a Baby Sticky Bowl. It’s a silicon device that sticks almost any baby’s bowl to the table or high chair, making it easier for babies to feed themselves and reducing their capacity to ‘accidentally’ throw bowls of food across a room.
It means that Mums can use the bowls they already have in the kitchen, they don’t have to buy ‘special’ bowls to make it stick. As well as working on these baby products Jules and I run a very busy PR agency, Handle Communications, and another DIY PR business, Handle Your Own PR where Mumpreneurs are our biggest customers. Not to mention being mothers which can often be a full time job in itself!
Did you design the Sucker while you had children of an age to use them, or is this more of a hindsight invention because it would have been so handy?
This is a ‘would have been so handy’ product for us. Jules’ children are all school age now (including her very cute twin five year olds that just started in prep) and I have an eight year old and a thirteen year old in high school, so they’re all too old to use Sucker. We have lots of friends and family with babies that are getting great mileage out of the product though which is lovely to see.
What does being a woman and being a mother mean to you?
For me these two words are so closely linked. Being a mother gives me a greater purpose. I feel like I’m an important link in this chain of life. My children bring me so much joy and fill my life in so many ways. I’m grateful for them every day.
Sucker™ is available from leading baby retailers. A full list of stockists can be found at www.suckerforbottles.com. RRP $12.95. It is PBA free.