8 March 2021|Latest Posts, Meet the Successful Founder
Helen Wooldridge and her co-founder Polly Marsh first met at university and remained close friends. After both having their first babies, they shared in their bath time struggles – getting soaked while trying to soothe a crying baby! After some “market research” amongst friends they found they were not the only ones and set about finding a solution. With no product design experience between them, they designed their first cuddledry baby towel that attaches to the parent, and forms a large, cosy wrap to snuggle your baby. No more stress – just a simple, gorgeous product that gives you the extra pair of hands you need. They wanted to make bath time a calm, lovely experience, with dry parents and happy babies – and that is what they created with the Cuddledry towel. They have now extended the range to include The Cuddletwist and hair wrap for kids, themed towels which include the Cuddlebunny, Cuddleroar and accessories too.
What would you love to share to encourage other women to start their own business?
The thing that comes to mind with that question is something Theo Paphitis said to us when we were on Dragons Den. He said, ‘turnover is vanity, profit is sanity’. We have seen so many other businesses come and go over the years for this reason. It is easy to create an idea, a brand, pretty packaging and a website, but turning those things into sales which make a real profit is the key thing. Working hard on marketing, keeping a tight rein on profit margins – those things are fundamental. Never lose sight of actually making money from what you are selling, because ultimately that is what will give you job satisfaction and a sense of self worth – and an income of course!
What are your top five tips for entrepreneurial success?
Be willing to listen and learn from others – always, always keep learning!
Accept that you won’t be the expert on everything – make sure to add people to your team who are strong in the areas you are weak to help build your business with you.
Make sure to manage expectations with everyone you interact with – clearly communicate and make sure to never overpromise and underdeliver.
Join business communities who share expertise – you are not alone on this journey and working in partnership saves so much time. There will be others who have faced the same challenges as you that you can learn from.
Keep fit! – Exercise to motivate you and to allow you to step away from the business and think strategically.
Who are the 5 women who inspire you the most?
Audrey Tridgell (my mum)
Rosie Wooldridge (my daughter)
Polly Marsh (my business partner)
Michelle Mitchell (Cancer Research UK)
Sarah Dunning (Westmorland ltd)
What is your favourite inspirational quote?
“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it” Ferris Bueller, 1986
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