This week on Mumpreneur Monday I am delighted to introduce Ethna from Slobberscarves. Ethna makes handmade Bamboo Bandana bibs.
Slobberscarves turned 7 this month and if we rewind 7 years then you would see Ethna with a 4-month-old baby, a 5 year old, a 7 year old and an 11 year old. Two years previous to that Ethna was working as a beauty therapist and both herself and her husband thought their family was complete. Then in 2009 they sadly had two deaths in their immediate family and it made them completely re evaluate their outlook on life. In January 2011 Noah was born.
"Noah was our fourth baby and I thought I knew everything. I thought I’d have this little baby and be home with him in a day and it would all be fabulous. Noah was born with a pneumothorax so had to be very quickly taken from me to neonatal where he had a mercifully brief stay of only 9 days. When we got him home to his brother and sisters he was just the best gift ever”
Fast-forward three months and their wonderful little blonde baby was teething and he was the dribbliest baby Ethna had ever laid eyes on. She had long since had a hatred for bibs so opted for the newly emerging trend of bandana style bibs, but they were very expensive and knowing the amount she would need for her dribble monster she set about making her own. Ethna borrowed her mother’s sewing machine and cut up a baby towel and a swaddle cloth. Although the principal was there the end product still needed a lot of work! So after a few weeks of trial and error with different fabrics and becoming a dab hand at breastfeeding a baby in a wrap she realised that she had successfully made a workable Bib.
Ethna never intended to make the bibs for anyone except Noah but during her regular visits to baby classes she kept getting compliments on his bibs. One thing led to another and before she knew it she was making bibs to order for mummies all over her town.
“I have always kept my prices as low as I can so that I do not price anyone out of the market. I know that might sound silly for a product costing less than £5 but I was once a mummy who would have struggled to spend what I wanted on my baby and I didn’t ever want to make anyone feel like that”
Over the past 7 years Ethna has developed Slobberscarves into a local brand and she also sell’s monthly at a handmade market in her home town. Slobberscarves have been sent to many, many mummy bloggers and she has received great feedback from them. Notably, Molly Gunn founder of Selfish Mother, who has been a great supporter of small brands. Slobberscarves has even been featured in the “How We Wear It” feature of her Selfish Mother Instazine.
“Anna Saccone was given some Slobberscarves by us in person at a meet and great in Belfast back in November and her little girl Alessia can be regularly seen wearing them in the Saccone-Joly’s daily Vlog”
In January 2018 Ethna launched the Slobberscarves Etsy shop and so far it has been very well received with her sales already exceeding 60 units.
“When I first started Slobberscarves it was my dream to see someone that I didn’t know using Slobberscarves, something which happened surprisingly quickly! Luckily my passion to help the parents of teething babies has evolved into a full time business (barring a very quick break for maternity leave with baby 5 in 2013) it has been none stop”
In the future Ethna would love to see Slobberscarves made on a much bigger scale but with her same core principles of affordability and the careful thought of materials. For now she is cramming sewing and networking around the three hours a day that her littlest is at school with most of her networking taking place whilst waiting in the car at the school gates & in between her THREE different school pickups (Ethna we salute you!)
“The past 7 years have been the most rewarding of my life as I can do what I love while helping parents. At the same time I am still able to take my children to school, pick them up from school and be actively involved with their school life. I can do what I love while still being there to cook for them and to hear all the stories of their days. I wouldn’t change it for the world”
Ethna says she is hugely thankful for her husband who works full time and fellow mumpreneurs who have all played a big part in the success of her business.
Ethna was kind enough to send me two of her wonderful Slobberscarves. We didn’t discuss designs before she sent them but she couldn’t have picked better. When I opened my package they instantly made me smile. Felix is STILL teething! Yes still! He actually got his teeth quite early including the last four, which are coming through as we speak (pass the wine please). He is currently dribblier than he has EVER been. But being that he is 20 months old I’m not keen on putting him in “baby bibs” It is for this very reason that I LOVE Slobberscarves. They are so trendy and fun I don’t feel like he is wearing something that is too “young” for him. I would happily use the Slobberscarves that Ethna sent me as a fashion accessory even when he stops teething. Slobberscarves are made with bamboo towelling which is extremely soft, like cashmere yet very absorbent. It’s hypoallergenic so it can be worn next to the skin without the fear of irritation and it is also antibacterial to help give parents extra peace of mind. All of these factors just make me love the product and Ethna even more.
It has been an absolute pleasure to work with Ethna. Not only is she determined and focussed she is also very mindful of what mums need and just as importantly what they can afford. These very attributes have no doubt been the reason that Slobberscarves has been recognised by several high profile bloggers/vloggers and in my opinion this speaks volumes. We have spent allot of time emailing back and fourth and she is incredibly humble and kind.
I would absolutely love for you all to go and show Ethna some love on her social feeds as well as checking out her Etsy Shop.
Facebook – @Slobberscarves
Instagram - @slobberscarves
Etsy Shop - https://www.etsy.com/shop/Slobberscarves