Hello! I’m Suzanne, Cheltenham based mum of 2 and the inventor of Nom Nom Kids Reusable Food Pouches and snack bags. Stanley is 7 and my fussy one with a dairy intolerance. Nancy is 5 and a half and absolutely loves her food. She attempts to be fussy but she can’t usually hold out very long. She loves her fruit and vegetables most but has always been reluctant to drink.
I loved weaning and cooking lots of lovely home-made creations for both of the kids. Stanley loved his purees and Nancy liked finger foods most. She just loved to get messy and have a really good squish of her food and often ended up head to toe covered in it.
Stanley had just turned 2 when Nancy was approaching weaning and he still really loved to have an Ella’s Kitchen fruit pouch for a snack. The pouches had become staples in his diet from around 9 months old when he had tonsillitis and he refused to eat or drink anything else. We also turned to them when he was teething and went on food strike. My main issue with the pouches was that they would be thrown away (after literally minutes) and head straight to landfill. I just wasn’t comfortable with the amount of waste I was producing or the amount of money I could end up spending. I also really wanted it to be my food they were squeezing into their mouths.
I searched online for reusable options and found disposable pouches with filling stations I didn’t have room for, cute ones with really small openings in Australia, another type in The USA that leaked all over my bag and several clinical looking ones here in the UK. Nothing I found had the perfect combination of functional for me and appealing to a baby / toddler.
With 15 years of sourcing and development experience behind me and having decided that I was going to be a full-time mum I started to sketch the perfect pouch for my children. It was important to me that the pouch would be easy to fill and really easy to clean. It had to have fun characters that little ones could relate to It took me a while to work it out and find the best suppliers to support me but decided to just go for it.
I ordered my first production run of the Animal pouches and set about building a website and setting up a Facebook page as soon as the kids were in bed. I booked myself into a local baby fair and the first production arrived just in time to take with me. It was so exciting to make my first sale and when I got home someone had re-ordered more after using them for the first time!
One of the best things I did was to contact some of the bloggers that I had been following and offered them some free pouches in return for an honest review. I was blown away by everyone’s response and they really helped me to get my pouches seen and gave me the confidence to get them listed on Amazon.
I have found the Instagram community to be incredibly supportive throughout my journey. I’ve met (virtually) some inspiring mums who share their recipes and meals and so many other small businesses some of whom I get to meet at Baby Shows. I love the community spirit that you get from Instagram especially in the Mumboss arena.
I recently joined the CheltenhamMaman Mum Boss Group which is a group of around 100 mums who are running their own businesses. It’s lead by Kate Starkey who won a UK Blog Award last year. It’s an amazingly supportive group full of women that understand what it’s like to juggle motherhood and a small business.
My original Animal design was based on a mural I had painted on the wall of my children’s bedroom. Sadly, I am about to paint over it but the kids keep asking to wait a bit longer. Since then I have developed a larger 200ml pouch for smoothies and soups, and also introduced our fantastic reusable snack bags which have been a life saver since starting pre-school and school. I worked with an exceptionally talented character artist on the monster designs and I love what he did with my initial sketches and ideas.
The snack bags have become firm favourites at home. I absolutely love that you can see the contents of the bag through their mouths. When I first launched them, I gave one to every kid in my sons class at school. The next day they were all so excited to show me what they had in their bags for snack time. I am currently working on new products based around a Doodle Design for children aged 5-11. They will have a strong message about reusability and keeping our environments free from waste. I think it’s really important that our children grow up understanding how to save waste and also how to be healthy. They will also be customisable so there’s a new fun element to them.
My products are available on my website www.nomnomkids.co.uk , Amazon throughout Europe and Ebay worldwide. I will be at The NEC Baby Show from 18th-20th May.