INTERVIEW WITH DADPRENEUR PAUL LINDLEY
When it comes to ‘Dadpreneurs’ Paul Lindley is a man you might not have heard of. That is, until we mention two very famous words – Ella’s Kitchen.
The founder of the leading children’s food range has just launched a new collection. It includes organic natural bath time products called ‘Paddy’s Bathroom’. We’ve been trying them out all week and can confirm they’re really rather good.
We exclusively caught up with Paul to find out what it takes to be an entrepreneurial parent and inspiration for this latest range..
MDD: Where did inspiration for Paddy’s Bathroom come from?
PL: My kids! I have two – Ella was the inspiration for Ella’s Kitchen which I set up in 2006. I’m very proud is now the biggest baby food brand in the UK. Her younger brother Paddy is the inspiration behind Paddy’s Bathroom. Both brands are about improving children’s health by using organic and natural products, and having fun!
Many Ella’s Kitchen parents had started telling me about their worry over synthetic ingredients in their toddler’s bath products. The more I looked into it the more I discovered how chemicals like Parabens and SLS’s are in so many products in the marketplace, and how controversial their use actually is for health. Put simply, I was inspired to create a brand of natural and organic bath time products. So now parents can rest assured that what they were putting on their children’s skin was as natural as what they put into their tummies.
Tell us more
MDD: Your product is available in Boots, Asda and many other retailers. What advice can you give other ‘Dad-trepeneurs’ on getting their products stocked by large retailers. Where do they start?
PL: Mum and Dad entrepreneurs should always start with the question “Why am I doing this?” rather than what am I making and where will I sell it. They will need an idea that is different and wanted by others. In other words, before anything else they need to work out if there is a gap in the market. AND a market in that gap!
If they plan to sell to large retailers then they should do a business plan. Then half the sales, double the costs and double the time they think they’ll get paid from the retailers and see if it possibly still works as a plan – as that is likely to be what actually happens.
Then remember, and this is so vital, that it’s people that make successful businesses, not money – so go out of your way to have a set of values that everyone knows your company always stand for and the retailer sees clearly. My three important attributes for a successful entrepreneur are; creativity, tenacity and passion.
From Kitchens to Bathrooms…
MDD: Paddy’s Bathroom range donates money to ‘Drop Buy Drop’ – how did you decide on them as a charity partner?
PL: It’s really important for businesses to do good in society and strive to use their influence to improve people’s lives. We are all about improving children’s hygiene and health.
I knew that 23,000 children die every day from preventable diseases, many water borne and I thought we could do something about this, by offering to create a drop of clean water for every drop our customers used with our products.
We found a wonderful partner in a company called Del Agua, who have a fabulous project in providing safe clean water to the poorest families in Rwanda. If someone buys a Paddy’s Bathroom product they can use its batch code to see where the filter they have supported for three months is in Rwanda, and how many people we are helping in that area. Ultimately it is our ambition to be able to show how much less ill those children are over time, thanks to the Drop Buy Drop program and UK consumers’ decision to buy our product. We think this this may help children in the UK understand that there are other kids in Rwanda who can’t turn on a tap to have a bath or even a drink of water.
The Science Bit
MDD: What part of product development do you enjoy getting involved in most?
PL: The part when we first test the products with real families. Young children are always so honest in their reaction and feedback, whether they love or hate it. Are the bubbles big enough? Do they like the smells? Is it kind to their skin, are they having fun!? Whatever it is they will let you know in no uncertain terms! I wish everyone was that honest.
MDD: And finally, who are more grubby – boys or girls?
PL: They are all just kids, whose job in life is simply to explore, discover and find out about the world. The more they are encouraged to do this the grubbier they will be and the more fun they will have. They can now look forward to continuing that fun in the bathroom with Paddy’s Bathroom natural and organic, bubbly and fab smelling stuff.
To find out more about Paddy’s Bathroom, please visit: www.paddysbathroom.com/dropbuydrop
With thanks to Paul Lindley, Georgie and Indigo.
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