As with any product, while I am hugely invested in how it looks, the main requirement has always been simply- does it work? When you have a child, there is another question that you absolutely must ask- is it safe?
I am pleased to report that everything that is sold through Mama Knows is completely safe. Her range of teethers and jewellery are made from high quality food grade silicone, and are free from BPA, PVC, phthalate, latex, cadmium, lead, and heavy metals. They’re also non toxic, and do not support the growth of mould or bacteria, and are compliant with European Safety Standards EN71 pt1,2,&3. The dummy clips have also been tested by an independent UK testing house to ensure that they are compliant with British Saftey Standards BSEN 12586:2007.
Lisa was kind enough to gift me a dummy clip when I took my safety concerns to Instagram. I had bought River some super cute dummies, but they didn’t come with their own cases, so I was keen to keep the dummy on the go away from the floor! She has a really wide range of colours available, so I kept it neutral with a pale grey one- but if you wanted something a little more jazzy or gendered, there are loads more options.
I have since returned to the site based on the quality of the clip, and treated myself to a necklace (not gifted). River had started to grab (mainly at my hair) and while I was pleased to see him gain a new skill, um, it hurt. For this I chose the Pick n Mix option (you choose 5 beads in any colours of the 21 options available, and either black or silver cord/clasp). I’m a bit obsessed with my bronze and black one actually- I’m not a jewellery wearer, unless you count my fitbit and engagement ring- but I’ve found myself reaching for it as soon as I wake up, and not just because it’s sparing my hair!
Lisa is also totally clear on the safety when it comes to use- while these clips and necklaces are safe for baby to grab and occasionally chomp on the beads, they are NOT to be used instead of teethers (don’t worry, if you want one of those, she sells a really adorable range!). Loads more information regarding safety and care can be found on her website (which is exceptional by the way, clean, easy to navigate, and well designed), along with the full range of products.
MEET THE MAMA
Mama Knows has been making and selling teething jewellery since November 2016. Our jewellery is made for stylish mamas and are safe for grabby little hands and teething babas to have a chew on. Just because you have a baby in tow shouldn't mean the end to wearing jewellery - nobody would ever know that the jewellery are for teething babies rather than being just a stylish accessory!
Mama Knows is owned and run by me, a mum of a 4 year old and 6 year old, Will and Amy. Will was just 2 months old when I started thinking about launching a business and Mama Knows was then launched when he was 5 months old.
In my previous child free life I was a solicitor dealing with industrial disease cases so it couldn’t be further from what I am doing now. After having Amy I found a part-time role working three days a week but when I had Will, the cost of putting them both in nursery for three days a week was extortionate, my eldest was due to start pre-school and I really wanted to be there for the drop offs and pick ups. I knew that something had to change.
The lightbulb idea for Mama Knows came during one of the marathon night feeds with Will. When I was feeding him he would scratch and pinch my chest, those baby nails are razor sharp! I thought there must be a necklace or something that he can grab hold of rather than scratching me. I started looking online and I had to really search hard to find a teething necklace, there were just a couple on Etsy that were being sold at that time and I thought to myself that I couldn’t be the only new mum who has this problem - why is nobody advertising these type of products to me?
During those night feeds and nap times I spent my time doing research, research and more research! Being a baby product, I had to make sure that the products I wanted to create were absoIutely safe, I had to look at the applicable UK and European Regulations (yep, the lawyer in me weekly enjoyed this!). I then spent many hours researching domains, web hosting sites, payment gateways, website designs, branding, packaging and ecommerce selling platforms. I had never done anything like it before and had absolutely no experience! It was an absolute minefield!
The next month was spent building my website - looking back I absolutely cringe at how it was but I think the best piece of advice is to just get it done and get it live and then you can make tweaks as you go along. If you wait for everything to be perfect you will never do it. There are still areas that I don’t like know and that I know need changing but there is only so much that you can fit into one day! I was so nervous as the website went live but then the feeling of accomplishment when that first order came in was amazing! I think I screamed and then danced around the living room!
People still think that it must be easy working from home and making necklaces, I wish they could see what else goes into running a business! Not only am I a brand owner I’m also a jewellery designer, web designer, maker, packer, poster and everything in between! There have been many, many late nights and some expensive mistakes made along the way! On top of everything else I am a Mum which is the most important job of all although it’s the one job that I still feel a complete novice at even 6 years in!
Mama Knows is nearly four years old now and I’m so proud of how far we have come. In addition to teething jewellery we now stock a gorgeous range of tethers and dummy clips and we are about to launch our own branded muslins at the end of the month. We have stockists throughout the UK, which is an absolute dream! I still can’t believe that my products are in actual shops!
The juggle of motherhood and running a business is very, very real. There are many nights when I’ll be up to 1am working and then up in the night with one of the kids but the flexibility to work around the children is just amazing.