Article by Karen Snyder
myHospitalBag was created after I had my three children. I’d always had a secret desire to create my own business and knew that once I started having kids life would become very different! Being pregnant can be very daunting , going euphoria to panic, excitement to fear. I wanted to help mums to be and this is my story…
10 years ago when I was pregnant with my first child, I began to collect pregnancy magazines. When my maternity leave began, I excitedly laid out all the magazines and spent my first day putting together what was to become known as “my baby bible”.
This “bible” contained everything I needed for the arrival of my baby – what to take to hospital for labour and post labour for me, my baby and not forgetting my husband, and the essentials needed for starting our lives together in and out the home.
My daughter Tami bounced into the world in 2003 and thanks to my “bible” I was totally prepared. And as my friends panicked and prepared for the arrival of their babies, I found myself sharing this list which I had lovingly and meticulously created. As it became more and more well-known I began to receive calls from even further afield.
As a former marketing professional, I began to consider how I could share my now infamous list with the wider public. Could I set up a baby personal shopping service or perhaps even a baby advisory service? Maybe I could trademark my list and sell it as the “The Baby Bible”!!
Finally when my son Coby joined our family in 2006 it came to me. Over the years, I had spent a lot of time with other mums and one thing I had noticed was how many of them did not have the time to pack their hospital bags or panicked about the mere thought of what to put into it. I had finally found the perfect way to share my baby bible and myHospitalBag was born.
I went on to purchase my domain name www.myhospitalbag.co.uk and excitedly started planning how to turn my idea into reality. However, all plans were put aside with the arrival of our 3rd child, Ari in 2008 and myHospitalBag had to be put on the back burner.
In 2011 when Ari started nursery, I was finally able to put my marketing head back on and get to work on myHospitalBag. I spent the Winter running focus groups to test the idea, the Spring sourcing the products, and slowly my idea came alive. I envisioned the bag containing all the necessities a mum needs for herself and the baby during labour and post labour along with some special treats, all packed in a stylish bag that can continue to be used as an overnight bag.
The aim of myHospitalBag is to make your 48 hour stay in hospital more comfortable. The bag contains 35 items including a toilet bag with: miniature shower gel, shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, lipsalve, hairbands, shower cap, toothbrush, toothpaste and lipsalve. The bag also includes comfortable knickers, maternity sanitary towels, breastpads, facial wipes and antibacterial hand gel, along with flip flops, bed socks, a laundry bag and a pocket pad and pen. To help aid recovery there is a small bottle of Arnica pills which help bruising and discomfort after birth.
This stylish bag is not just for mums. I have included essential items for the newborn such as babygrows, vests, hats, mitts and muslin squares all in neutral white, newborn nappies, nappy bags, wipes, cotton wool, disposable changing mat and Sudocrem. The bag is even big enough to ensure that you have space to add a few home comforts and comes in 10 different colours.
It has now been 9 months since I launched and over the past few months, I have learnt not to be scared of social media, in fact I now find Twitter a lot of fun and recently I took the decision to increase my range to try some bolder colours such as my personal favourite, the military bag and a chic cream and chocolate colour. In terms of managing the business with 3 kids, I work very hard to ensure I don’t sacrifice too much time with them. I work within school hours but always have my iPhone by me to send/respond to emails wherever I am and evening are spent chilling in front of the TV with my husband, one eye on the TV, the other on Twitter, Facebook & Emails! myHospitalBag has become part of my kids life too. The sweetest moments are when they share my success by jumping up and down when the sales come through, which happened the other day in none other than the dentist’s surgery…. you can imagine the strange looks we received!
Starting a business as a mum is hard work. My advice is to believe in yourself and don’t give up. Stay confident that your idea is a good one and make sure you research your market thoroughly.
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