Bernadette Spofforth and Lesley Beach of Splash About talk to Nursery Online about their company’s history and ethos, how it supports retailers and how the improvements to the Happy Nappy swim nappy could even save lives:
“Splash About has been supporting the baby swim industry for 20 years, from the invention of the first Happy Nappy swim nappy designed to minimise the risk of solid leaks in pool water, to creating products to keep babies warm in the water.
We’ve expanded our range over the years to include baby sensory toys for both bath and pool, developed to support parents and teachers in getting babies used to the water. All our products are made from natural rubbers and painted in food grade vegetable paints, making them safe not only for babies, but to the environment.
Our mission is to take disposable nappies out of the pool. In the UK in the baby swim industry alone we estimate that almost one hundred and fifty thousand disposable swim nappies are used weekly and dumped in landfill taking up to 500 years to breakdown.
Our ethos is all about safety, sustainability and technical invention to make swimming safer. This ethos is carried through all our offices, factories and distributors worldwide. We always keep inventing to improve the industry and always try to exceed customer service expectations.”
Why should a retailer stock Splash About & how do you support them?
“Splash About products are recommended worldwide, not only by pool venues and swim schools, but also by parents who trust in our brand. There is a huge demand for our products. To help support our retailers we offer outstanding customer service through advanced technology and exceptional staff who know our products and market inside out.
We offer great margins, marketing support, training and of course, exceptionally lovely products that sell extremely well, with everything a baby and child would need to keep them safe, clean and warm in water. The textile ranges are co-ordinating, high quality and affordable – and our sensory toys are specifically designed for both bath and pool, using all-natural materials that aren’t harmful to baby or the environment.”
Tell us about the new product improvements to the swim nappy – the Happy Nappy.
“The Happy Nappy was re-engineered about 5 years ago, where we made the design form fitting and included a shaped bottom so that the nappy didn’t move when worn by the child. This worked fantastically well with zero reported leaks anywhere in the world.
The bigger problem was liquid leaks out of the waist band and leg bands and we experimented for years at making the nappy watertight – particularly difficult given babies come in all shapes and sizes! We realised the best solution was to try and make any leakage as sterile as possible by killing pathogens within the nappy itself, which, leaked from a baby nappy could cause a dangerous infection outbreak in a pool.
After years of working with our technical teams both here and at our factories to test the fabric in real life pool water environments, we redeveloped the Happy Nappy to contain a second inner nappy, fulfilling the double nappy system requirement for swim schools without using a disposable nappy (our “Ditch the disposable” campaign had begun by that stage). The Happy Nappy DUO is a double layer nappy with the added benefit of killing pathogens within the nappy before they enter the pool. It is our greatest technological advancement, and the nappy is now the safest in the world.”
What sets Splash About apart from its competitors?
“Passion, technology, invention and trust! We don’t copy anyone else’s ideas, we consistently come to market with innovations that support our network of teachers, schools and consumers and we constantly look to improve everything we do. Parents trust us to have their babies and toddlers interests first and foremost. When you buy a Splash About product, you know it will work, fit and last!”
Today’s parents are more discerning than ever – how do you keep your product line fresh and current?
“That has always been a key feature of Splash About’s ethos and we work with parents, teachers and industry professionals throughout the year to ensure we are listening to what they want to buy – and to their ideas for improvements. Problem solving is essential at Splash About and our technical and product development teams are dedicated to evolving our ranges, whether that’s trend surface patterns or complex technical materials to combat pathogens from faecal matter in the water.”
What do you enjoy about being in the baby industry?
“The industry is vibrant, full of hope and the constant joy from working with babies. More specifically, the baby swim industry is full of inspirational people who have a passion for teaching babies and young children the fundamentals of swimming.
What three words would you use to describe Splash About?