Jennifer Unsworth, Founder of Tidy Tot scooped not one, but TWO Weaning World Awards this year: Gold for Best Accessory (for her Bamboo Wash Mitts) & Silver for Best Bib (for the Long Length Coverall).
We caught up with Jennifer to find out more about the origins of the business, her top selling products and why retailers should stock Tidy Tot. She started by telling us what it meant to win the awards:
“We were absolutely thrilled to win both of these awards. So much hard work goes into our product development that to achieve recognition for that through the Weaning Week Awards has been incredible. To see the Bamboo Wash Mitts awarded Gold is a huge achievement – this is a new category for us and positions the brand into gifting and bath time as well as staying true to our weaning roots.”
What prompted you to set up Tidy Tot in the first place?
“As I started to wean my first baby, I simply couldn’t find anything that kept my daughter clean at mealtimes whilst giving her the freedom to explore her food as much she liked. After 2 years of development, the Tidy Tot Bib & Tray Kit was born and it became the first in our range of innovative weaning products that make life easy for parents and fun for baby.”
What sets Tidy Tot apart from its competitors?
“We’re often told our customer service is second to none – by both our website customers and our trade partners who often can’t believe how much we’ll go that extra mile to support them. And of course, all of our products are designed by parents – and thoroughly road tested before we launch – so we have absolute confidence that the concept and quality of our offer stands us head and shoulders above our competition. And finally, as a business we value integrity and honesty in the way we do business. We have competitors in our space that simply don’t work that way – and we’re proud to stand apart from them.”
Why should a retailer stock Tidy Tot’s products?
“We genuinely want our retailer partners to succeed with our brand – we don’t take an order and just hope it sells through. We recommend product ranges, have no minimum order quantity, offer payment terms to support our smaller retailers, and importantly we listen. If a particular line or bib print is struggling, we take the time to find out why, and support our retailers to present a core range that works. We invest heavily in our own brand activity and support retailer specific activity wherever we can. For example – we’ve just launched our full range with Baby Loves in Wilmslow. We’re supporting their social media activity and are attending their official launch event in September by running weaning workshops in store and contributing to goodie bags on the day.”
What are your top best-selling products – and why?
“Tidy Tot is so well known for the iconic Bib & Tray Kit, and it creates a brilliant introduction to the rest of our range. Our Long Length Coverall Bib is a fantastically priced ‘all-rounder’ and being such good value for a beautiful bib, it always flies off the shelves. We’re launching 3 new prints in the Long Length Coverall Bib range in the autumn as it’s been so popular.”
How has business for Tidy Tot changed, as a result of the pandemic?
“We’ve managed incredibly well but it was nice to get the team back into the office as soon as restrictions lifted. We operate a flexible working policy but the whole team have chosen to work from the office more often than not since we’ve been able to – it’s been great to have us all in one place!
In terms of sales, like most retailers with a strong on-line offer, sales rocketed at the start of the first lockdown and we’ve been able to keep the momentum throughout. We’re lucky to have a brand presence across the world, with quite significant business in Europe and Asia, so the specific effects of local lockdowns has been manageable for us.”
What three words would you use to describe Tidy Tot?
“Innovative, quality, integrity.”
Can you share any specific plans or developments for the year ahead?
“We have a brand new product launching in October – it’s another market first and the whole team are very excited about this one – so watch this space!”