Before founding Rockit, Matt Dyson worked as a product design teacher and lecturer for 20 years. In our exclusive interview, he tells Nursery Online what prompted him to launch the brand, why he’s looking forward to Harrogate next week – and which iconic baby products he wishes he’d designed!

“I gave up my day job as soon as my brother-in-law Nick showed me his invention for a pram rocking device at a family Christmas party. His daughter Abby refused to sleep in her pram unless it was being wheeled along and his background in vibration and acoustics engineering helped him to have the lightbulb moment. We spent the next 2 years developing the Rockit stroller rocker and launched it in October 2017.”

What are the foundations on which your brand has been built and how does this translate into everyday business?

“At Rockit we focus on helping babies and older children to sleep – and in turn giving worn out mums and dads some well-deserved rest. Our focus has always been to design our own innovative products that solve real problems. Our second product, ‘Zed’ is placed on the cot mattress and mimics the feeling of being in a car by creating soothing low frequency vibrations that are known to send babies to sleep.”

What do you enjoy about being in the baby business? 

“The opportunity to innovate through our own experiences as parents has been really enjoyable. Hearing from other mums and dads that a product we have designed from scratch is helping them is very satisfying. The baby product industry in the UK is also very friendly and supportive, we are looking forward to seeing old friends and making new ones up in Harrogate next week.” 

Which 3 baby products do you wish you’d invented?

“As a designer I love a question like this!

Stokke’s Tripp Trapp chair

I used this product with all 3 of my children. It was passed on to me by friends and then we passed it on again. Amazing that it was designed in the 1970s yet is still as stylish and practical today as it was back then. A real design classic!

Lascal’s BuggyBoard

I loved going for long walks when the children were young, but persuading a toddler to keep up with the pram was always a struggle. The buggy board meant they could hop on and off whenever they liked. It was a great purchase and a disaster when I lost it after leaving it on a train at Waterloo.

Matchstick Monkey’s teethers

I love the simplicity of these flexible teethers and the characterful designs that also make them easy to hold. The branding is so important when designing successful products and the Matchstick Monkey team have got it spot on!”

Why should a retailer stock Rockit, and what sales/after sales support can you offer them?

“The innovative, yet functional nature of our product as well as the eye-catching design and branding make our sleep products very desirable both in the UK and abroad. We’ve seen excellent growth in sales over the year and the Rockit stroller has become a ‘must have’ accessory, featuring in publications such a Vogue and The Independent’s ‘Indy Best’ list. In partnership with Cheeky Rascals, we can supply outstanding sales and after sales support and have a range of high quality online and point of sale marketing materials available for retailers.”

Tell us more about the new distributor partnership with Cheeky Rascals and how that will impact your business:

“We are pleased to have recently appointed Cheeky Rascals as our UK distributor. They are a well-established yet forward thinking company, with exciting ideas for the marketing and sales of our sleep product range. They have some great brands in their existing line-up and have close relationships with retailers both large and small. We are looking forward to seeing this partnership flourish over the coming years.”

How did your brand react to the pandemic and have you had to change the way you do business since then?

“We were very fortunate that demand for our products grew during the pandemic. With many parents working from home they often turned to our products to help soothe their little ones. As people are returning to work, we are pleased to see that demand is still on the rise.”

Can you share any business plans for the year ahead?

“We have a really exciting 12 months ahead, starting with the launch of our latest sleep aid at Harrogate next week. I can’t reveal too much at this stage, but anyone visiting the Show should pop along to the Cheeky Rascals stand (King’s Suite KS18) to find out more and see the product in action.

Beyond that we have more products in the development pipeline, and we are looking forward to getting out and about more to show retailers and consumers what we have to offer as a brand.”

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