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We really got things going in 2007, after we decided on our product, we had to find someone to manufacture it. We had contacts in the baby industry as we had been running www.abcbabygifts.co.uk since 2003, but this was different. We needed to make the baby shoes at a price that meant we could then offer them to our customers at a fantastic price!
Firstly we approached leather factories and manufacturers in the UK, we always love to support local or UK business if at all possible. The stumbling block we had with the UK suppliers and manufactures was the cost…We really wanted our USP to be our price, this just wasn’t going to be possible however much we would have loved it.
So, the next step was approaching manufacturers abroad, again the experience we had gained from setting up the baby gift business really helped out, we were confident to ask the right questions and get all the information we needed. We had to do allot of research regarding the leather that would be used, toxicity reports and all the important information that we would need to feel confident in bringing the baby shoes to market.
It took a while but we found a fantastic factory. The manager, Sharon, was really helpful and held our hands through the whole process. We ordered samples, requested reports, decided on designs (the fun part!) designed a logo, this all took place over a few months. So, we had our shoes…designed in the UK, manufactured in Shanghai!
Finally, midway through 2007 we had a pair of Snuggle Feet in our hands…It was the start of a new venture!
There has been a lot of talk in the last couple of weeks about a scheme in Finland, this scheme has been running since the 1930’s and gives all expectant mothers, regardless of their financial situation or background a box filled with all the items she and her baby would need for the start of their life. The box itself is used as a crib for the new baby to sleep in.
The boxes are supplied by the Finnish government and are filled with essentials, which have evolved over the years, nowadays the box contains a mattress, bedding, sheets, a sleeping bag, nappies, nappy cream, a picture book and a toy amongst other items.
Parents are given the choice of accepting the baby box or the monetary equivalent of 140 Euros, though nearly every family accepts the box as the value of the items is much more. The one thing that the mother has to do to be eligible for the box is to register with a doctor for pre natal care, before the fourth month of their pregnancy.
Finland has a very low infant mortality rate, one of the lowest in the world and this has been directly linked to the use of the box as a crib. This is because the baby is put to sleep in the box and has meant a move away from the baby sharing the parent’s bed.
It seems a great gift idea and I’m sure it would be great if every country could do this but it would have financial implications for the government budgets.
If you haven’t heard of cake smashing, you soon will! This is the latest craze in the baby world. As the name says a ‘cake smash’ is basically a baby smashing up a cake, this can be in the form of a photo shoot or at a party.
Many families are deciding to hold a cake smash to celebrate a first birthday, rather than holding a formal photo shoot a cake smash gives an opportunity for much more fun! The baby is presented with a cake, usually decorated to match their outfits and are left to their own devices, some babies just smash right in and get covered head to toe in crumbs and cream, others will just pick at the edges!
A cake smash can also be held at the birthday party, everyone can sing ‘Happy Birthday’ the candles can be blown out and removed and the cake handed to the baby, the parents can then take their own photos for the family album.
So, what do you think of cake smashing? Is it a great fun idea or a waste of a perfectly good cake?
Here at Snuggle Feet we love to make baby gift baskets. I’d like to share the process from start to finish.
The first step is to choose the contents of your basket, at Snuggle Feet we offer you the choice of lots of ready made baby gift baskets such as our best selling ‘Deluxe’ or our ever popular ‘Beautiful’ baskets, or you can ‘create your own’ this means you can pick exactly what goes into your basket.
Whichever basket you choose you can be sure we will make it look beautiful. We take the items you choose and after filling a wicker basket with white shredded paper we nestle them snugly in the basket and sprinkle with confetti. The next step is to shrink wrap the basket, this is to keep everything from moving around and then we wrap the basket in cellophane, tie it up with a big bow in the appropriate colour and add lots of curled ribbon. The perfect baby gift to send to anyone!
In the current financial climate we all face challenges when it comes to choosing the best quality baby gift at the best possible cost. As consumers we want value for money without compromising on quality, this can be a challenge.
Research is the best possible start, decide on what kind of baby gift you are looking for and is it for a boy or a girl, for twins, triplets or more? How much money do you want to spend and will this include postage costs or gift wrapping? These are all questions you will need to answer before finding the perfect gift.
There are many places to buy your baby gift both online or on the high street. Buying on the internet may offer better value as the overheads for an online store are considerably less than for a high street store, you may also be able to find more unusual items and you have the luxury of not having to leave the comfort of your home.
There are many different kinds of baby gifts from the traditional silver gifts to more modern and funky gifts such as casting kits or stylish music boxes. Another very popular choice is a baby gift basket, this gives you the opportunity to have a variety of gifts wrapped and sent to the new baby and proud parents.
When you have decided on the type of baby gift you would like to send and how much money you have to spend you need to choose a reputable company that will provide an excellent service. Remember to enter information correctly online, especially if you are having the baby gift delivered to a separate address, it is always best to check the postcode and house number so the gift will be delivered on time and to the correct address.
Sending a gift for a new baby or the proud parent is a thoughtful and appreciated idea, especially if you have taken the time to choose a gift that is appropriate for the recipients. It is sure to brighten their day.
Casting kits are one of our best selling gifts, they make a great idea for a gift especially when you don’t know the gender of the baby. There are many different types of kits available to buy, ranging in quality and price.
We have stocked Baby Art kits for the last couple of years, but the distribution deal has moved from Gro-Group to Dorel UK and Dorel UK have made it hard to obtain stock of their products (Poor sales team). Great move Dorel buy a company for 4.1 million Euros and then make it hard for retailers to obtain stock. So, we need to find a replacement…Quickly!
Les has been searching the web for a suitable kit, we want a simple, easy to use kit that is air drying rather than one you need to bake. The price is also important, we need a kit that is good value for money so we can offer them to our customers at a reasonable price.
We found a temporary replacement from Cast In Time, this is a good quality kit and the frame is of a much better quality than Baby Art’s frame. The only problem with this kit is the weight, which is something we have to take into account. A couple of other kits we found were from Sculpey, this is a kit that needs to be baked, Creative Casting and Memory Hands also offer great casting kits.
It seems that most of the companies offering kits here in the UK are putting them together themselves, sourcing the frames, clay and boxes seperatley to create their own kit. So this got us thinking, why don’t we put together a casting kit of our own! It would solve the problem of running out or problems with quality.
So, we have approached a local framer and given her an idea of what we need, she is going to put together a frame for us to have a look at. We have ordered various different types of clay from Craft Mill and will test them out on the children to see which gives the best results and Les is looking into having the correct size boxes made up.
Watch this space, it shouldn’t be too long before we have the finished product online, produced by Snuggle Feet.
Since our start in 2003 we have stocked and sold hundreds of toys from nursery range by Keel Toys. We chose Keel Toys as our soft toys supplier for a number of reasons; we felt that they offer great quality products at fantastic prices and also the fact that they are a company local to us, based in Ashford. If we can, we always try and support local companies.
We often tell new parents buying baby soft toys, buy two if you can! Why? Well no-one knows exactly what soft toy if any a baby will fall in love with, which soft toy will become it’s favourite sleep partner, which soft toy they can’t live without, sleep without….
Over the years Keel toys nursery range have produced some very popular favourite soft toys and if your baby should lose its favourite have you got a spare to replace it? That’s why we recommend buying two, one for a spare!
OK, I know what you’re thinking; easy I’ll just buy another one if that happens. Wrong! Keel toys change their range yearly and if that favourite soft toy is a couple years old than you’ll have no chance of replacing it.
We often get calls from desperate parents in the UK, we have even had calls from parents on holiday to say that their baby has lost its favourite toy and no one is getting any sleep! In this case if we have the soft toy in stock we can send it out straight away. Of course if we no longer have the particular toy you are after then it could cause problems…This is why we recommend buying a second spare toy.
One other good reason for having a spare is; that with all the love and hugs your baby will give their favourite toy they can become dirty and worn and you may find that you need a replacement while you are washing the original, or if it becomes so worn it needs to be thrown away.
So, if you find that your baby is becoming attached to a particular Keel toy, it is better to be safe than sorry and buy a second one!