Everyone who’s ever had (or met) a baby knows that they love the jangling noise that keys make, as well as the fact they’re bright and shiny. But that can also lead to trouble, particularly if your baby then goes on to lose your keys. Elspeth Fawcett (34) from Aberlady in East Lothian knows that all too well. When her son managed to get his hands on her car keys, he lost them, meaning they had to spend £400 getting their car towed, and a new set calibrated. However, what could have been written off as an expensive inconvenience sparked a very lucrative idea in Elspeth’s head. That idea was ‘Yummikeys’ – a range of stainless steel sensory teething toys for babies.
The business grew from the seed of an idea to a successful company with a six-figure turnover, and Elspeth doesn’t even need an office: she works from home, on her phone and even from local cafes. In her words – “anywhere with wifi. I love having the flexibility to work at times and places that suit me and my family.” She told Edinburgh Live : “After my son lost my car keys, I thought I’d buy him a set of more realistic metal keys to ensure this could never happen again and was amazed when I couldn’t find any and so I set about designing the toy I knew my babies would love.
You can also get your child’s birthday engraved on the keys
“People who hear about my business are really enthusiastic as anyone who’s known a baby well knows the key obsession! “We had Binky Felstead of Made in Chelsea feature a photo of her baby with Yummikeys which has been one of my highlights! “What I hadn’t expected was the number of customers who email and message to thank me for their order and to share photos of their babies with Yummikeys. I’m so touched that busy mums take time out of their day to share this with me.”
Elspeth now sends her products all over the world. One recent testimonial came all the way from Australia, and said: “My daughter loves your product! I live in Australia and my wonderful friend Kathryn sent them to me as a gift. As you can see in the photos she loves them! Dishwasher friendly is just a bonus. Fantastic product.” However, as with any business, it hasn’t been without its ups and downs. Elspeth had problems getting the teething products manufactured at first. She explained: “Our first manufacturer was supportive but the products weren’t as a high a quality as I wanted so after the first batch I switched to a luxury stainless steel jewellery manufacturer in China which took a huge amount of time and effort to find one I was happy with. ” Another challenge is the fact Elspeth has two pre-school age children and doesn’t have much childcare, so she has to try and fit in running her business with taking care of her children.
Elspeth also makes teething necklaces that mums can wear
However, she’s still managed to build her income to the point that she was able to quit her ‘day job ‘ as a chartered accountant last summer, and now supports her family through Yummikeys…and it’s all because of that time her wee boy stole her car keys. Her advice for Edinburgh Live readers? “There’s never an ideal time to take a chance and start your dream business so seize the day and you’ll be amazed at how much time you’ll find you can squeeze in.” To find out more about Yummikeys, click here . If you have an interesting or unusual business success story and live in Edinburgh and the Lothians and would like to be featured, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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