I AM MAD (not like angry-mad, more a bit crazy-mad)
Sometimes I can seem a little mad. I am pretty sure that is what my husband was thinking when I finally quit my job to make a sleep toy. I had been on maternity leave for 3 years by that stage, so I don't think anyone was particularly surprised that I wasn't going back to my HR job. We had been a single income family for a few years by that stage and had adjusted to Aldi wine nicely. He could see the passion and determination so he supported me through the 18 months of sketches, the endless testing of sounds, the samples, the tears... But when it came to the day of discussing the money - the redrawing of a decent amount from the home loan to make the final payment on the large order of toys and their related shipping (toys which we didn't know for sure that anyone wanted) I think, at that point, he really did believe that I was mad.
Even now with a second order placed - and a new design added to the collection - I still find myself standing in the shower thinking 'Did I really do that? Did I make that with ZERO experience?'
I HAVE ZERO EXPERIENCE
When I meet people and I tell them what I do, the first question is almost always 'So do you come from a design background?' or 'Is that what you did before kids'?
The only thing I designed before these toys was my daughter's 1st birthday cake. A giraffe head and neck, in a shape of a 1, but the orange icing was sort of flesh coloured and it turned out inappropriately phallic. I don't make cakes anymore.
I actually come from a HR background. I worked in hospitals for 7 years specifically in the recruitment and management of medical staff. I met so many great people and learnt a lot but I always knew I wanted to do something different - something on my own, something a bit creative.
SO WHY SLEEP TOYS?
1. Sleep obsessed. Everyone has one friend who is obsessed with sleep - well that is me. And it has nothing to do with 'sleeping in' (who remembers those days anyway?) but more to do with total hours obtained. It is like I am scared that if I don't get my solid 8 hours I might actually die. Obviously having two kids has taught me that I won't die - but it also taught me I am a
not such a bitch better person with it. My kids sleep well - I think I have one natural sleeper - the other... not so much. And I always believed that the right sleep aid had it's place along side them.
2. I wanted to make a useful baby product
I have never been a big spender and I can be obscenely conservative with my purchases. I don't buy anything I don't have to - even when it comes to the kids. I never had a 'nappy bag', I swear by the $30 ikea highchair and my kids had to learn to drink room temperature bottles because I refuse to buy a bottle warmer. (Disclosure: I do buy clothes, especially for the kids, this is my weakness)
I knew that if I was going to make something that I wanted others to purchase, it would have to be something that I would buy. And the best way I can justify a purchase is if the product has multiple functions. A comforter, cute and washable with built-in white noise, a sleepy lullaby AND a dummy locator... Even I would have bought that!
And that is where Riff & Raff all started.
So far it has been a crazy journey. There has been joy, tears and sleepless nights (both from excitement and anxiety) but when I see the posts and emails from mummas out there who love Riff & Raff, the mummas out there that getting even just a little bit more of that precious sleep thanks to these guys, it makes it all worthwhile. ❤️❤️
PS. If there are any mummas out there want to know for about my experience in the sourcing, manufacturing or e-commerce - email me! I am so happy to share some of my experiences - the good, the bad and the ugly. firstname.lastname@example.org