Flying on an airplane with a young baby was a nightmarish adventure that Fly Babee Director, Emma Lovell, was all too familiar with. In a bid to make life a little easier for all the mum’s out there battling with the same issue, Emma decided took matters into her own hands and designed the Fly Babee Sleep Easy cover. With one of the best stroller covers now on the market, Emma discusses the importance of providing great customer service and gives us her top tips for budding entrepreneurs.
How and why did the brand begin? Tell us a little bit about your background & journey in what led you to start Fly Babee.
Five years ago, my mum was diagnosed with cancer and given just nine months to live. My baby girl was just five months old at the time and I made the difficult decision to relocate to the UK to help care for my mum during her final year. I left my husband behind, so during that time, we flew back and forth from Sydney to London four times in 9 months. Flying with a baby is difficult and I was no exception. The airline bassinets are in the main thoroughfare of the plane and there’s so much going on. This over-stimulates your baby and makes it near impossible to get them to sleep when they need to – which in turn leads to over-tiredness and this is the worst problem to fix. I found myself rigging up all kinds of sheets and tape to cover my daughter, but none of them were effective. I looked everywhere on the market for something that might help, but found nothing. Months after my mum passed away, I found myself still thinking about the fact that there was nothing out there to help make travelling with babies easier. With a little encouragement from my husband, I set about designing something and that’s when Fly Babee was born. It took a lot of positive self-talk to get the idea up and running. I am originally a high school teacher, so I have no design, retail, manufacturing or warehousing experience. I was a busy mum with very little time and was convinced my nearest and dearest would think I was crazy (actually I’m pretty sure of that one). Once I start something though, there’s no stopping me.
What product has been nominated for the GALA awards? Why do you think it was chosen?
Fly Babee Sleep-Easy Cover was nominated. It’s the world’s first Multi-Purpose Sleep & Sun Cover for all Strollers, Prams & Airline Bassinets. It’s the first product in the world to practically address the issues of getting a baby to sleep whilst on an airplane. As a Sun & Sleep cover for Strollers, it gives babies UV protection of 50+ and is 100% breathable. It’s the only sun cover on the market that you can put on and keep the windows fully open so baby can interact with the world and still be protected from the sun. Fly Babee’s unique dome shape allows for real cross flow ventilation and plenty of kick space. Fly Babee on planes has become known as the “miracle cover”. Anyone that’s flown with a baby will tell you flights are full of noise, lights and other distractions. The bassinets are placed directly under a TV, right next to toilets and below cabin lights. It’s virtually impossible to get a baby to sleep. With Fly Babee, all of this is virtually eliminated by blocking out 97% of light and movement, thus allowing parents and nearby passengers to get some well-deserved rest. There are health benefits too. Fly Babee helps to limit the exposure to in-flight germs being spread via air-con in an enclosed environment. We only launched in May of this year (2015) – I think Fly Babee has come a long way in a short space of time and is helping change the way mums get out and about with their babies.
Any new and exciting products coming for 2016?
No new products are planned as yet, but we are currently testing Fly Babee to take it worldwide.
What is really important to you in your business?
Providing great customer service. I pride myself in bending over backwards to help a mum. I’ve been known to abandon my kids’ dinners to run down to the post office to express post a Fly Babee to mums flying the next day. I address every customer enquiry in the moment to make sure it’s handled with the utmost of care.
Can you give us a short run down on what a typical day in the life of Fly Babee would be like?
A typical day??? There is never a typical day…I often find myself with a plan of action for the day that gets completely thrown out of the window by 9am. Every day is different, whether it be filming for a TV segment, chasing International testing bodies, taking customer enquiries, graphic design, posting express packages or working on marketing plans. You soon find as a small business owner, you have to be a master of everything. However, one bit of advice I would give to any budding entrepreneur is to outsource the things you know little about…it’ll save you time and money in the long run!
What is the best advice you have been given along the way?
It was from my husband…“Don’t underestimate yourself – you have a wealth of experience in all walks of life and you need to back yourself!”
In 5 years’ time where will we see you?
You will see Fly Babee – Travel Made Easy all over the world. Hopefully with a few new products on board by then!
What is your favourite pizza topping?
You can’t go past the old faithful Hawaiian, but recently I’ve become wheat intolerant…I miss a late night pizza sooooo much!
Winners will be announced at the GALA evening on Saturday 20 February 2016 at Dockside Pavilion.
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Saturday 20 February
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6.45pm – 11pm
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