Baba + Boo – Behind the Brand, Eve Bell
An accidental business woman
I’d never seen – or even heard of – washable nappies until my son was four months old. We were at a baby signing class and one of my new mum friends talked about them. We soon moved to the next subject.
I didn’t give them a second thought. Then I found out I was pregnant for the second time – a complete surprise.
I had a seven-month-old who didn’t sleep day or night, a 14-week old surprise bump and the end of maternity leave beckoning. The idea of going back to a really intense job did not compute.
Fast forward a few months and I had two children under 18 months – and not a lot of cash. Reusable nappies came back to mind when I thought about how I could save money.
I started off slowly and used them around the house. Actually, the first time I used one, I fitted it so badly that my daughter was soaking.
I was getting by on zero sleep, maybe short bursts of 26 minutes throughout the 24-hour clock. I washed a few nappies here and there. They fitted in with me and not the other way round. If none were washed, I used a disposable. If a clean one was downstairs and I was upstairs, I used a disposable. It’s not all or nothing. I didn’t beat myself up.
But, way back in 2009, I was frustrated that the ‘nice nappies’ were so expensive. My previous career as a retail buyer made me sure that there had to be another way. I wanted high quality nappies that looked gorgeous and were affordable – and they weren’t available.
So, with an 18 month old and a nine week old, I did the obvious thing and started my own business, designing the kind of nappies that I wanted to use.
‘Baba’ is my eldest and ‘Boo’ is my little girl – the nicknames we used for them when they were little, and a song I sang to them in the middle of the night!
Starting a business and learning how to be a mum of two under two was – and still is – the best and hardest thing I have ever done. I get to do the school runs, whilst saving 15 million nappies from landfill and saving families hundreds of thousands of pounds.
Baba+Boo has a reputation for customer service – but that’s basically because I love talking about nappies and babies! I’m probably even more passionate about what I do now than when I was designing nappies during nap times.
I still hate waste – but living a simple life with less stuff and more experiences has also become an important part of my life, as my two have dashed through their childhoods. For Mother’s Day they created a play for me, instead of a gift, which is my idea of perfect. Reusable nappies help parents save their money, so that they can spend it on enjoying time with their families.
At the moment I’m focused on Time For A Change – we want to make reusables the new normal. We’re working with midwives, councils, the media and political groups so that there are no more parents like me who’ve never seen or heard of reusables. When every parent realises that there is a cheaper, easy option that’s kinder to the planet, then I’ll be happy!