Fun on the farm
With a splish and a splash Charlotte Pearson finds baby and child toiletries you will want to keep for yourself.
Bathing children can sometimes be a war between keeping them entertained and making sure they don’t flood the room in the process.
Therefore not having to worry about what you are using on your child’s skin is a bonus.
Joanna Jensen founded Childs Farm, which creates toiletries suitable for babies and children, in December 2011.
“I couldn’t find anything that I liked or trusted for my girls,” she reveals. “One has very sensitive skin, and both have fine, flyaway hair.
“I wanted something that was good fun to look at to encourage kids to bath, but with content that mums could trust.”
The range initially started with five products – shampoo, conditioner, hair and body wash, and two bubble baths – but has grown to include party bag sizes, hair detangler and nappy cream.
So how long did it take to get the products right?
“It was surprisingly quick actually,” explains Joanna, who lives in Tadley near Basingstoke.
“My manufacturer really understood what I was trying to achieve, and Maxine their chemist got most of the formulas spot on first time round even though she did question some of my fragrance combinations.”
What has been created is suitable for eczema prone skin, and has been dermatologically tested and approved as well as paediatrician approved.
“Young skin should always be treated with the utmost respect as it is still growing and developing, so using naturally derived ingredients was a no brainer,” she says.
“Nearly 96 per cent of our ingredients for the range are also soil association approved too.
“The eczema claims were a very happy by-product of our ingredients choice, and with 20 per cent of under fives having atopic eczema in the UK, a very welcome one for parents too.”
Using organic essential oils suitable for young skin, the smells are so good you maybe tempted to keep them for yourself.
“I love the organic tangerine,” enthuses Joanna. “We use organic essential oils that in all cases can be used neat on a babies skin, so are very mild.
“Each also contributes to their chosen job too.
“Mint soothes an irritated scalp, and coupled with strawberry, reminds me of a very British summer,” Joanna explains.
“Tea tree oil nobbles nits and is a natural anti-bacterial, and coupled with grapefruit makes you feel clean and zesty.
“And the organic orange and tangerine, well they are just so evocative of Christmas stockings, summers in Spain and everything fantastic about life, that they make you smile the moment you smell them.
“With organic orange and tangerine containing the same qualities of lavender each is soothing and calming.”
From having the idea to getting the bottle produced can take six months.
Each product has to have three months of stability testing, followed by user trials and clinical trials to be able to make the eczema claims.
“At its longest it can take three years,” she explains, “which is how long it has taken me to finally get the sun care range I want.”
What is obvious when talking to Joanna is where she gets her inspiration.
“My children,” she smiles. “Every product has been designed for them or designed because of them.
“One of them had such a poorly bottom when she was little. I would never wish her unhappiness and discomfort on another child, hence we created the nappy cream for happy bottoms.
“By the way it also makes a wonderful night cream.”
The only problem I can see with using Childs Farm will be trying to get the kids out the bath.
“As well as being a Great British brand, we also support a Great British charity,” reveals Joanna, “not only with our time and support, but also with part of our profits.
“Riding for the Disabled is the largest volunteer run charity in the UK.
“Through riding, vaulting and carriage driving it enables more than 30,000 adults and children with disabilities every year, improving their lives through education, therapy and fun.
“We adore this charity, its staff and volunteers, and they in turn are very supportive of us.
“One day soon there will be ponies up and down the country provided by and named after our cartoon characters.”
“The farm where I was living when I created the brand was called Childs Farm about 350 years ago,” Joanna says.
“Richard Childs, one of the inhabitants, had etched his name on a pane of glass which caught the light one morning as I was walking past it.
“There it was, literally staring me in the face.”
For more information, visit childsfarm.com
May 8, 2015 Business and Investments