Why did you start your own business?
It was my brother-in-law, Nick, who originally had the idea for the product back in 2015 when his daughter always woke up whenever her pushchair came to a halt. I had a background in teaching design, so together we refined Nick’s prototype and developed the final product: a portable baby rocker. Rockit has since grown its product offering and we now export to 40 countries across the world, with products stocked in high-street retailers.
Taking the leap from employment to starting the business was a massive step but I enjoy the challenge of constantly learning and the flexibility of working for myself.
Why did you enter the FSB Celebrating Small Business Awards?
Even though we’d only been in business for a few of years, we decided to enter the International Business of the Year category for the South West because of our rapid success in exporting. We were both honoured and shocked when we won.
As the FSB Awards are targeted at small businesses and the self-employed, it’s a great networking opportunity and we’ve made fantastic contacts through the experience.
How did winning the award impact your business?
Winning the award gave us a boost in confidence as a start up. We’ve entered and won other awards, but the recognition of a business award is wonderful. The press coverage from FSB’s promotion of the awards was incredible exposure for the business at such an early stage. I was even interviewed by Money Week.
We met Seffie Wells from Aidie London at the 2019 FSB Celebrating Small Business Awards national final, who went on to win the overall International Business of the Year. We have kept in touch since and when she set up the The Aidie Trust we were keen to get involved. The charity provides life-changing interventions to some of the UK's most vulnerable babies, and we are delighted to be supporting their vital work. Every time someone orders one of our sleep aids from www.rockitrocker.com, we will be donating 10% of the profits to The Aidie Trust.
How did you adapt your business during the pandemic?
With such an emphasis on retail distribution, we had to pivot during lockdown to selling online direct to consumers. We also focussed on growing our social media marketing and building our digital presence.
Why did you join FSB?
I was impressed by the support offered by FSB. As a small and growing business, we’ve used a lot of the legal documents on FSB Legal Hub and accessed advice on everything from employment to trading contracts. Having the expertise and support from FSB is so important as a new business.