Also with a background in TV, Paul is a parent entrepreneur that is a constant inspiration to me; he had an idea based on that same thought ‘there must be another way to do this’. His invention of the Ella’s Kitchen food pouches, revolutionised the baby food industry – and his new range of natural, fun bath time products at Paddy’s Bathroom, looks to do exactly the same.
Paul was lovely enough to let me pick his brains about starting a baby business back in 2013 and it’s a huge pleasure to feature his wise words right here on my baby business site!’
Paul Lindley – From Ella’s Kitchen to Paddy’s Bathroom
One of the biggest advantages of being a parent entrepreneur is that your kids are a constant source of inspiration. People often ask me where the idea came from for Ella’s Kitchen, and my new business Paddy’s Bathroom, and the answer is always: my kids
The idea for Ella’s Kitchen was formed when we were having trouble weaning my daughter Ella. It was near impossible to get her to try new foods – something I now know is a challenge for parents everywhere.
After mealtimes, bath time seemed the next obvious challenge to tackle! With a parent’s usual aversion to favouritism, it had to be my son Patrick that inspired the name!
With Paddy’s Bathroom we have taken on bath time and tried to make it fun again; it is too often a dreaded part of the evening routine with everyone tired and exhausted at the end of a long day. A big part of the motivation behind Paddy’s Bathroom and Ella’s Kitchen was simply to make the difficult parts of the day easier, more convenient, and much more fun for parents and kids.
When Ella and Paddy were young I was really living and breathing these problems. The team behind both businesses are also largely young parents. We were, and continue to be, tuned in to our target market, and within easy reach of volunteers for market research! That was a huge advantage for us, and something I think lies behind our success.
As a parent, not a big conglomerate company, you are in an excellent position to notice real gaps in the market. When Ella was little, we were less than inspired by the baby food industry as it was. The traditional glass jar was impractical, and the colours and flavours often unappealing.
We wanted to be able to feed our kids high quality, convenient food that we were confident was nutritious, tasty and appealing. From the very start of Ella’s Kitchen we have worked closely with, and taken lots of advice from, expert nutritionists and organic food experts to ensure that everything we were putting in our kids’ tummies was as healthy as possible.
Before taking the jump to start Ella’s Kitchen, I worked at Nickelodeon, which is where I developed a real passion for childhood health and nutrition. A central part of the mission and purpose behind Ella’s Kitchen has always been to tackle the health crisis in the UK, by helping to improve kids’ relationship with food. We wanted to build healthy eating habits among children from an early age that would see them through their lifetime.
Paddy’s Bathroom also focuses on improving children’s health. Lots of Ella’s Kitchen parents had been voicing their concerns to me about the ingredients used in some toddler’s bath products, and the impact they might be having on children’s sensitive skin. So for Paddy’s Bathroom, we have developed an innovative range of natural and organic children’s toiletries that contain no parabens, SLS, sulphates or phthalates.
We have done a few things differently with Paddy’s Bathroom. It has been an opportunity to have a bit more fun; we use a nozzle that turns the products into a ‘stream of foam’ that kids can make shapes and hairstyles with. I firmly believe that getting clean should be as fun as it was to get dirty!
We have also partnered with an incredible company called DelAgua, who work to provide safe, clean water to families in Rwanda. Through our ‘Drop buy Drop’ scheme, for every Paddy’s Bathroom product we sell, we donate 50 US cents towards their hard work.
One of the key reasons that we have built such a strong and enduring brand loyalty is because our customers know that, as it says on every Ella’s Kitchen pack, we try very hard to be ‘good in every sense’. Not just in the ingredients we use for our products, but across the business, lowering our environmental impact and giving back to our local communities.
I firmly believe that business is the best tool we’ve got to generate real