Doddle & Co’s co-founders Nicki Radzely and Janna Badger had never actually met in person when they launched their (now) internationally successful baby pacifier (dummy) and teether brand. But with big and innovative ideas and a bag full of creative and design experience between them, they proved great things come from baby-sized ideas. Here, Nicki and Janna share their incredible story…
How did you come together to form Doddle & Co?
We were introduced by a mutual friend in the industrial design space. Janna lived in Seoul, South Korea at the time and Nicki in Montclair, New Jersey. We were introduced over Skype and decided to go for it! We built the beginning of Doddle & Co overSkype for nearly two years without ever having met each other.
What was the inspiration behind your business?
Janna first thought of designing a pacifier when she was in church one day…nearly expecting her first born. She noticed a mother in front of her whose baby’s pacifier kept falling from their mouth and onto the floor. It was then she first had the idea!
Can you tell us how the Pop & Go pacifier works?
The Pop & Go is our newest design, with a nipple that manually pops back for case-free carrying.
The Pop & Go is engineered with a firmer bubble, designed to hold its position even when baby plays with it. This gives you and active baby better control. Whether it’s in your bag, your pocket or dangling from a pacifier clip, with a quick pinch you can decide when to reduce unwanted surface contact, and when to make the nipple available for baby.No need for a case!Just pinch to tuck the nipple away when you are on the go.
The nipple locks firmly in the extended position (this is not designed to pop when it drops). The firm lock feature is recommended for babies that have developed motor skills—but can be used for younger babies, too.
It’s ideal when paired with a pacifier clip. Simply pinch the sides to protect the nipple while baby wears it.
Is there anything it can’t do?!
It won’t pop out of babe’s mouth! It’s100% silicone. No lead, PVC, BPA, latex or phthalates.
It also has a firm nipple safe for teething babies and is dishwasher safe.
Can you tell us about the Pop chews? They are unique, fun and practical (and made of safe materials!)...?
The Chew teether was inspired by watching babies play with our Pop pacifier. We saw how much they loved the tactile “poppable” bubbles and knew the same technology in a teether would be a hit. The body of the teether features the same bubbles so babies can play while they soothe. It’s like bubble wrap – but better!
What was life like in those early days – with a young child and a new business?
Peaceful and relaxing 😉 Just kidding! It was impossible and exhilarating. Running after an idea that you believe is bigger than life is incredibly rare and we felt lucky then as we do now that we got to do it!
Tell us about Doddle & Co today – and how you manage your family and business?
We have a lot of supportive help through nanny’s, babysitters, spouses who are understanding and also friends who know our busy schedules. There is no formula to figure out how to do this-we have really good days, weeks and months, coupled with tough ones and long hours. Sacrifices to be made and appointments or events missed. It takes a lot, but this, we believe is what separates entrepreneurs from anyone else. You did it at risk but with the opportunity for an enormous upside.For us that is following through on our brand promise and making parents lives easier.
What advice would you give other parents who are looking to launch a business – with a newborn!?
It’s true, there is no good time! We kinda’ believe that if you can do it, then any challenge after will be completely manageable. Why not? Double down if it’s the right time. Or simply, you think it’s a good idea and want to give it a go!
Why do parents love your love your designs?
Because we have made their day a tiny bit easier. That’s all anyone could ask for. When that happens, they are happy. To boot our colours and materials are premium, so enjoy it
What fields were you in before Doddle & Co?
Nicki, founder and CEO, reigns from marketing and sales in pharmaceuticals, media and advertising.Janna, co-founder and Design reigns from industrial design firms, such as Enlisted Design and Urbio.