I LOVE when women create something that they wish existed. To have the passion to follow your heart and work damn hard to achieve your dreams is to be celebrated and today we want to celebrate Emma Lovell, Sydney mother of two and Founder of Fly Babee, the worlds first multi-purpose sleep and sun cover for babies.
Be inspired by this amazing woman!
Allow me to introduce you to Emma Lovell, the woman behind the Fly Babee Sleep Easy cover. Made from 100% breathable material, there is no risk of baby overheating and with silent magnetic openings, you will not wake your baby when you have the urge to spy on them! Providing sun protection (SPF50+), the Fly Babee is a perfect cover for your stroller, or pram and when used as an airline bassinet cover, provides your baby with the best chance of sleep blocking out 97% light along with constant distractions. I am so grateful to Emma for her time and loved being able to chat with her recently…
Leigh: You are the beauty & brains behind ‘Fly Babee’. What sparked this wonderful idea?
Emma Lovell: My daughter was just 5 months old when I decided to take her to see my mum in the UK for the first time. It was an awful flight as Aimee didn’t sleep the whole time and I remember telling my mum that I wouldn’t do that again in a hurry. Sadly, during that visit my mum was diagnosed with a life-ending illness and I took the difficult decision to relocate and look after her. During that year, I flew from Sydney to London and back four times… Each and every flight was terrible as Aimee was unable to sleep during the flight. The airline provides you with a bassinet, but it is directly under a TV, right next to the toilet where people gather the whole flight and subjected to the distraction of passers-by, overhead reading lights and cabin lights. It’s really difficult to remove these distractions in order to get baby to sleep. I searched for a product to help overcome these difficulties to no avail. It was after my mum passed away and I started to heal that I started to doodle pictures of a product that may overcome this problem – and there the journey started!
LV: You took your idea to the popular TV show ‘Shark Tank’ hoping and succeeding in gaining financial support with your product idea. Was that a nerve wracking experience?
EL: Shark Tank was quite possibly one of the most nerve-wracking experiences I’ve ever been through. I used to teach business studies to 17/18 year old boys so I figured it couldn’t be that hard! It wasn’t the bright lights or the caliber of people I was pitching to that scared me – it was the sharing of my idea that scared me the most. Fly Babee had been in my head for years and this was the first time I was putting it out there for public scrutiny – I was just praying that it wasn’t just me that thought it was a good idea! Of course, I was delighted to walk away with a deal!
LV: How has going on Shark Tank and gaining Janine Allis as your business partner changed things?
EL: Going on Shark Tank was an amazing way to launch a new product and gain traction a lot faster than possible under normal circumstances. The PR opportunities that came along with that really enabled me to stretch my advertising budget and gain a great brand awareness. Having Janine Allis on board is great – it’s nice to be able to pick up the phone and ask questions and verify direction. Having someone else on board also makes you much more accountable – I can’t allow my family to distract me, I can’t decide to shelve ideas for a while whilst I pluck up some courage to action them…. I’m more focused and driven than ever.
LV: As a mother, I imagine this has been a ‘passion project’ for you. How difficult has the process been, navigating motherhood and building a business?
EL: Running your own start-up with young children is no mean feat. There are times when you feel like you’re not doing your job properly because you’re looking after your children and then when you’re looking after your kids, you’re abandoning your business. I always remember why I am doing this…. I work passionately, but I work to live and if you miss out on the joys of your kids whilst establishing your business – then it’s not ideal. So, striking a balance, whilst difficult is essential. You have to schedule family time in the same way as you do work time. I have had to outsource a few of my mummy duties in the same way, I’ve had to outsource aspects of my business. The upside is my kids have grown up with Fly Babee and even at 3 & 6, are very passionate about it. In a recent talk at school when Aimee was asked what she wanted to be when she was older, she proudly said “just like mum, I want to run Fly Babee when she’s too old to do it!”
I have found our new found technology means it’s very hard to ever switch off and my phone was constantly used as my mobile office as soon as I stepped away… This often meant I was not spending any quality time with the kids. One small way we are attempting to achieve balance is by limiting screen time. We’ve set some house rules for every family member to switch off and shut down. Our reliance on 24/7 technology is a grave concern to me and I’m trying to be proactive in beating this modern day problem.
LV: What advice do you have for women who have a dream, as you did, and want to see it grow into a reality?
EL: First of all – Be brave! You rarely get anywhere in life by constantly playing it safe – so you will need to take some risks but try to only make well calculated risks. Set a budget but be prepared to double it and if you set a time limit – be prepared to triple it. Do your research and make sure others think it’s also a good idea. Find yourself a mentor, research people and ask them to help – you’ll be surprised at how generous some successful people are with their time.
LV: Sadly, your mother passed away recently. Has losing your beloved mother pushed you further to achieve your dreams?
EL: I’ve always been very motivated in achieving my dreams, first to go to uni, first to graduate, first to travel independently…. Nothing I did ever surprised my mum. She used to say “just go for it girl and smile through whatever it brings”. What has changed since losing mum is the realisation that our time here is limited and we can’t waste a single minute of it. I want to make my mark through love and laughter with my kids, experiences with my friends, companionship with my husband, time with extended family and of course, the growth of my business. I’m forever changed since the death of my mum – I know she’s be so proud of me, as she always was!
LV: Can we expect to see more from the ‘Fly Babee’ range?
EL: Yes definitely – but for now, my big goal is to take our Sleep-Easy cover worldwide and grow this product first.
LV: What comes to mind when you hear the following words…
Love – children
Money – fun
Motherhood – privilege
Attitude – brave
Life – perfect
Business – growing
Ambition – ever-present