Mums Who Inspire

'Just go for it': how supermarket incident lead to mum starting her own business

"I was standing in a queue with my two week old baby girl. She was tiny, she was only eight pounds at the time. 

"This man was standing right behind us- and he coughed straight on her. Wide open mouth, no attempt to cover up. I don’t know how I didn’t kill him- I still get mad when I think about it, to be honest.”

It was an innocuous and irritating moment in a supermarket that lead Laura Gylnn to come up with her own invention. Worried about her new baby, Laura began researching baby covers. 

However, her search was fruitless. "I didn't want anything too heavy or anything that completely covered the baby." 

An architect by trade, Laura decided to apply her creative skills in a different way. During her maternity leave, she decided to take a sewing class. 

She started making bibs, moccasins and blankets for family and friends, then the day at the supermarket came back to her. She invested in better sewing machines and started designing and making Bubba Baby covers. 

“My friends all started having babies around the same time. I started making blankets, bibs and stuff like that. Then people started coming to me asking ‘will you make such and such for my sister’. So when I started doing the covers they all thought that it was a great idea.”

Made out of good quality jersey material, each cover can be used to cover carriers, supermarket trollies or for breastfeeding. 

“Each Bubba Baby cover takes three different sewing machines to make. After I learned on the first one, I used Youtube to teach myself the other two.”

Word of mouth about Bubba Baby got out, and while demand was high for a durable covers, Laura was still anxious about taking the first step into an official business. 

“The first step of turning it into a business is so so hard, it took me the bones of a year to get started. The first step is always the worst, the second and third get easier and easier until everything falls into place.

"Because I make them myself as well I feel like I’m putting a bit of myself out there to be judged.”

A commitment to quality drives Laura, she only uses the finest material she can source- and that doesn't come cheap. 

“I only use the best material I can find so each product is great quality. And it’s the good quality that has really been getting the great news from mums.”

Not only is are the Bubba Baby covers great for keeping the elements or nasty germs off of your little one, but they also provide a comfort ot mums as well. Laura recalls an email that she got off a first time mother that used Bubba Baby for breastfeeding- and was delighted with the results. 

"She emailed me to say that she had had major body image issues since having her first child. She didn't feel comfortable breastfeeding in public at all. Bubba baby let her feed with confidence in public again.

"It also helped in a social way as well. When we see a mother breastfeeding in public we tend to let them do their own thing. But people started coming up to the mum and talking to her about the cover, which helped her confidence even more.

"Of course it's every mums preference whether she wants to cover up or not. It's every woman's choice." 

As well as making and selling each Bubba Baby product by herself, Laura also works part-time as an architect in her father's firm. 

The busy mum credits the "super set-up" with her husband as the key to juggling family life and two careers. He also has his own business in retail. 

"Monday's used to be our family day cause he works weekends in the shop, but now he'll take the kids so I can go upstairs and sew for the afternoon. After dinner as well, he'll look after the kids so I can get four or five hours of sewing done." 

Juggling two tots and two jobs, however, doesn't come without mummy guilt. And despite admitting to mum guilt, Laura believes that her kids will be better for it in the long run. 

"Mum guilt is part and parcel of it, just do your best to ignore it. One day you’ll be a role model to your kids. They’ll be able to point at something you’ve done and say ‘my mum did that’ and hopefully that will inspire more mums and eventually more kids."

The future of Bubba Baby is looking bright, Laura currently has two new and top-secret products under development to make mums' lives easier. 

Laura credits a vision board for keeping her on track. 

"Everything on the board I've surpassed. I have it in front of my sewing machine so I look at it every day. It has small goals like getting the kids a new football kit and bigger ones like taking them to Disneyland or doing my first pregnancy show this year."

Her advice to mums who want to set up a business is to just do it. 

“Take the first step and everything else gets easier. If you have an idea that you think will work then bite the bullet and go for it."

To find out more about Bubba Baby see here

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