Monday, 5 September 2011

My Mumpreneur of the Month: Jenny McLaughlan from Gumigem

1. Can you quickly introduce yourself to our readers?

My name is Jenny McLaughlan, I am the owner of Gumigem and I am a mum of two in sunny Dundee. My eldest Maisie has just turned three and is wired to the moon! Her little brother is a lot more chilled and he is 18 months. I have a wonderful hubby, whom I could not manage without. 

2. When and why did you decide you decide to become your own boss?

While on maternity leave with Miller, the idea found me more than anything. Miller has a terrible teether, in fact he still is.  At 18 months we have just 7 teeth and he has been dribbling and chomping non stop since he was three months. I always needed something to hand for him to chew on, and he would always try and eat my necklaces, which is not good for necklaces or babies, so GUMIGEM was born. I thought it was such a fab idea, it had to be pursued!

3. What sort of products to you produce and sell? And which one is your absolute favourite? 

We sell necklaces made out of the same stuff as most teething toys, its soft and flexible but totally non toxic and safe. To anyone looking, it just looks like a nice necklace, but acts as a teether you never forget to put in your bag too! It has a breakaway claps for comfort and can be washed in the dishwasher. Since launch we had an increasing interest from the special needs market. It became apparent that children who perhaps had autism or other sensory issues needed to chew. They needed something discreet and safe to stop them eating text books and clothes. We responded to that need and recently launched Gumigem's little sister chewigem! Exactly the same but aimed at that market! Its hard to choose a favoutire necklace, .. so I can only give you my top three! Pearl Storm, Candy Confusion and Wicked!

4. How do you juggle being a successful business woman and a mum and wife?

I actually juggle more than that! I have a full time job too! But I have my life very ordered and I make sure the time I have doing each activity is totally dedicated to just that. So if its the day job, then I am 100% there, in the evenings its all about the business and Saturday/Sunday is family time!

5. Is there anything you wish you'd known before becoming a mumpreneur or wish you'd done differently? 

101 little things! Its been such a steep learning curve! I think patience is something I wish I had had and still need from time to time! Its better to take your time and do something well rather than rush it out there!

6. What do you love most about your job and what are your plans for the future? 

Gumigem and Chewigem are now providing a really good turnover, but I still have the development costs to pay off, once that is cleared I have another nifty little invention to add to the GEM range that I plan to bring to market! I also want to access big retail too!

If you love the sound of Gumigem, pop around tomorrow for this month's Mumpreneur of the Month giveaway. This time, we have a first and a second prize.

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