We LOVE Scrubbingtons! Just like our lolly brand, the award-winning brand was created by two friends with a passion for natural ingredients (and their children).
Co-founder Karen was washing her 5-year-old son with a baby bath product and thinking…”why am I still using a bubble bath with a picture of a baby on the front when he’s not a baby anymore, and why I am washing him when he should be starting to wash himself?!” And so Scrubbington’s was born.
In the latest Meet The Founder blog series, we’re delighted to introduce you to Karen and Emma, the amazing female founders behind Scrubbingtons.
Tell us a little about Scrubbingtons.
KAREN: Scrubbingtons is a range of natural personal care products to help kids wash themselves, as well as doing our bit for the planet as we have refill pouches too.
I love the fact Scrubbingtons came from a genuine insight – realising that I was still washing my school aged son with a baby product and thinking that can’t be right. Both my boys have dyspraxia which means they’ve always found day to day tasks like washing and dressing really difficult and ultimately disempowering so I think that has been a big part of the motivation behind the brand – a deep rooted desire to help them become more independent.
Was there a turning point when you thought ‘yes, we’re now really onto something’?
EMMA: It was probably when we got our first stockist which was Wholefoods – they really loved the brand and what we stand for – seeing it on their shelves next to other amazing brands was really exciting!
KAREN: When we get reviews that literally play back what we set out to achieve then you know you’ve got something special.
What has been your proudest moment in business?
EMMA: I’m lucky to get these moments regularly as every time someone writes a review it pings straight into my in-box and it’s (nearly!) always fantastic feedback on our products and our brand. We love hearing from customers that we’ve helped with a sensitive skin issue, or where we’ve been bought as a first deodorant for a sweaty 11 year old – that makes me so proud every time.
What advice would you give to other people thinking of starting a business?
KAREN: There has to be total trust among the co-founders and directors. Emma and I couldn’t have come this far if we didn’t trust each other implicitly and the recognition that our friendship is always more important than the business.
What does an average day look like to you?
EMMA: The Mum juggle starts at 6.30am getting the kids to school, then it’s a cuppa and on with the day. I split my time between working at home and being in the office, there are always emails to deal with and I spend a lot of time working out stock levels, what manufacturing we need to do and how much it’s going to cost! Karen and I meet regularly to talk about innovation ideas and how we can make the business better – we really want it to be a great place to work.
KAREN: The day starts with a whirlwind of breakfast, bag packing, nagging, essential cup of tea, dog walking, school run and Emma and I will usually have a text exchange over something that’s come up over night! No two days are the same – there are always lots of questions and emails from customers to respond to but I try and make sure I carve out time to be more proactive so Tuesdays are generally spent reviewing and planning our marketing and I try and save Fridays for being a bit more strategic – innovation plans etc.
What’s your top tip when it comes to running a business?
EMMA: Sleep on it and then make a quick decision. Karen and I both come from corporate backgrounds that are so slow to make decisions. We have a chat, think about it overnight and then decide if we’re going to make it happen or not. We always say ‘Ask for forgiveness, not permission’ – just go for it! If it works then great, if not then move on, learn and do better next time.
KAREN: Understand your financial model and what is and isn’t contributing to the bottom line and stay true to your brand.
We’re big foodies here at Claudi & FIn. Tell us, what does good food mean to you and your family?
EMMA: I’m the first to admit I’m not a brilliant cook, so good food is fresh, great quality and easy to prepare, the quicker the better when I’ve got starving kids just home from school!
KAREN: Good food is about the moment in the day when we all come together and properly catch up with each other. A roast on a Sunday evening is a really special time that really sets us up for the week.
Favourite snacks for the family?
EMMA: We always have houmous, carrots and rice cakes after school and Saturday night is ‘treat night’ when the chocolates come out!
What’s your top parenting tip?
KAREN: Find joy in your kids every day. Especially when they’re young, it’s easy just to view parenting as hard work. Sometimes you have to actively choose to see the joy.
EMMA: You can’t do it all – get help when you need it, lean on those around you that are willing to help like grandparents and friends – it’s tough being a parent and working and it’s ok to say that!
What or who inspires you?
EMMA: My kids inspire me – the way they’ve shown such resilience during Covid has been amazing, and their natural interest in the world around them is unstoppable! My Mum was the original ‘hippy’ Mum, recycling everything before it was a thing, cycling down to bottle banks to deposit our bottles every week and taking her own shopping bags long before we all did – she’s my inspiration to do some good in the world.
KAREN: My two boys – the resilience they have shown in overcoming the challenges they face is truly humbling for me as their mum.
When we asked what’s next for Scrubbingtons, both Karen and Emma were brimming with excitement about some game-changing innovation they’re working on. We can’t wait to hear more…so watch this space!
And don’t forget to enter our latest Instagram giveaway to win Scrubbingtons goodies – ideal for all those mud-magnets out there!