Joanna Jensen, CEO and Founder of Childs Farm tells School Notices how she started her baby and child toiletries company from scratch (literally) to the huge global success it is today.
How did your business idea come about?
My youngest daughter, Bella, had incredibly sensitive and eczema prone skin as a baby. Her other allergies also manifested themselves through her skin, and we couldn’t find any products to soothe her irritated skin.
Where did the idea come from?
I have always had a profound interest in natural cosmetic products. As children we were sent to the homeopath rather than the doctor, and we made our own hedgerow compresses for ponies. Even in the years I was travelling the world whilst working in investment banking, I would always buy the latest innovation in skin care in every country I was in.
How has the company changed since you launched?
The business began in a room in the house, then moved to a barn, then 2 years ago we moved to purpose built offices just outside Basingstoke in the UK.
A staff of two in 2014 has grown to nearly 50 this year, and our distribution in the UK has increased from two national retailers in 2014 to every major supermarket, pharmacy and on-line chain in the UK, supermarket distribution in Australia, Hong Kong & Singapore and International distribution in South Africa, the Middle East, EEA and other countries the world over.
What’s been your biggest challenge?
Growth. It sounds mad, but our growth has been outstanding, driven by amazing testimonials from our users which have gone viral on Social Media. So we’ve had problems in the past with stock – when you all of a sudden start selling a bottle of moisturiser every 14 seconds, it depletes the stores quite quickly!
But I would classify our problems as ‘quality problems’, and we’re quite happy to embrace them!
How do you juggle running a business with being a parent?
All working parents will tell you the same: I know no different and neither do the girls, so it’s just business as usual for us. You have to prioritise, get up early, go to bed late and think on your feet! I do miss school events, but try to make the ones that matter count – like any other working parent. The girls are incredibly self-sufficient, have great work ethics themselves, and never cease to amaze me with their insight into what we are doing or planning to do.
What element of the business are you most proud of?
It’s impossible to say really because there are so many. We are one of the fastest growing businesses in the UK, we have won a plethora of both category and business awards, we have a great team working in the business, and we work closely with the RDA – we own half of Nathasha Bakers Paralympic horse Lottie, who fingers crossed will be going to Tokyo 2020. The moment we take Johnson’s off the top spot in the UK – we should be by early next year – I think I will have a full house of pride!
What advice do you have for others wanting to set up their own business?
Don’t go in half hearted – give it your all! It’s passion which is the magic elixir between success and failure.
2020 is going to be exceptionally busy with so much new happening. We want to be the UK No.1 in the baby & child toiletries category, but also we want to grow our offering.
Do you have a motto for life?
Stolen from Walt Disney: ‘If you can dream it, you can do it!’ So dream big.
Childs Farm is an award winning British brand that uses naturally derived ingredients and essential oils to produce a range of mild, kind and delicious smelling … from suncreams, moisturisers, bath foams and shampoos – Childs Farm have your kids covered.
Childs Farm is now available in Hong Kong SHOP HERE