They say some of the best inventions are born out of necessity, and that was certainly the case for mother of two and entrepreneur, Diane Hurford. After repeated bangs on the head from stripping her daughter’s wet bunkbed in the middle of the night, Diane was determined to find a better way to deal with this common issue many families face.
“Many people think they are the ‘only ones’ who don’t know when and how to start when in fact – we are all in the same boat.”
In 2005, Diane began to develop Brolly Sheets; waterproof bed pads that go over your existing sheets with wings that tuck under. Making it as easy as whipping them off and popping some new ones on. In 2006, Diane set up a small website and started selling her products at local markets, and from there, she’s grown her family business to a multinational exporter. Now Brolly Sheets is the home of waterproof; supplying products for babies, kids, people with special needs, seniors, and even the family dog.
From the beginning, Diane wanted to create a product that was sustainable, ethical, convenient, and looked great. Making a product that was washable rather than disposable was a high priority for Diane, which is why in 2014, she bought Snazzipants – a 10-year-old local business that creates easy to use and beautifully designed cloth nappies.
“Ensuring our products are sustainably and ethically sourced is just part of what we do.”
Diane’s daughter Mia and her son Lewis were the inspiration for Brolly Sheets, as Diane struggled to strip Mia’s bunk in the middle of the night. The faster she could do it and they could all go back to sleep – the better! Mia and Lewis are now teenagers and help her with data entry and social media, and her husband Glenn concentrates on the special needs market – it is truly a family business. The business has now outgrown its small home-office origins, with markets in Australia, the USA, and the UK. The team has expanded too, and now includes other mothers and staff members who all share their knowledge and experience with toilet training, bed wetting, special needs, and incontinence.
Diane has got a lot of exciting things lined up to happen in the next few years including new products and expanding the support services they provide. They currently hold online toilet training bootcamp, and have lots of very helpful articles, tips, and tricks on their website – www.brollysheets.co.nz .
“We hope that by providing advice and support our approach is more holistic than simply fulfilling their need for a product.”
You can learn more about Brolly Sheets and Snazzipants and browse their products through their website http://www.brollysheets.co.nz