As the mother of three babies, the first piece of advice I give to any new and expectant mums – no matter how ‘anti’ they are on the topic – is to have a couple of pacifiers on hand. “Even if you won’t use it,” I say. “JUST so you know it’s there if you need it,” I say.
Because honestly, if your baby is healthy, warm and has a full tummy, and the only thing that will settle them is a dummy, then why the flip not? Our first daughter loved her dummy at night, our second slept through the night at 8 weeks and never needed or wanted one, and Max, our third still has his at 12 months old.
It was probably after the 857th time that Max dropped his dummy on the floor one afternoon that it finally occurred to me to find a dummy clip. Most mothers know that dummy clips, along with ‘Crocs’ and Peppa Pig leotards, aren’t really the most appealing kids fashion items so it came as a very pleasant surprise to stumble across Pop Ya Tot.
I caught up with founder, Pia Reynolds, earlier this week to talk business and life, and give a collective ‘thanks’ from thousands of mums who no longer have to ‘bend and snap’ to retrieve fallen pacifiers.
Tell us how Pop Ya Tot evolved. “My second son took to a dummy and I was very under-whelmed at the unattractive dummy chains around. As mums we spend a lot of money on our kid’s outfits, and I wasn’t about to stick an ugly plastic chain on him! So I decided to make a POP, never thinking it would be so desirable to the mummy community.
There was a lot of research that went into finding good certified supplies, complying to safety standards, and then sourcing the business! I now have my husband, mum and mother-in-law on board helping me out with it and I haven’t looked back.”
The name is very unique, where does it come from? “I wanted to make the clip an attractive accessory with a pop of colour, as well as being a useful tool for mums and their tots, hence the name “POP Ya TOT”.
How would you describe your range, which includes dummy clips as well as a gorgeous wooden teether? “I’m not really into the stereotypical ‘baby’ style. I’ve designed the Pop Ya Tot range to be semi-gender and age neutral. There is a pattern and colour to suit every outfit. And if you can’t find something to suit, I have a custom option on my website.”
How are you finding managing the new business with being a mum? “I won’t lie, it’s tough sometimes and it’s often very late nights. But I am grateful that I can stay home and look after the kids, while getting to run a business I have built from the ground up. I’m very proud of what we’ve been able to achieve in such a short amount of time.”
What has been the biggest lesson since you’ve launched? “Protect your assets and patent your idea! And always protect the business’ reputation by keeping your customers happy. It’s a small world on the Internet, so I always make sure every POP that goes out will make their owner happy.”
What advice would you give to someone about to launch a small business? “Insure yourself and your business, and get your name out in any way you can. When I was first starting out, I sent samples to influential IG mums and bloggers and it helped get the Pop Ya Tot name out there.”
How would you describe your style? “Less is more. I’m not into too much fuss, and that is why the POP is predominantly natural timber, but I did want a small pop of colour, and so I incorporated the top four hand painted beads.”
Do you wholesale? Where can people buy your goodies? “I do! I have some amazing stockists, The Gathered Store, Jack & Willow, Izzy and Pea and Billy Lidz just to name a few. The full list can be found on my website.”
What have you got planned for PYT in the future? “At this stage I am looking to continue to grow the wholesale side of the business. I’d love to see every dummy in Australia being held by a POP (dreamer!)”
Photography by Hails & Shine for Minty Magazine.