Secret Genius Project

Ahem. AHEM!

*chinks wine glass, pointedly, clumsily, a little too hard and it breaks and so I have to go and find the dustpan and brush and I cut my finger and I sweat a little bit and swear*


The Secret Genius Project was unleashed onto the mildly interesting but mostly modestly genteel world of the UK nursery industry. With a polka-dotted BANG.

Here it is, in all of its trade-show-plonky-storytelling-way:

Yoogobaby slideshow

Ta dah! That is what two years and unmentionable amounts of money will get you. An inflatable travel cot which fits into your hand luggage, no less.

So we entered a competition for new products for the nursery industry and got through to the semi finals, which meant we had a stand at the London trade show and got to show it to buyers, retailers and manufacturers, and try to gauge the interest. We won the competition and got some money and some validation from the industry that it is a good idea. And now we have to get it ready for sale in the european spring.

The trade show was kind of boring but also kind of fun, because we felt like we had a job. And everyone thought we were totally brilliant. There were no chairs, so we had to peddle it standing all day on mid-heels and I got a cold sore from the stress of being a saleslady. It also may have come from the lack of fruit and vegetables that I consumed over the three days. There was only a Tesco store to buy your sandwiches and I may have contracted a cold-sore-type-no-vegetables-scurvy. There was also this odd free cake PR situation downstairs and so every day I grabbed a slice of raspberry and white chocolate mud cake which was awesome but which gave me sugar-manicness, which, actually, helped me a a very enthusiastic saleslady. Practically kissing anyone who came near. I hope they didn’t get any coldsores.

There was also an unfortunate prototype incident where the cot got stuck in FedEx purgatory in Stansted after leaving New Zealand at the last minute. We had to drive there and pick it up on Saturday, the day before the grand unveiling at the show, when we were supposed to be setting up our polka-dot cacophony of matching travel-cot accessories and our plinth, atop of which sat a monitor displaying the exact slideshow above. I am nothing if not technically proficient. Anyway, we got caught in traffic, and arrived at FedEx on a Saturday with no tracking number, and a cold sweat. LUCKY WE HAVE MOBILE PHONES AND IPADS, EH? Phew. So we got that sorted and then proceeded to be glamorous clever ladies all weekend with tidy hair and shellacked nails and a great line in leaflet-presentation. I learned to scan the name-badges for barcodes, because them with barcodes were buyers, and thrust the leaflet into their hand while offering the plaintive cry “Inflatable travel cot?” in a coquettish manner.

Anyway, enough about that. The only other thing to say is that the four days of prototype retrieval/flogging meant that no one else was here to do the dreadful domestic Tasks Of Dullness. And CHAOS REIGNED. No one put the rubbish out, did the washing, made the lunches, bought food, put the rent money into the rent account, opened letters, emptied the school bags, replied to emails or opened letters. We were all very glum and hungry and we missed having mummy around. Even me. So, absolute kudos to working women everywhere who have to do all the working, and all of the boring stuff that make a family actually work. Those dull little details that, once ignored, bring everyone to a miserable standstill. In this case, my 50’s housewifey arrangement actually makes cold, hard sense.

Anyway, I am off tomorrow to Derby to see if our manufacturers want to invest. Hurrah! Wish me luck!

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19 Responses to Secret Genius Project

  1. Patience says:

    It’s really cute. Congratulations. I could totally have used something like that when my kids were babies.

  2. Jo says:

    Well that is just beyond awesome. You are amazing. Well done Jodi and Sue!!!!!!! xxxx

  3. Jo says:

    Oh, and I reckon you will be very rich ladies once this hits the shops. Hurrahs!!!!!

  4. Charlotte Knight says:

    Very proud of you Jodi. This is going to rock. It looks awesome, the brand is standout, the colour-ways are gorgeous, the product is incredibly functional, has wow factor, and the people behind it have all the qualities to make it a huge success. Well done love xx

  5. That looks like a great product, wish we had something like it when we had babies.
    Well done and I wish you all success.
    I was a sales rep in a previous existance, and I know how mind-numbingly aweful such conventions can be. I’m sure they started my varicose veins in my legs, and my feet hurt for weeks after.

  6. Amy says:

    I faced the hell of Mothercare and Mamas & Papas in half term today looking at travel cots and to think you could have saved me from that hell! This looks BRILLIANT, good luck to you, just a shame they aren’t available now! Don’t need any testers do you??!

  7. PaisleyJade says:

    A seriously genius idea!! Wow – love it. Good on you and all the best!!

  8. Ooh, you’re a proper genius! Keeping fingers and toes crossed for this to be a big success for you! x

  9. Michelle Coulter says:

    SO impressed! Well done you ladies of geniosity. Xxx

  10. alison cross says:

    Am sitting here with a mug of coffee halfway to my mouth as I sit in stunned silence. You’re an INVENTOR!!!! And it’s fantastic!!!! You dark horse!!!!! Look at the number of exclamation marks I am using!!!! WOW! *puts down coffee mug and gives standing ovation*

    Tons of luck with that – you MUST keep us posted.

    I am gobsmacked at your complete brainy-cleverness…..

    Ali xxxxxx

  11. Sally says:

    Amazing!!!!!! Love the concept and the look is magnificent! Hurry to get them to NZ – PRETTY PLEASE!!!!!!!!

  12. Pippa Posey Peanut Butter Pants says:

    My God…that product is amazing! Wishing you all success – me thinks there be a couple of millionares in the making!

  13. four fedora says:

    Look at you with your clever ways. Are they stackable when fully inflated? Have you stacked four high – plus or minus wriggling boys? That ought to be the first order of business. Ka pai e hoa!

  14. Betty M says:

    Great idea! It even passes muster with some grumpy men in my vicinity both of whom work in retail and one even has a past in baby retail although too long ago to know any good contacts for you ( I did ask!!). I’ve lasted without a travel cot through 3 kids and plenty of travel but I definitely would have had one of these.

  15. Kerry says:

    Serious genius neighbour! Soooo impressed with all the winning and awesomeness involved here. Tiny bit drunk but still! WELL DONE!

  16. Bruce Bartle says:

    Mum & Dad are so proud of you and Sue.We both know the effort you have endured over the time with all your children butting in on your meetings. We have every faith that you will succeed. All because Casper went to sleep in a suitcase. Bless him!

  17. Sarah Clayton says:

    Jojo, that is fantastic!! What a fantastic idea and very cute too. I would have loved one like that. I bought some very expensive lightweight travel cot (before the Phil and Teds one was available) and it was such a palaver to put up with all the bendy tent poles. Way to go! I bet you will be hugely successful as it is such an innovative idea. x

  18. Rose says:

    hey jodi, your secret project looks amazing, well done you guys. Really proud of you.

  19. The Blakes says:

    go Jodi, it looks so cool you rock xx

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