In this month’s installment of Small Business, Big Impact, we had the pleasure of speaking with Laura Bailey of The Crochet Crib Co, a small business based in Rainham, Essex. Laura’s business specializes in high-quality, handmade crochet cribs made to order. What started as a hobby has quickly turned into a passion for Laura, and her story so far is one with challenge, commitment and a lot of inspiration.
How it all started
Laura started her business while on maternity leave in February 2023. Her sister had asked her to make a crib because Laura had decided to teach herself how to crochet during lockdown while pregnant with her first baby. She made things for herself and her kids, and when she made her sister’s crochet crib and posted it on social media, she received a lot of comments and likes, which made her realize there was a market for her products. Laura’s business has been gradually growing ever since.
When it comes to making her cribs, Laura works while her kids are sleeping or in the evening. Balancing everything is in her skill set, and she loves it. It’s a hobby and a passion for her, and it feels therapeutic and relaxing – it’s her me-time. And her products are truly unique. Laura’s cribs are not only beautiful, but they’re also safe and customized for each customer.
Finding her USP: Beautiful & Safe
One of the things that sets Laura’s cribs apart is that they’re safety tested to British standards. Some sellers don’t meet these standards, but one of Laura’s points of differentiation is that her products have the certification after being tested by an independent lab. The certification is one that the Lullaby Trust recommends, but certification was difficult to discover because there’s no precedent. It took a lot of research but Laura was committed to creating a beautiful product that was also certified to the highest standards. She looked for labs in the UK, contacted toy labs, and found someone that could test for the correct certification. The process wasn’t quick, it required Laura to create quite a few prototypes to make sure the final one that was certified was also replicable as it would be the product going forward. Testing included stability, strength, choking hazard, entrapment hazards, flammability, and the OEKO-TEX cotton cord test for chemicals. It was a thorough testing process by hand and machine.
Laura’s crochet cribs are also highly customizable. They can be a single or double color as standard, but they can be made in more colors for bespoke orders. Requests are normally to match the decor in homes, with 35 colors available. Cord colors can change by season too. It’s a very personal process, with 1-to-1 interactions via social media, email, and she’s happy to accommodate all requests.
Challenges & Future Plans
One of the biggest challenges Laura faces is marketing and getting the word out. At the moment, she doesn’t have a website, so social media is better to manage order flow and options, especially when there are so many colour options for customers to choose from! Orders so far have come from word of mouth.
To reach a wider audience and also to have the opportunity to meet customers face to face, Laura plans to exhibit at craft fairs and baby fairs this year. She’s going back to full-time work as a PA in October, but she’ll continue to make the products in her free time and still look at ways to grow the business. The dream is for this to become a full-time option, but her focus is to continue building a high-quality, beautiful product. She enjoys making these cribs on the side alongside family work – it’s truly a passion. In the short-term, she wants to create a steady stream of orders and build up social media interaction and she plans to create more videos to show behind-the-scenes of her business.
Laura’s advice to others is to go for it. What drove her to persevere was the idea that if everyone thought, “should I bother?”, then many businesses wouldn’t exist. After all; If you never try, you never know.
Ways you can connect with Laura:
Facebook: The Crochet Crib Co
Email: [email protected].