If the unthinkable has happened to you, read on. Not some other British Politics fail, or a flirty text you sent whilst drunk going viral – no, even worse. That moment when you realise your child has lost Bunnykins and no amount of frantic searching or ice cream will rectify the situation or stop the floods of tears…
Enter Jade Ecclestone – hero and saviour of the lost animals – thanks to her genius Tag a Teddy brand, which reunites children with their toys thanks to a smart ID tag and an app.
We caught up with Jade to find out how she turned the unthinkable situation into a business…
SM: How did Tag a Teddy come about?
Jade Ecclestone: Tag a Teddy was created in 2004 after my little boy lost his favourite teddy. He was distraught as was I. unfortunately Bramble was nowhere to be found and I immediately researched to see if there was anything I could purchase that would stop us from having to go through this again. I came to realise that there was no solution and so If set to work to create my own.
SM: Were you confident that teddy finders would use the service?
Jade Ecclestone: Everyday there are hundreds of posts on social media of parents pleading to the public to help find their children’s lost teddies some even offering large rewards. Being a mother myself and having experienced the heartache that my child suffered as a result of him losing his best friend I was in no doubt that anyone who finds a little ones teddy would be more than happy to help return a teddy if they found one. With our tags we have made it so simple for this to be done.
SM: How many teddies have now been reunited with their owners?
Jade Ecclestone: We don’t keep a record of teddies that have been reunited as this is done via the unique profile that is created on our website.
SM: Tell us about the Gatwick Airport partnership?
Jade Ecclestone: We were contacted via a PR company working with Gatwick airport who wanted to create a family friendly activity in the airport on the bank holiday weekend. They themselves saw that children losing their teddies on or before their holiday was a huge problem and could often result in a holiday being ruined because of this and so they asked us if we would provide a service for their customers.
SM: What considerations went into the tag design?
Jade Ecclestone: Creating the teddy ID tag took a lot of research. I wanted to cover all aspects in order to make sure the tag was suitable for all ages. I myself know that teddies that are well loved end up getting filthy and so it was essential that the tag was machine washable.
My little boy had his teddy from birth and often put it in his mouth so I needed the tag to be suitable for all ages but also safe and so we made sure that all safety tests and regulations were done to allow for this.
We wanted the design to appeal to both sexes and also wanted it to be stylish and so a lot of time was taken in designing not only the product but the website and logo too.
SM: Where can we buy the Teddy Forever Collection?
Jade Ecclestone: Our teddy forever collection has currently been taken down from our shop as we are creating a brand new range which will be coming soon…
SM: What has been your proudest moment to date, running the business?
Jade Ecclestone: We have had lots of moments over the last few years that have made us extremely proud from winning awards from the famous Dragon Theo Paphitis and the owner of Ann Summers the lovely Jacqueline Gold to receiving messages from people saying that they are so pleased that they no longer need to worry about taking their child’s teddy out with them. But from a personal perspective having my son’s teacher tell me that my little boy has been telling the class that he is proud of mummy because she saves children’s teddies and having him explain all about how tag a teddy works to his class mates. 🙂
SM: What’s next for the business?
Jade Ecclestone: We have more great things to come. We have a brand new product just released the teddy travel tag which makes it easy to apply to any teddy just in case they decide that they have a new favourite teddy. This also comes in a choice of colours blue or pink.
We also are working on a brand new product due to be released very soon.
We are working every day to make sure that we can help spread the word that no more teddies need be lost and will hopefully be found in larger retailers and here and overseas.
Get your little ones’ special friends tagged up…www.tagateddy.com