Monday, January 2, 2012

Spotlight on Mommy -- Cara Sayer, Creator of the SnoozeShade

I just love this product, created by Cara Sayer.  Since welcoming our second daughter, Arabella Sofia in November, I have been using the SnoozeShade ever since.  It is so easy to use, and simply stretches over her infant carrier seat to shield her from the sun and cold weather.  I love the SnoozeShade because it is vented, so I don't have to worry about suffocation or excess sweating, and with a zip down window in the center, I can access Arabella and make sure she is ok.  

Please return back on Friday, when I will share more of my thoughts on this amazing product, in my Feature Friday post, where I will also offer a giveaway and coupon code.  But, in the meantime, please enjoy my interview with Cara Sayer, of SnoozeShade.

Name: Cara Sayer
Company Name/Product/Service: SnoozeShade
Company Location: England, UK
Company Website:
Facebook URL:
Twitter Handle: @snoozeshade
Age of Company: 2 years
Favorite Inspirational Quotes: “We have no patent on anything we do and anything we do can be copied by anyone else. But you can’t copy the heart and the soul and conscience of the company.” Howard Shultz, CEO of Starbucks

"I've learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights." Maya Angelou
Favorite Book: Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood

Tell us a little bit about yourself.  How many children do you have?  What are their ages? Your hobbies What do you do in your spare time?
Since the whirlwind of SnoozeShade started, there seems to be very little spare time, but when I find some I love being with my beautiful daughter Holly and with friends and family.  Also going on holiday - A couple of favourite destinations for various reasons, the US because it is so diverse and secondly Spain, because it’s easy, close and I’m guaranteed to relax in the heat of the sun!

Briefly explain your business.  How did it come about?

I came up with the idea simply through necessity. My daughter was a great sleeper as a baby but, as she got older and more aware of her surroundings, she started to find it hard to switch off at naptime. Like many parents, I used to drape blankets or coats over the front of the stroller, which would be pulled or blown off.  I looked for a suitable product everywhere and when I couldn’t find one I started to think about how I could make one.

What is a typical work day like?

Typical? Ha! There is nothing typical about my workday but work, work, work! I do work from home, which gives me the flexibility with childcare that I need to ensure I’m always available for Holly but can also easily be on the phone to a customer in New Zeland, a UK retailer or a distributor in Russia!

What has been a struggle while starting up your company? 

Growing so rapidly has been a challenge right from the start. In 2009, I took the unfinished prototype to a trade show and was blown away when a major UK retailer placed orders on the spot. The pressure was on as I had 4 months to deliver a finished product which meant doing everything from safety testing to packaging design.

What did you do in your past work life?

My background is in PR, marketing and events…all of which have been extremely useful to me as an entrepreneur.

What have been some of your major successes?

The best measure of success for me is when parents call SnoozeShade a “lifesaver” and a “God-send” It is always so satisfying to hear. Also, SnoozeShade has just been awarded the Mother and Baby Gold award for Best Innovation here in the UK which is the equivalent of an Oscar in the Nursery Sector! SnoozeShade can also now be purchased through every major retailer in the UK, including Toys R Us. 

What have been some of your major challenges?

As I stated earlier, keeping up with demand for product right from the outset has really kept me on the go. Until recently, I had been doing pretty much everything on my own, and really burning the candle at both ends. When I started SnoozeShade, I knew nothing about manufacturing, distribution or running a company. It can be as exhausting as it is rewarding. 

On those impossible days, what motivates you to keep going?

I love what I do and am very passionate about my product. Knowing that I am helping numerous Moms like myself finally get their babies to nap peacefully while on the go is very satisfying for me. I’d say the things that most brighten my impossible days are the lovely emails I receive from my happy customers.

What is your balancing secret in managing a business and family?

Well, I guess it’s still a secret since I have no clue!! I think if I could do it again, I would increase the amount of time my daughter was in nursery. If I’d been working fulltime she would have been there anyway and I think I got very pulled and suffered with a lot of guilt by having her around and trying to work.  

Now that she is older, I can work longer hours, and I’m lucky to have such great support from my family. My husband, mother and brother have all been involved in supporting the business.

What is next for your business?

This December, we are launching SnoozeShade Cot, specially designed for pack and plays which makes for peaceful traveling and nights away from home! In 2012 we will be on sale with Buy Buy baby in the States and we are looking forward to further growth in the US. We’ve already had such wonderful reviews from our American Moms as we’ve been on sale for several months via We look forward to hearing more!

Do you have any advice for other mom entrepreneurs that are starting out and struggling, or are on the fence about starting a business?

Have faith in your idea, if you’ve hunted high and low for a product and can’t find it then there probably is a gap in the market.  Do lots of market research – ask friends and family and get them to ask their friends too.  And be prepared to be brave Think big and be passionate about what you are doing.  I totally believe in SnoozeShade and secretly have hopes for world domination :-).  In all seriousness though, it is important to aim high and you can hopefully only exceed your own expectations.  

1 comment :

  1. This is such a great idea, I am also going to check out their SnoozeShade Cot.
    heather [email protected]