I’m Nicola, a busy mum to Harry (3yrs), Chloe (2yrs) and the founder of KiddyCompare – a new price comparison site for all things baby and child related. Featuring all of the favourite leading retailers, users can quickly and easily compare the prices on items such as breast pumps, car seats, prams, toys, bikes etc.
I have no amazing CV or portfolio to show you guys. The truth is that I spent alot of my life fighting against myself with only a pipe dream of being my own boss. It’s only over the past few years that I’ve finally started following my dreams. As much as they drive me nuts, I thank my children for giving me that courage.
RB: Tell us the why behind your business.
NB: It always seemed like quite an obvious gap in the market to me. Anyone with children knows that it’s not cheap and I was forever buying things for the kids only to see it cheaper elsewhere afterwards. Online shopping for the kids was a case of scouring sites for hours on end, jumping from site to site to find the best reviews, deals and offers. After I had Chloe, I had a bout of depression kick in. I was caught in the benefits trap of being worse off working and paying for childcare than I was staying at home all day being a mum. I love my children dearly but I was going nuts. I needed something outside of housework, teething babies and Cbeebies – something for me and a better way of life for all of us. I had no skill set to fall back on – I’d worked in shoe shops or been a cleaner and definitely didn’t want to go back to that. Don’t get me wrong, cleaning helped me to survive many times but it’s hard work and doesn’t exactly light me up inside (and always be nice to your cleaner unless you want your house cleaned with the toilet cloth). I put out a survey to see what people thought of my idea and it had a phenomenal response. I started googling like mad and here I am!
NB: Wow the whole process has been a major challenge. I had no previous tech background, I was going to networking events that were mostly male dominated (males without kids too!) and had plenty of people laugh and scoff in my face. I was fighting my way out of a bout of depression with 2 toddlers, no childcare, no money, I’m currently being checked out for ADHD (it would certainly explain why I find some things so difficult). I think that the biggest challenge to overcome was myself. I’ve never been blessed with good self esteem and would have to literally have a word with myself and put happy/empowering music on before networking events to get myself in the zone and to challenge the crap in my head that was telling me I was nuts and not capable. If you can dig deep and fight that inner negativity, the “I’m not good enough” then anything is possible!
NB: Hmmm I’d say it was the 700 people who answered my initial survey. When most others thought that I was nuts, I always knew that if the site was good enough, people were interested. Also Jo-Ann Hamilton, Fiona West, Mark Stonham, Dave Mercer, Glenn Smith, Kim Jones and Ned Vaught. I’ve met hundreds of people since I started working on this and these people went out of their way to help me when I had a tiny or no budget at all.
RB: What is the vision for your business and where do you see yourself 5 years from now?
NB: Oooh I have such grand plans!
- I will have successfully launched and developed the site to a much higher standard and added countless new features.
- KiddyCompare will be well established as a helpful resource for new parents.
- I will be financially independent and not have to worry about money.
- I will have a work life balance and be ‘present’ where ever I may be.
- I will have met Phillip Schofield and I’d also like to lose the love handles.
- I will be helping various charities and hopefully set up some of my own.