The NSW had a harrowing and “stinky” 10-hour car trip but when she looked for a solution to the issue there wasn’t one. But the messy experience will now pay off.
When Jo Hardie went on a family holiday which involved a 10-hour drive, her eldest daughter started vomiting just a few hours into the car trip.
It was a messy experience that created mountains of washing.
“Before we left she was running around and was fine, but she had picked up a vomiting bug and she was sick the whole way,” she told news.com.au
“I ended up using towels and clean clothes to catch the spew. We got to Queensland and I went online to try and find a product that would help when the kids were sick in the car.”
But the mum-of-three came up empty on her search while dealing with the fallout from the car journey.
“Cleaning out a spewy car seat is not fun and it’s stinky if your child has been sick in the car,” she added.
“It’s not just about trying to contain the spew, it’s the smell, even with the windows down it’s still there.”
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It led the NSW mum, who lives in a country town called Dungog, to borrow her friend’s sewing machine and research what was the most absorbent material.
She then took a shopping trip to Spotlight and Clark Rubber to create a product that would be absorbent enough to catch spew and that also wouldn’t leak.
The 35-year-old spent six months sourcing a manufacturer before launching her business, called Spewy, in November 2018.
Initially she sold around 200 products a month but said this has grown enormously in the last four years to about 1500.
It means the stay at home mum is on track to make $1 million in 2022, a huge jump from the $57,000 she made in her first year.
“I started the business out of my house when we were living in Maitland and it got to the point where hubby had to build me an office and storage space under the house as we had no room to move in the house because of stock and orders ,” she said.
“We moved and got our first warehouse in November last year and in December took over the warehouse next door and we’re now getting a warehouse built to move into in August.”
Her first product – the spewy cloths which sell for $36.95 – has now expanded into solving another messy problem, bed mats for children that are toilet training.
“It means you can take the bed mat off when they have an accident and put a new one on and it makes it easier to go back to bed and there’s less washing,” she said.
Ms Hardie said it was “overwhelming” to see the response to her four-year-old business as it is set to hit the six million figure mark this year, but said it felt good to help people with a “gross” problem.
There are big plans for the business too. She is launching training pants for children and wants to get it to the point where her husband can quit his full-time job and come and work for her.
She added she often has a strong reaction to her business name, but she has no regrets using it.
“I get a lot of comments from, ‘It’s really Aussie and I love the name’ to ‘The name grosses me out, couldn’t you call it something else?’” she said.
“At the end of the day if a child has gastro, you don’t have to think about what the product is – that is where I went with the branding on it, just to make life easier for parents so they don’t have to remember another thing.”