Designed by a mum - midnight toileting accidents no longer a headache!
My name is Diane Hurford and I grew up in Hamilton, New Zealand, moving to London for my OE and back to NZ in my late 20’s. After a lot of years “seeing who was out there” I married my best friend of over 20 years and we have two wonderful (most of the time) children – Mia, 12 and Lewis 10. I designed Brolly Sheets in 2006 after I needed a fast and easy solution to changing Mia's bed in the middle of the night. She used to sleep in a bottom bunk and every night I would hit my head on the top bunk as I completely stripped and remade her bed. (OK - we aren’t all as co-coordinated in the middle of the night as we would like to be!). I don’t know about you but the sooner I can get back to sleep, the more reasonable I am the next day.
They say that necessity is the mother of all inventions and I knew there had to be a better way so I created a waterproof mattress protector that my children could comfortably sleep on. I bought some fabric and PVC and made the first ever Brolly Sheet.
I had started making Brolly Sheets for friends and family when my husband was offered a job in Sydney. So we packed the family up and moved to Sydney for 20 months. A friend said “why not start it up in Australia” and so I did. There are now several thousand Brolly Sheets on Australian beds.
Once the Australian market was up and running, hubby got offered a job back in New Zealand and so the family moved back to Auckland. It was time to “launch” Brolly Sheets on the New Zealand market.
Because it was designed by me - a Mum, I made sure that Brolly Sheets came in fantastic colours to match a child’s decor and bedding. They also come in cot, single, king-single, double and queen bed sizes and are easy to wash!
Brolly Sheets really is a family business as both children have often helped out with packing and being models in the photo shoots; they are used to discussions about tax and import duty at the dinner table and spend time in the school holidays at the office. Glenn is always on hand with ideas and IT solutions though he is presently studying Psychology at Auckland University.
Now that you know a little more about me, we hope you will enjoy using your Brolly Sheet.
About the 'Brolly Sheets' Name
Many people ask how we came up with our name. In New Zealand, Australia and the UK the word Brolly is another word for umbrella. So you might say – “it is going to rain, I need to grab my brolly”. So when we were thinking about a name that would bring to mind a waterproof layer, we came up with Brolly Sheets.
The story behind the purchase of Snazzipants
My oldest child, Mia was born in the States. (In fact her name stands for Made In America). Living in the States meant we had access to a whole range of products I hadn’t seen before and a pre-fold nappy was one.
I wanted to use cloth and these prefolds were cheap to buy and easy to use. Now – we are talking 2002 and so I had to use pins and I bought these awful plastic pants that crackled when she moved. But I thought they were great.
We moved back to New Zealand when Mia was a few months old and I started looking around for someone who sold prefolds. I couldn’t find one. So that started the thought process of me starting a business and bringing them into New Zealand and Australia. I began looking for suppliers, different sizing, customs and duty rates – plus even how to go about importing goods. After a few months of research, I came across Snazzipants. Snazzipants were doing exactly what I wanted to do – and they only lived 1 km up the road.
I couldn’t believe it! I decided not to go ahead as I didn’t want to compete with someone so close geographically and I wasn’t sure how big the market actually was. Roll on 11 years and I bought the business. I got to know Maria and Pippa over the years, especially when they started selling Brolly Sheets through their site. One of our many phone calls about ordering more Brolly Sheets got us talking about business direction and Maria saying they wanted to move onto new things. Light bulb moment – why don't I buy Snazzipants.
And that’s what I did. It really does feel like we have come full circle. Brolly Sheets take the hassle out of bed wetting and Snazzipants take the hassle out of cloth nappies