If you’re drowning in plastic children’s toys and want an alternative, you need to know about PomPom.
PomPom is a curated shop of imaginative and well-designed plastic free products that children will love, play with or use, again and again.
It’s not easy to find aesthetic looking and long-lasting plastic free toys but the founders of PomPom have taken it upon themselves to do the research for us.
Their shop is filled with plastic free toys that don’t compromise on design, quality or fun.
We were lucky enough to catch up with co-founder, Katherine Rhodes and quiz her about the business.
What inspired you to set up PomPom?
Cecily and I were overwhelmed by the mountain of plastic that entered our lives when our children were born.
Whether it be nappies, toothbrushes, plastic toys or copious amount of plastic milk cartons.
We felt there had to be a way of bringing together the very best in beautifully designed but totally plastic free products under one roof.
We want to make it easy and quick for a Mum-on-the run to shop with us. We know time and concentration levels are squeezed when you have a toddler tugging at your jumper!
Where were you working before?
I was at a marketing and communications agency, Luchford, and prior to that working for the corporate communications team at Swarovski.
How do you fit running a business with being a mum?
By using small windows of time efficiently.
The day presents itself with windows to get things done – I get up early and try and squeeze in work before I get the children up at 7 am.
Luckily, since the lockdown, my husband is at home to help with breakfast and then I take over once he is at his desk. Lunch naps are still a godsend and without those we would be stuck!
(Although by lunchtime, I too often feel like I need a nap too!)
Then once the children are in bed, it is back to the laptop and speaking to Cecily (who is eight hours behind me in Vancouver)
What has being a mumpreneur taught you?
Accepting that sometimes not everything on your to do list can be done immediately.
Prior to children and working in an office was a very different experience to now working from home.
Being realistic. It is easy to end up doing too much and then not doing anything properly.
I try and divide the days in the week to being a business owner and being a mummy. Both don’t always mix well together!
In what ways do you think parents can reduce the plastic in their homes?
Easy wins are key.
Swap a plastic for a bamboo toothbrush. (Each year the UK throws away 260 million plastic toothbrushes, none of which can be recycled. Even local supermarkets now sell them)
Swap shampoo bottles for shampoo bars. Yes, they actually work and make your hair soft! This an easy one particularly for kids, if you can’t bring yourself to lose the Tresemme!
Swap cellophane for bees wax wraps.
The only time they fail me is Christmas – never found one big enough for the Turkey or the Ham! However they work beautifully for 364 days a year.
You mention that often aesthetics suffer when it comes to plastic-free toys/ baby kit. How do we get round this?
I hope we stock many of them – so the answer is yes! (we are also always on the look out for new brands and welcome new suggestions)
We love what the Little Earth Baby Company are doing – they put research at the heart of what they sell and have looked into the very best in alternative materials to plastic.
Goregous organic bamboo sleepsacks and comforters – no more polyester (microplastics) to suck on!
BioBuddi – a brilliant Dutch company, who have come up with a way of making plastic free Duplo made out of sugar cane. The design aesthetic is at the heart of what they do, nothing is compromised and they have managed to bring something to our little customers that is truly brilliant.
Bubba Boo– wonderful bamboo bowls with silicone suction cups – look fab (the lion is our favourite) and sticks to a tray or table.
What is your best-seller so far?
Unsurprisingly our indoor climbing triangle became a success story overnight, it saves the sofa and the kids climbing the walls!
Children have an innate need to climb. It is a great sport developmentally for kids, both physically and emotionally.
It increases strength, endurance and flexibility while encouraging patience, stamina, confidence and trust in themselves.
Climbing offers that X-Factor which is so rare these days – risky play!
With adjustable heights and reversible ramp/slide, children as young as 6 months use it up until they are 5 or 6 years old, so perfect for siblings stuck indoors too.
It is the only toy that will out last your pram!
Can you recommend a birthday present for a…
1 year old? Climbing Triangle / Pull Along Dog / Stacking Blocks
3 year old? BioBuddi / Wobble Board / Gardening Tools
5 year old? Tualoop / Binabo / BioGlitter / Giant Wooden Tumble Tower