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Meet the Maven!

Southwood Social Hub is such an amazing commuinty full to the brim of hard working women in business and I cannot wait to introduce you to a few of them . Today we are talking to Jen from Etta Loves.

I love the way Jen took an everyday product that we just cannot live without and turned it into so much more! The muslin square is one of the first things and most regular items that your baby will see so it makes total sense to make these more stimulating for our babies! 

1--How & when was your business born?

On my maternity leave last year during a feed with then 6 week old Etta, I realised that she was trying to focus on my black and white patterned top. I had a muslin over my shoulder which she hadn’t even glanced at and then something clicked. I decided to take the most omnipresent baby items (so muslins, washcloths and bibs at present) and make them do more than their primary function; to effectively use science to redefine them to be sensory necessities and help develop little eyes. So armed with the core idea, research and a lot of support through other local mums who had complementary skills, Etta Loves was launched around 8 months later (in November last year).

2-Tell us all about the science behind this product?

It’s really quite simple. A baby’s visual system is not fully developed at birth and over the first few days and weeks of their life their vision improves so that infants are able to see high contrast patterns in black and white. They can’t see in colour because the cells in the retina which detect colour have not yet fully developed at this stage.

Their main focus is on things 8-10 inches from their face (roughly the same as boob to their mums eyes). During the first few months their little brain is working out how to work their eyes together as a pair and their vision starts to improve fairly quickly.

It is generally thought that by the age of 5-6 months babies have much better colour vision, although still not as sensitive as that of an adults, so they are attracted to bright, strong primary colours. By 12 months their vision is not too dissimilar from a grownups.

So using all this knowledge, through our orthoptist (or expert in children’s vision) Laura, we have chosen colours and scaled the patterns to be the perfect visual stimulation when the muslin is draped over your shoulder and you are holding a baby upright. 

Our range is split between 0-4 months and 5+ months, as there are significant colour leaps in vision by 5 months old. And as you can guess our 0-4 month designs focus on high contrast black and white. We’ve made sure that each muslin incorporates a range of a large and small scale patterns, so that the larger scale will be seen by infants just a few weeks old, whereas the smaller scale will interest children of 3-4 months of age.

Take our starfish design, it’s not only beautiful but also particularly clever as younger infants will appreciate the black starfish against the white background, whereas older infants will begin to appreciate the individual lines which make up the pattern.

Our 5+ month patterns bring in bright colours and a smaller scale, again in line with what babies can and can not see. And that’s the science part.

3-Can you share how you found SSH & how it has supported you or your business?

I was told about SSH initially by Hustle & Fox and someone else had mentioned it in passing. When I talked to a few members about the group before joining I was quite simply blown away by how passionate they were about their experience - evangelical almost! I can hand on heart say that it has not disappointed. It’s a two way street for advice - both professional and personal - and support, whilst at the same time the most inspiring, uplifting and safe space where women champion each other and lift each other higher. I’ve found stockists, professional skills (accountancy, IP advice) and crucially made genuine connections who I now consider friends. Hayley has built something really rather spectacular infused with her passion and spirit. 

If you would like to find out more about Southwood Social Hub you can do that HERE 


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