The First Meeting
Jude and Di first met in 2007 and bonded over a shared passion for business and good food. At that stage both had a young family and were looking for ways to best be able to juggle family life with a fulfilling career. Di had moved from Scotland to the Midlands so had taken a break from work to have her two children. Jude was on maternity leave with her second child.
Both were keen to find a way to enable them to follow their ambitions and spend time with the children.
Manson Doherty is born
Jude and Di got chatting and decided to explore opportunities for them to set up in business together. On a Saturday evening, nothing seemed simpler!
Serendipity quickly delivered the answer. After a stressful time potty training her son, Jude had the idea of a pad that could capture the mess of accidents while potty training. Also to help children who were having ongoing wetting and soiling issues.
At that stage they chose their maiden names as the name of their business ‘and Manson Doherty Healthcare’ was born.
Dry Like Me Developed and Launched
The first task was to develop their designs and hand make prototypes. They immediately filed for a patent and registered designs. The next stage was to raise finance to develop prototypes and further research the market through focus groups and questionnaires.
The pair spent hours brainstorming the product name, and after weeks of deliberation decided upon, ‘Dry Like Me.’
Grant funding was awarded and a year later they had encouraging results. This motivated them to continue to commercialise their new product, and they sourced a manufacturing and distribution company to produce the product and to enable them to take it to retailers for inclusion in their range.
Reception to Dry Like Me
Buyers were very receptive to the product and could see the appeal to parents and their potty training toddlers. Within a year of launch, Dry Like Me was stocked in ASDA, Morrisons and Sainsbury’s.
Also, Jude and Di won awards and received excellent feedback on the product from parents, and Health professionals who see this as a great way to get children out of nappies and into pants. The press were keen to talk to the team and they were interviewed for press and radio.
The product range expanded to three products and new branding with the inclusion of cute characters was launched.
When they won the Theo Paphitis SBS award Jude and Di got the opportunity to go and meet Theo and listen to him and other guest speakers tell their business story. This inspired them to move their business on to the next level with the launch of a nationwide TV advert.
Over time it became apparent that parents and carers of toddlers really needed help and support through potty training. Jude and Di spent a lot of time working with health professionals, parents and carers pulling together knowledge and best practise in potty training. The aim here was to be able to help and advise the high number of parents who were seeking advice through this stressful period.
How To Potty Train Book
This collection of knowledge together with their combined years of potty training their own children resulted in the writing of their ‘How to Potty Train’ book. This was launched together with their potty training programme, which was offered free of charge through their website for 6 weeks each summer.
Another high point was being involved in helping Jenni Falconer and Nicola McLean with potty training.
The latest chapter is the development and launch of our ‘How to Potty Train’ website and shop. This is where they have pulled all their knowledge and expertise to provide the ultimate place to look for everything parents and childcare professionals need to know about potty training. A toddler shop showcasing all the essential products for potty training and other stressors associated with toddlers is also being launched!
In January Jude was asked to go and help Sam Faiers potty train her son. This was recorded in the Mummy Diaries series which aired on ITVBe in April.
Hence, over the last 10 years, Jude and Di have made time to enjoy lots of laughs. Obviously to keep themselves sane. Highlights include a family trip to New York. The children were made to wear ponchos and cycle round Central Park in the rain.
Finally, in order to prevent any further embarrassment, the families all stayed at home in January 2018. Jude and Di attended some meetings in the USA. This helped the pair concentrate 100% on their work!