Natural Creams for Babies and Children With Allergy-Prone, Sensitive Skin

Little Button Essentials. Photography: Grace Cobb.

Do you have a sensitive baby or child? Carla Dillon’s first daughter had severe allergies – everything put on her skin caused an allergic reaction. Whilst pregnant with her second daughter, Carla researched, tested and perfected a recipe for a skin cream that she knew would be safe for use on babies and hopefully her then three-year-old and soon to be newborn – and it worked. You can find her soothing skincare products at Little Button Essentials. We spoke to Carla to learn more about how she got started.

Photography: Grace Cobb – www.borderliving.com.au
The passion: What inspired you to set up your business?

My first daughter had many allergies. Every skincare product, barrier cream, bath wash and medicine I purchased for Savannah resulted in her having a severe allergic response and many sleepless nights for my husband and I. Whilst pregnant with my second daughter I researched products that were safe for use on neonates in intensive care units as I felt if products were safe for their use, surely their allergy causing properties must be minimal. I spent the duration of my second pregnancy testing and perfecting a recipe I knew would be safe for use on my three-year-old and soon-to-be-newborn.

I used this cream on both my daughters for EVERYTHING skin related. I made batches for family and friends at their request, the feedback from their use of my #madannahcream was so positive I sought advice on how to start a business where I could make and sell the cream. From here Little Button Essentials was born.

The Launch: How did you start out in the beginning?

I launched my first product, Madannah Cream, from my 3m x 3m market tent at the Goondiwindi Town Park on the 23rd April 2017. I also began selling online across Australia through my website on this day. #MadannahCream was my only product at this time and I sold it in two different sized bottles for individual purchase or as a new baby gift box.

I pride myself on the fact that each and every bottle of Madannah Cream is 100% handmade, packaged and labelled in my small Queensland rural town of Goondiwindi.

At the time of my first product launch, I was making these products in my home using a double boiler and a gas barbecue as my heating element. As I began making more and more products to meet growing demand, I was finding I was attracting an ever-increasing bee population to my backyard, as the making process involved melting 5kg blocks of organic beeswax.

In late 2017, I moved Madannah Cream production to a location close to my home where I could still hand-produce my creams in a more enclosed environment. This had the added benefit of enabling me to separate my family life from my work and manufacturing life.

Within 18 months of my first product release I had developed five unique products in the Madannah Range.

Photography: Grace Cobb – www.borderliving.com.au
The innovation: What was the biggest breakthrough for you with your business?

The realisation that Madannah Cream was something new and innovative became apparent through the patenting process which was commenced in February 2017, with finalisation on the 20th March 2018 when Australian and New Zealand patents were filed. 

The fact that Madannah Cream is something unique and safe for use on sensitive and allergy prone skin was a breakthrough for my business. The patenting process brought to light the fact that something I had developed out of #biglove for my girls was now going to benefit so many more families.

I can proudly now say that products from the Madannah Range have reached every state within Australia and from April 2019 will be available for New Zealand purchase also.

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