Like most parents with young children, Crizelda Genis understands only too well the exhaustion that sleepless nights can bring. It was a suggestion to add magnesium salts to their daily bath-time routine that helped her regain her sanity, significantly reducing the number of night-time wake ups for her 1-year-old. It was a few years later that she decided to create a fun, colourful formula for her children. They enjoyed it so much that she wanted to share it with other parents and SOAKY was born. They offer a range of fun coloured and fragranced magnesium salt bubble bath for children of all ages and skin types. Not only will bath time become something to look forward to again, your kids will enjoy the beautiful sensory experience while soaking up all the benefits of their magnesium filled bath, setting you and your family up for a restful night’s sleep.
The passion: What inspired you to set up your business?
Once upon a time there was a mother who was just – exhausted! You see, her child woke her up 9 times each night for months on end and she was, simply put, at the end of her tether.
That mother was me.
My first-born was a great sleeper initially – until we hit that 4-month mark. I thought we had stumbled upon the infamous four-month sleep regression, only to find that this ‘regression’ was to last for roughly 9 months! This left me drained and worn out. Most people (many of them parents) will know from experience how extended sleep deprivation impacts on one’s overall health and wellbeing. This impact was all too real and utterly overwhelming in our household.
I knew I had to do something to bring the joy and balance back into our lives and I had tried everything and anything that anyone had suggested to me over the months (bar one or two approaches my mama-heart couldn’t get herself to do).
I desperately wanted to improve our family’s sleep situation, but nothing seemed to work. That was until one day when someone suggested that I add magnesium salts to our daily bath routine. I did that for about a week when I started to see a significant change. My then 1-year-old was still waking up at night, but now it was only once or twice – no longer 9 or 10 times! This was a life-changing moment for my family (and my sanity).
Fast forward a few years, an additional child, and a lot of life happening in between; I decided to create a fun little formula to share this game changer with my fellow tired parents around Australia.
The launch: How did you start out in the beginning?
It all started with my own children.
As parents, we know that much of what we do in a day revolves around the children. The day that the idea around SOAKY was born was one of those days where I tried to incorporate an activity that inspired learning and play, all while practising some fine-motor skills. You see, my kids and I spent some time baking cupcakes in the kitchen and the kids got to make and colour their own icing.
I’m sure you can imagine, there was a significant mess after, so we were off the bathroom for a quick clean-up. The kids were inspired by the colours they had just created in the kitchen, so I added a few drops of the food colouring to their bath. And they LOVED it! We started creating all kinds of colours on the nights that followed.
Now you should know; my kids started to really enjoy the colourful baths AND my kids LOVE a nice bubble bath (something that used to be a luxury in our house). I, on the other hand, LOVED adding magnesium salts to their baths (because, you know, a good night’s sleep would usually follow). I felt like I couldn’t go around adding all these lotions and potions to their baths each day, and so mama-bear over here conjured up a little bit of magic to make the kids’ faces brighten up each day.
After a lot of research, experimenting and searching for some great local suppliers of skin-safe and gentle, kid-friendly components, I started making some magnesium salt bubble bath for my kids only. Soon after, this was developed into something more that could be shared with others.
The rest is history!
The innovation: What was the biggest breakthrough for you with your business?
It is so difficult to say what has been the biggest breakthrough. Each step of the process from the initial concept to the branding and design, all the way through to having the final product range in hand has been huge for me.
When starting out, I don’t think the average person realises what is involved in developing a new product and a new brand. If I think back to those early days and how I had initially conceptualised the product in my mind versus how it has evolved and finally turned out; it is quite the contrast!
Bringing the whole thing to market and going live online has probably been my proudest moment.
Yin and Yang: How do you balance work and family?
What is balance anyway!?
A healthy work-family balance has always been something that was in my top 3 priorities in life. Even though that balance was so important to me, I really struggled to obtain it. Somewhere in the process of growing into an adult, I had fostered the idea that I am invincible and that I could do anything that I set my mind to. I still believe this to be true and, in a sense, this is also what I am trying to promote in my kids as well.
However, the one little detail I had failed to consider was that my own abilities can only get me to a certain point, and I can only take responsibility for so much. And the reason for this is because, well, I am a mere mortal. And my kids – my kids taught me that in a spectacular fashion.
So, for me, the key to finding that sweet balance was to let go of my pride and ask for help where needed.
Have you ever heard the proverb – “it takes a village to raise a child”? In my opinion, it takes a village to do anything! Community and support are golden!