Emma Jackson started Merino Dot Baby to share the magic of merino with other parents. With its moisture wicking and temperature regulating properties, merino wool creates a micro-climate around the skin, promoting deeper and longer sleep. Having watched in amazement the difference it made to her son’s sleep when he wore merino pyjamas for the first time, she wanted to use the natural stretch and comfort of merino in the clothing she was making for him. Starting out sewing on her dining table at home and sharing items with friends, Emma now works from her at-home studio in Scotland. She uses ZQ merino, the world’s leading ethical wool from New Zealand. Merino wool is 100% natural renewable, sustainable and biodegradable making it a great choice for the planet as well as your baby. Here Emma talks to The Natural Parent Magazine about the inspiration behind Merino Dot Baby, the pros and cons of running a small business, and her hopes and dreams for the future.
The passion: What inspired you to set up your business?
Hi, I am Emma, and I was amazed at the difference in my son’s sleep when he wore his merino pyjamas for the first time. It was such a noticeable difference. William has always been a good sleeper and it was still a real game-changer!
I wanted to bring the benefits of merino into the clothes I was making for my son, now known as the Chief Testing Officer (CTO) at Merino Dot Baby. The easy-to-wear and easy-to-dress natural stretch of merino was brilliant for comfort and dressing an active baby and an always busy toddler.
I use ZQ merino, which is the world’s leading ethical wool from New Zealand. Merino wool is 100% natural renewable, sustainable, and biodegradable. A great choice for the planet as well as your baby. Merino wool is nature’s super fibre. Each element of the wool adds a unique benefit to make a performance material that many technical fabrics try to mimic.
It is soft, comfortable, and best for precious baby sleep as it is moisture-wicking and temperature-regulating. This creates a micro-climate around the skin and promotes deeper and longer sleep. Which we all love!
The launch: How did you start out in the beginning?
I was sewing while babywearing William and using our dining room table. I had a lot of friends that had babies so was making and sharing merino items with them.
I had been looking for an idea for a business and with feedback and interest, this felt right. It connected to my childhood, growing up in New Zealand on a sheep farm, where I learnt to sew. It took time to develop the designs, build the website and get professional photos.
Now I have my own studio from converting our garage so we can all eat as a family again!
The innovation: What was the biggest breakthrough for you with your business?
Merino wool is an everyday fabric in New Zealand. My nieces and daughter wore it constantly as babies and toddlers. Thanks to the fab strength and longevity of the merino, these were all handed down between them and my son even wore them later too!
Introducing merino as a fabric to Scotland and the wider UK has made me realise sharing the magic of merino wool is a crucial part of the journey along with the clothing.
I spend my time sharing all the reasons merino is a great fibre: its ability to breathe and control moisture to regulate body temperature; it is hypoallergenic making it perfect for sensitive skin; it is stretchy, soft and super comfortable; natural and biodegradable; provides UV protection; and is fire resistant.
Merino is easy to wash easy-care, colourfast, and long-lasting. It needs less washing due to it being antibacterial and anti-odour and can just be hung up to air if there are no stains that need washing. It dries very quickly, which is great when you want to turn the washing around quickly for your kids. The keratin in the merino wool that makes it stretchy also makes it wrinkle resistant.
Yin and Yang: How do you balance work and family?
This is always a challenge, but I love sewing and creating – it puts me into a flow state. This adds calm to the other parts of my life. My daughter has a drawing desk in my studio so she can join me. I can be flexible running Merino Dot Baby from home and it enables me to be there for my children.