It was her baby son’s desperate attempts to chew on her necklace that inspired Courtney Bowen to create a stylish, non-toxic, silicone teething necklace as a safe alternative to her expensive jewellery. Starting out making items for friends and family, she added to her product range to include other must-have items for parents and babies, and ventured out to sell her products at a local market. As well as sensory jewellery for mums, the Visual Storm range now includes teethers, toys, sunglasses and feeding accessories, and Courtney is always on the lookout for new products to add to their collection.
The passion: What inspired you to set up your business?
My journey into teething accessories began in 2014 with the birth of my first son. He was constantly trying to chew on my necklace and eventually broke it. I thought I couldn’t be the only mum with the problem, so I did some research to find a safe alternative for my boy to chew on or play with instead of my expensive jewellery. I discovered the concept of ‘chewelry’ was a big hit in America and Australia.
The launch: How did you start out in the beginning?
I started simply by purchasing pieces to create a teething necklace for myself. I received many compliments and comments like, “what a great idea.” I started making items for friends and family as gifts and by request. While on maternity leave with my second son, I decided to expand my business venture.
The innovation: What was the biggest breakthrough for you with your business?
My biggest breakthrough was taking the plunge and becoming a stall holder at a local market. I see myself as a bit of an introvert at times, so the thought of putting myself out there and selling my products was a real challenge. However, markets allowed me to network with other people and as a result, I gained new friends, mentors and other businesses to collaborate with.