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Mum's glove to take a bite at US market

By Cornish Guardian  |  Posted: January 08, 2014

  • GOING GLOBAL: Jodine Boothby, left, of Gummee Glove with Oxford Innovation coach Rachel Woods.

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A MUM who invented what is thought to be the world's first teething mitten is preparing to break into the American market.

Jodine Boothby, of Calstock, has sold 30,000 of the mittens, called Gummee Glove, since being launched last year.

She had the idea in 2011 when her ten-week-old son was teething and she saw a gap in the market.

Being so young, he could not yet grasp a traditional teething toy but Mrs Boothby noticed he was sucking and teething on his scratch mitts.

Mrs Boothby runs Gummee Glove from her home with her husband and the business has already gone global, with the mittens being sold in Australia, South Africa, China, Ireland and there are plans to sell them to the American market.

After designing the Gummee Glove, Mrs Boothby sourced a manufacturer and began selling them online and through a number of independent children's shops.

The business was launched with the help of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), which funds the Coaching for High Growth programme delivered by Oxford Innovation.

Mrs Boothby said: "When I first heard about Oxford Innovation it sounded too good to be true.

"It is an amazing resource – especially for someone like me who was new to the business world.

"The coaching made me realise that the company was on the right track but that we needed to be clearer on where we wanted to go.

"My coach has helped me plan and prioritise – we had a rather scattergun approach at first but I no longer waste time on things that won't directly benefit the business.

"Our two main priorities are now to grow our UK market by signing up with a major distributor who can take us into some of the country's biggest retail outlets, and to enter the American market.

"We are talking to US distributors at the moment and plan to fly out there."

Mrs Boothby first met with business coach Rachel Woods in June, who has helped her launch her business world-wide. In October Gummee Glove won the Best New Product award in the Nursery Industry National Awards, alongside Britax, John Lewis and Babies R Us.

Oxford Innovation supports and develops high-growth businesses in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly and delivers the Coaching for High Growth programme.

This is financed by the ERDF Convergence Programme, which aims to build a stronger economy in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.

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