The Cuddle Bed Story
My life up until around 4 years ago was pretty good, I was a Clinical Nurse Specialist working for the NHS and my family life/work balance was just how I liked it. I have worked on a Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit and my recent position was a Specialist Nurse in the Youth Support Team. I have always worked in the caring sector and helping people was second nature to me, it was in my genes! My Mum used to be a Marie Curie nurse and she ran an older adult unit too when she was younger. My work history varied from the care sector to being a mechanic and to running a shop! Before I embarked on my nursing career I used to manage a home for adults with autism and I have had many jobs in this field, including learning disabilities and the Special Education Service in New Zealand.
However my life took a very sharp detour in 2013 and everything changed beyond belief! I became very unwell so suddenly and I spent nearly a year housebound on the sofa. During this time both of my sons had difficulties at their local village school and I ended up home schooling all 3 of my youngest children whilst trying to find out what was wrong with me. The internet became my only contact with the outside world and I struggled through until the children were placed in a far more appropriate educational setting.
I joined lots of support groups and my “friends” were people I have never met but we had all been on the same journey. I discovered a healthy alternative group online who shared ideas for items that you could make yourself at home and I was inspired by an idea to help my son sleep.
My eldest son’s sleep patterns were awful and he could be awake until nearly morning time, he had always been a self-soother and he needed sensory stimulation to help him relax. His bed was always full of toys, pillows and sensory items so I taught myself to sew and The Cuddle Bed Company was born. I made my son his first “Snugglebed” (I have rebranded since this time) and his sleep improved dramatically. Finally we were not a sleep deprived family and I also found a purpose and a focus in my life.
Eventually I found a more appropriate school and things settled down for my children but my health remained compromised. It turned out that I am a “Spoonie” and that I have a few chronic illnesses, including Fibromyalgia, Pernicious Anaemia and Osteoarthritis. At the end of 2013 I was placed on long-term sick leave but I still had no idea what was causing my health to deteriorate so badly. I spent my time building up a brand and I started a Facebook page the following year. I had to give up my job the following year unfortunately but it became very apparent that I would not be able to nurse again.
My journey over these last few years has been a total rollercoaster, not just for my business but for my family too. We have been through so much together but we have become stronger and we all are such fighters!
I have been featured on The BBC, newspapers and national magazines (details of these are below) and I also won The Dragonesses Den award and I featuring in their magazine (The Womens Business Club) . I have now moved to larger premises, working with new innovative business partners on another business venture and starting a new exciting range that I feel will truly help children with autism and special needs. My brand is trademarked and my Cuddle Beds are protected by The Intellectual Property Office.
You cannot only find my products here on my very own special website, created for me by the very talented Richard at Anorak Cat, but I am very proud to also be selling them through Wayfair, Robert Dyas and Rooms for Rascals! Winning Theo Paphitis Small Business Sunday has been incredible for me and I am looking forward to growing exponentially!
Please look out for my offers and giveaways, just pop your information on the newsletter sign up form on the homepage and I will give you further details in the newsletter.
Thank you for spending the time to read this.