Suffolk-based baby sling business Sleepy Nico is growing steadily alongside Angeline’s young family

Angeline Braidwood, owner of Sleepy Nico

Angeline Braidwood, owner of Sleepy Nico - Credit: Archant

Just like her young family, Angeline Braidwood’s business Sleepy Nico, which produces baby slings and clothing, is growing steadily and surely.

This month the EADT/EDP Future 50 company celebrated the fifth anniversary since Mrs Braidwood purchased the business, after being incredibly impressed by the product.

“It was the best thing I’d ever bought - it was safe, stylish and allowed your baby to snuggle against either your front or your back - it ticked all the boxes,” she remembered.

Then, Mrs Braidwood was living in south London and sold four slings in her first month in charge. Today, having moved to Sudbury in Suffolk several years ago, she has added many more designs to her range, and averages around 100 sales in a month.

She says the sales pattern follows the cycle of busy families: sales tend to drop off in school holidays when parents are occupied with their children while the optimum time for people to research her products and buy online is after 8pm when the little ones are tucked up in bed.

“It has worked brilliantly for me, because being a busy mum myself that is the time when I can focus on work,” she continued.

“People might send a e-mail in the evening and I will respond straightaway because that’s when I’m working.”

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And with her family “always coming first”, Mrs Braidwood says she “hasn’t pushed sales,” instead preferring to let the business grow organically through word of mouth. A national network of sling libraries where mothers can try and hire slings before they buy has also been a great way to promote her products.

But now with her children aged six and nine, and more independent, Mrs Braidwood is ready to give a little bit more time to growing the business. Up until now, she has employed a team of seamstresses - all Suffolk mums and grandmothers, all working part-time - to make the slings but while they will remain involved, she has recently outsourced some of the production to a manufacturer in Blackburn to cope with the growing demand.

She added: “There’s a resurgence in attachment parenting and a growing awareness that having a baby close to you in the early months makes them feel more secure and helps with their self-confidence and mental well-being later in their life.”