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Spotlight On: Julie Wilson of Cheeky Chompers - Informed Edinburgh

Meet Julie Wilson, co-founder of Cheeky Chompers and the revolutionary Neckerchew Dribble Bib. Taking the market by storm since it was launched earlier this year, the Neckerchew offers mums everywhere a break from picking up dropped teethers from the ground. Julie’s had a varied career spanning two continents, and is now settling into her new role as a ‘mumtrepreneur’, whilst carrying out her role as Tourism Innovation Manager at Scottish Enterprise 3 days a week. We hear where the inspiration for Cheeky Chompers came from…

cheeky chompersDescribe your career background…

I worked in the health and fitness industry in London and Sydney for 8 years, then in economic development in Edinburgh where I helped to grow businesses for 15 years. I started Julie Franchetti Art in 2006.

What inspired you to set up Cheeky Chompers?

I was off on maternity leave and met Amy Livingtone, my co-director, at an antenatal class. We really believed we could develop a new business and much as I love my art, I’ve always wanted to develop a product. The Neckerchew concept came out of necessity- whenever Amy and I met friends with their babies we all seemed to spend half our time picking up and re-sanitising dropped teethers. It was the simplicity in our initial idea that was so appealing: Why not create a teething product that is attached to the baby?!

Any future ideas for Cheeky Chompers?

Watch this space as we have another idea waiting in the wings …. We’re also looking out for innovative teething solutions to work with existing companies.

cheeky chompersWhat are the main trends in children’s wear at the moment?

Well, dribble bibs in general are such a growing trend – they’re so different from the feeding bib which is just for meal times. The dribble bib has become much more a part of the outfit, that can be worn by the wee ones all day. That’s why we made them reversible and in so many different colours and patterns.

How do you juggle work and play as a ‘mumtrepreneur’?

It’s hard! It seems there’s never enough hours in the day and I love being a mum but it can be exhausting with work in the mix too. That said, when it’s your own business you always manage to find that extra energy and once the baby’s been tucked in for the night it’s straight to e-mails, packing and promoting for me. It’s always important to have some good fun in there- and some date nights with the hubby!

Career highlight so far?

For Cheeky Chompers it would have to be getting 50 sales within our first 2 days of trading- that was pretty surreal! In my career as an artist I’d say being commissioned to do 13 paintings for Tiger Lily has been a highlight, and another stand out moment is wining the Individual Excellence Award for Innovation at the Scottish Thistle Awards.

Quick Fire

Describe Edinburgh in three words: Beautiful, compact  and cosmopolitan, but mainly home.

Favourite family thing to do in Edinburgh: Walk through the Hermitage, swings in the meadows and lunch at the Salisbury Arms!

Which dribble bib is most in use for you? My favourite for Grace is the Polkadot Pink one – it goes with loads and she looks so cute in it!

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