They say ‘baby products sell’, so why wouldn’t anyone who wants to start a business, just head on over to Alibaba and start selling whatever they can find on there?
Sad thing is, this is how alot of people think, and is the reason you’ll find unsafe toys with improper battery covers, causing kiddos to swallow them. It’s also why you’ll see on the news each Christmas time, of the hauls of toys that have been confiscated from discount stores.
Chibebe® co-founder and head designer, Paulitta Zito, introduced the baby bean bag concept – now known as the ‘Snuggle Pod’® – with her partner, Dennis, to Australian audiences around 2007. It could have been earlier, but she had spent the previous two years researching and calling anyone who was everyone in the certification and standards industry, to find out what standards she’d have to meet in order to prove how safe her product was, for use by babies.
As it was a brand new concept, noone was able to help, and despite friends and family insisting that she just go ahead and sell her products, as she had proof of her efforts to at least try to get help, she refused, as she knew she wouldn’t be able to live with herself if she had missed something and a child was harmed using her products.
“Just as I was about to give up, I serendipitously came into contact with a guy from the ACCC who told me my baby bean bag would have to meet the standards for bean bags. As it was a new concept, there was no specific requirement for a bean bag specifically for babies”, says Paulitta.
“Turns out, there is no actual testing required for this bean bag standard, aso I was good to go! But that still didn’t feel 100% right for me, so I decided to have it tested for all the standards I could think of, to ensure that it was safe to be used for newborns. I sent it off to SGS labs, which is one of the largest consumer testing laboratories in the world, and had them test it for me. Once we passed with flying colors, I went about putting together a nice range, and we’ve been a household name ever since!”.
Chibebe® now have their products tested on a regular basis, to ensure the safety and quality of the products remain top notch. However, if you ask what they are tested for in the labs, instead of bragging about it, Paulitta keeps it hush hush.
“We’ve seen our fair share of unethical sellers, so we never, ever post anything that could be used by these sellers to sell their unsafe products. By making our testing reports public, unethical sellers would use the content to claim that they also test for the same things, where they likely don’t. This puts babies at risk. We always have these reports available for viewing by the powers that be, but won’t divulge them on a public forum, for the safety of babies and kids everywhere”.
So what’s the one thing Paulitta would say to those looking to buy products for babies and kids?
“Go to the well known stores and never, ever buy from cheap discount stores. Do you really see these stores going out of their way to pay thousands of dollars for each and every product they’re selling to be tested, when they are normally a once off item that they won’t be restocking once sold out? Go to physical and online stores like MYER, Catch or Bunnings (yes, they sell kids things online now!) or any other store that sells big brand names like Barbie or Disney, and of course, Chibebe. These stores have strict policies in place that require the items they sell to meet ACCC standards. Same goes for Kmart, Big W, Target and your larger department stores”.
But kids grow out of things so quickly! That’s why cheap items are so appealing! But Paulitta says:
“Simply put, if you can’t afford it, don’t buy it. Never, ever go for the cheaper Barbie version or Sophie the Giraffe just to save a few bucks. Parents need to know that it’s not worth it. When it comes to babies and kids, they rely on you to keep them safe, so either buy the best or don’t buy at all”.
Chibebe® is available globally. To choose your country, go to https://linktr.ee/Chibebe