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Childs Farm Q&A with Joanna Jensen - Best children's toiletries 2014 - WINNER

We meet the founder behind the 2014 Junior Design Award-winning entry




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What is your name and job title?

Joanna Jensen, founder and CEO of Childs Farm

Can you tell us a little about the product you have entered into the awards, and why you think it is great for kids?

I launched Childs Farm in 2011 after struggling to find toiletries for my girls, both of whom have fine, flyaway hair and sensitive skin.

The whole range was conceived (and has been expanded) using the best natural ‘free-from’ ingredients and fruity, skin sensitive organic essential oils, to maintain excellent cleaning, detangling and bubbling qualities. 

By being discerning with our ingredients, we were able to create products that are not only mild, kind and safe for all skin types, but cater for sensitive and eczema prone skin too.

The bottles are packaged in colourful, distinctive and whimsical designs featuring the Great British Countryside, our ponies and other animals, my girls and their cousin, all of whom are having eccentric fun in the outdoors.

The designs appeal to all ages, encouraging them to wash with their friends Red the Tractor and Radar the dog, whilst looking good enough to line the shelves of the most discerning of bathrooms.

My objective has always been to make an appealing range for baby and child that is ‘cool’ enough for every child to want to use it, as well as being suitable for those with sensitive and eczema prone skin: making all children happy in their skin.

The launch of our eponymous Cartoon has brought the animals on the labels to life, in a witty and engaging way that compliments the ethics and values of the brand.

Why do you think it stands out among the plethora of products available?

We have made considerable investment in making our products the only range on the market that is so mild, kind and safe for skin that each and every product is suitable for newborns and upwards, and sensitive and eczema prone skin.

With 20% of under 5’s in the UK suffering Atopic eczema, Childs Farm is the only natural, dermatologist and paediatrician approved range that is suitable for these infants. Extensive clinical trials have allowed us to make these unique claims, and in a recent user trial of 103 babies with eczema, 98% of their parents said they would recommend Childs Farm products to their friends. And, they look great too!

Why do you think it is important for children’s toiletries to be so skin friendly?

Children’s skin is still developing right up until puberty, and therefore much more prone to infection and irritation if not kept clean and hydrated.   

As a nation,  we are getting quite savvy at reading food ingredients labels,  yet pay little attention to the lotions and potions that we put on our largest  and most exposed organ; our skin. 

I believe it is therefore a duty and responsibility of all children’s toiletries producers to ensure that the products they produce are fit for purpose.   And, as NHS research tells us that Atopic eczema affects 1 in 5 children under 5, Childs Farm has chosen to be inclusive in the products that we make, ensuring that we are suitable for all skin types, even those prone to eczema. So, no one gets left out at bath time in our barn!

Can you give us top tips for making bathtime fun?

It has to be Pixie Hair for girls or boys with longer hair. 

Shampoo hair very well so hair is foamy and firm, and then tease into the most outrageously pixified hair styles you can.  Then, using excess bubbles on your finger wand command those around you to do as you command: we begin with ‘I command you to…’ and then follows a number of commands which always involve me getting exceptionally wet!

My youngest also has a motto in the bath; you can never have too many water pistols, squirty whales or farting dolphins.

What is the secret to managing skincare and washing routines?

Bath time can be a struggle, so having product that appeals to a child is vital. This should be done visually, with fun label and bottle design, and through smell – we find kids love citrus and sweetie-type smells the most.  The product itself should be mild enough never to irritate or sting because the moment something hurts in the bath or shower, it’s not the product in the child’s mind, but the act of washing itself.

Knotty hair was the bain of our lives, - never have the squeals of a child been more penetrating when trying to detangler a blisteringly large knot -  which is why I spent so long ensuring my conditioner was the best around.  So, for purely selfish reasons, I developed a hair care range that has made detangling hair in our household a thing of the past!  We use a Denman bath time brush to comb conditioner through when in the bath, and have our own branded Tangle Tamer hair brush to encourage brushing at all times there after.  And our detangler works as an interim aid when running around the garden and through hedges take their toll.

We have a reward jar for hair brushing (a piece of pasta in the jar every time, and then £5 to spend on anything you want once the jar is full), and it really has worked as my 8 year olds is constantly brushing her hair now without reward.  She just loves having glossy shiny hair. But rest assured; the 6 year olds jar is really rather empty…

Again,  kids love to moisturise with something that looks fun and smells fab,  and before you know it,  they will be doing it themselves – and willingly too!  My girls have little bottles of body lotion by their beds so they can moisturise at will - this is because I am always moisturising, so it is one good habit of mind that they have copied!

Why did you enter this product into the Junior Design Awards?

Firstly, we love reading Junior whenever we get the chance and have always taken note of the brands they have given awards to.

As a leading online magazine, we value and respect Junior’s influence and an endorsement from Junior means a great deal to us.

A quality Award from a respected publication is a great way to get your message across to the parents of the UK, and we want those mums of babies and kids with poorly skin to be made aware that there is a new range specifically for their little ones which will make a huge difference to their lives.

So, not only does Juniors endorsement of our range mean a great deal to us,  we are hoping it will go a long way to ensuring that all babies and children in the UK can be happy in their skin with Childs Farm.

What’s new for the collection?

Our Nappy cream for happy bottoms launches in October 2014, and will be immediately available from Boots.

We also have a new three pack of mini bottles in our new Top to Toesie pack; ideal for baby showers, new born gifts and Christmas stockings.  This is available from Boots, Childsfarm.com and leading independent stockists from mid-October 2014.

In 2015,  look out for our new sun care range to include a 50 spf cream, 50spf sun spray and a soothing after sun. All have undergone the same rigorous clinical trials to ensure they maintain our credentials of being:

Suitable for newborns and upwards

Suitable for eczema prone skin

Dermatologist and paediatrician approved.

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