This month, we sat down with Erica Hargaden, Certified Child Sleep Consultant and CEO of Babogue. Founded in 2017, Babogue has helped over 4,000 families in 35 countries create settled sleep for their children within their homes.
Erica discusses how Babogue started and the challenges she has faced along the way.
Could you tell us how Babogue started? What gave you the idea to create the company?
Life experience as a mother was the inspiration behind Babogue. In 2009 my first child was born and he simply didn’t sleep. He woke every 45 minutes to 2 hours every night from birth. Sleep deprivation had a very chronic impact on me and it seemed like everywhere I turned no one had answers on how to help me help this little guy to sleep. In the end my mother moved in and together we worked on his sleep and I never looked back. He became a super star sleeper and I gained a deep respect and love for sleep. I started to read and research as much as I could about child sleep so that when I went on to have more children I understood it more. That resulted in two little ones who slept well from much earlier and me gaining a reputation for knowing how to get little ones to sleep. Fast forward 10 years and one of my best friends, and now business partner, had beautiful twin boys. A little like my eldest guy, they simply didn’t sleep. When she reached out to me for help, her husband joked that I should be offering sleep advise as my profession. The light blub went on! And so the idea for Babogue was born.
What challenges have you faced?
When I initially set out with Babogue I was going to work with families 1:1 however that immediately saw my revenue and growth capped. I am but one person and could only work with a finite amount of families on a monthly basis. That was very frustrating to me as I wanted to help as many families as possible. That was when the idea for the Sleep Series came. I had just started to use Instagram on a regular basis and the followers loved the video content that we posted. We took that engagement and monetised it into video based sleep courses that are now being used by 4,000 families in 35 countries.
What question are you most commonly asked by families?
Will it work? At the point that a family reaches out to work with me 1:1 or to use one of our Sleep Series courses they are absolutely exhausted and often feel like nothing will help their little one sleep. But, 94% of parents who use our services report better sleep as a result.
Tell us about the courses you offer and which one proves the most popular?
We offer video based sleep courses for children aged from newborn right up to 10 years of age. We see our courses that help parents with children aged 9 months as most popular. We feel that is a point where parents, especially mothers, will be returning to work and are looking to create routine and some sleep independence for their little one.
What is the best piece of advice you have been given since starting Babogue?
Believe in yourself. Women often struggle with imposter syndrome and fail to believe that they deserve to be where they are or to gain the success they have. By believing in myself and my abilities I have probably gone for more supports, pitches, awards and opportunities because I believe in myself and the work that we do in Babogue.
How do you motivate yourself?
I stick to routine & I plan out my week. Our bodies thrive on routine and generally function better knowing what lies ahead. By setting structure and goals into my week I am motivated by the things that are ticked off the to do list and the goals that we achieve.
If you could step into the shoes of one businessperson for the day, who would it be and why?
I would love to get insight into the life and mind of Sara Blakely, the lady behind Spanx. To go from selling office equipment door to door to creating one of the most iconic brands of our generation is inspirational.
What are your aspirations for the future of your business?
Global growth and technical expansion are the next phases for Babogue. Getting our Sleep Series courses into the hands of as many parents as possible through development of a supportive platform is high up on our list. At the moment our brand is most known in the UK and Ireland – growth into Australia, New Zealand and the USA is in our sights!