With a young family babytodd & beyond’s creator, Sarah O’Connell, appreciated first hand the importance of investing time in researching suppliers before committing to purchases for herself during pregnancy and when her twin girls were born. She was increasingly aware of the speed of time flying by and how enjoying family time out was important for the family to all relax and enjoy special times together.
With so much information, choice and many opportunities for local families to embrace, “the show was a no brainer” said Sarah. “Parenting can be tiring, exciting, overwhelming and a joy. I wanted to offer families an occasion that would capture a moment in time where families could take time out, meet the makers and passion behind so many fantastic local businesses & services.’ Sarah continued, ‘it is key for the event to repeat regularly so families can depend on a fun and informative event with some treats thrown in too.”
The show is about to return to West Sussex for the third time, in September. The first was in February 2017. Since launching the event it has gone from strength to strength in terms of the family following and the businesses keen to be involved. Sarah explained: “From the very start, local businesses and services shared their enthusiasm for the show and also to work as a team in building a wonderful event with babytodd & beyond as the organiser.”
“Starting a business and working solo is exciting but sometimes can be overwhelming and lonely. Since hosting the first show and engaging with the local suppliers it was clear that group support and collaboration was not only needed but bursting with potential. So, babytodd & beyond organically grew to offer a ‘Business Network Hub-Bub’.
This facebook based group now has over 250 members who are all passionate and excited to serve the local family audience with their extensive range of products and services, all perfect for parents, bumps, babies and beyond.
Sarah explained: “babytodd & beyond offer an informal platform for businesses, many sole traders, to reach out and ask questions, support one another, get feedback, bounce ideas and talk general business with others who are in a similar place with their business and working with the same audiences. We meet bi-monthly in local independent establishments across West Sussex where we network, share and the most amazing collaborations are born. We next meet on 5 September at The Dragon in Colegate. I just love watching the opportunities unfold within the Hub-Bub and working with local venues too.”
Sarah said: “We are dedicated to supporting local businesses and in turn providing a service to the families across West Sussex & beyond. It makes our day to watch the new businesses and members fly.”
The babytodd & beyond – West Sussex Bump, Baby & Toddler Show returns to West Sussex on 29 September at the new venue, The South of England Showground, Ardingly. Entry is FREE for those who pre-register or £5 on the door. With over 60 exhibitors, a great range of free facilities including, workshops, taster sessions, goody bags and children’s activities. Register now