Mum nets millions from gross kid problem
Laura Klein wants to see the children's snot sucker she created in a medical box in every Aussie household with kids.
It's a huge goal, but the mum-of-three won't rest until she's achieved it.
She started running her online retail store, Snotty Noses, seven years ago, selling other brands' battery-powered snot suckers.
But with sniffles and snot a huge part of parenthood - and with babies and young children unable to blow their nose causing problems with feeding and sleeping - she decided to launch her own product last year.
"When I realised the demand, I thought I can create my own prototype taking on all feedback from parents, like this brand is too noisy and this nozzle doesn't fit properly," she told news.com.au.
Her product, called Snotty Boss, has seen sales of more than 9000 of the battery-powered device in the last 10 months.
She describes Snotty Boss as a handheld snot vacuum.
"Once all the snot is suctioned into a collection cup, you wash it under a hot tap and it's reusable as there are no filters to change and no new attachments to buy. It's a one-stop-shop, with a saline spray bottle included as squirting saline up the nose is step one and then you suction it all out," she said.
"The feedback was that people wanted to buy the entire kit with all that is needed and it's also got a drawstring carry bag, so people don't lose bits and pieces and so it stays together.
"It's super lightweight and the motor hums like a Lamborghini - it's super quiet as the other ones on the market are so loud that they freak the babies out - so one of key things was to make the motor quiet."
The snot sucker is already in 55 pharmacies, but Ms Klein recently met with a major pharmacy chain and has a presentation with another countrywide outlet lined up this month, with a plan to take her product nationwide. She is also looking for a New Zealand pharmacy distributor.
"I want to see a Snotty Boss in every Aussie medical box for every household with a child under five," she said. "We want it to be the go-to baby shower gift."
Total revenue for Snotty Noses in 2020 was over $2 million, which included a range of other complimentary products for snotty situations, such as vaporisers.
A Snotty Boss costs $79 and also has a 30-day satisfaction guarantee where parents can return the device if they are not happy.
"With modern day parents, whether it's a first-time parent at 25 or third child where the parents are approaching their 40s, its all about convenience and tech gadgets that really work," Ms Klein said.
"There are those squeezy rubber bulbs from the chemist, but they do not work, and yes our product is more expensive. But if you have a baby that can't feed or eat or sleep you will pay anything - $79 is reasonable price that relief brings over and over again."
Despite the huge challenge of bringing a medical device to market, with the area highly regulated, Ms Klein is proud she managed to launch Snotty Boss in just 12 months. On average it usually takes two to five years for a medical device to be approved.
Ms Klein, 47, had plans for a huge party to launch the device, but they were quickly scrapped as the COVID-19 pandemic shut down Australia in March 2020. Instead, she launched the product with a video of her on the back deck of her house, posted on Instagram.
But she said it was a good time to be an online retailer as Australians spent hours scrolling on Facebook and Instagram and then shopping. She now has plans for two new gadgets, alongside her nationwide pharmacy infiltration.
"There are 1000 babies born every day in Australia and I want a slice of that pie and I will rest when I know every family in Australia has a Snotty Boss," she said.
Originally published as Mum nets millions from gross kid problem