Steering clear of teething trouble


A Cornish mother-of-two, who invented the world’s first teething mitten to help her ten-week-old son, is now preparing to break into the US market.

Gummee Glove has already sold 30,000 of its products, designed to help young babies soothe themselves from the pain of cutting their first teeth.

Jodine Boothby of Calstock, Cornwall, first came up with the concept in June 2011 when her son began teething.

Jodine Boothby (l) with Oxford Innovation coach Rachel Woods
Jodine Boothby (l) with Oxford Innovation coach Rachel Woods

After designing the Gummee Glove, Boothby sourced a manufacturer and began selling the product online and through a number of independent children’s shops.

And since then, thanks to help from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)-funded Coaching for High Growth programme, delivered by Oxford Innovation, the outlook for the business is global, with distribution networks in Australia, South Africa, Ireland and China and plans to break into the American market.

Boothby said: “When I first heard about Oxford Innovation it sounded too good to be true. It is an amazing resource – especially for someone like me who was new to the business world.

“The coaching made me realise that the company was on the right track but that we needed to be clearer on where we wanted to go. My coach has helped me plan and prioritise. We had a rather scattergun approach when we were starting out but I no longer waste time on things that won’t directly benefit the business.

“Our two main priorities are now to grow our UK market by signing up with a major distributor who can take us into some of the country’s biggest retail outlets and to enter the American market. We are talking to US distributors at the moment and are planning to fly out there later this year.”