Updated: Nov 1, 2019
6 months ago I joined the Central Research Laboratory in London, in the hope of developing the Cosi Care business into a reality. I have always dreamed of running and owning my own business and now I had a product I was extremely passionate about, I knew it was time to go for it!
Me and my younger brother have suffered with Eczema since a young age, and we knew all too well the huge gap in the market for itch-relief tools and toys. We knew something had to change. Growing up, it was a real nightmare to try and avoid harmful scratching. We had the idea of creating a friendly, comforting tool that would cool and soothe an itch before it got out of hand!
I graduated Brunel University in 2018 and for my final year I worked hard on creating a toy for children with Eczema. A big (really big), wooden turtle called "Cosi". Cosi was the start of an exciting venture into the world of Eczema symptom management.
For those who don't know, I'm a welsh girl (very proud welsh girl!) and Cosi means "itching". So, not only a cute name, but a name with real meaning and a subtle nod to my hometown, Swansea.
After a year of designing and hand-making, yes hand-making, a rather large toy I graduated with a First Class with Honours in Product Design BSc... But where do I go from here? I didn't feel ready to let Cosi go, and with such a personal connection and passion for the project I decided to apply for the accelerator programme at Central Research Laboratory.
I am a designer by trade, I had no clue about how to structure a business, investment, finical forecasting (one I had to google)...so how an earth would I make this good little idea into a business. The Central Research Laboratory taught me everything I needed to know about business, finances and manufacturing a product at large scale. This big and complex Cosi turtle then transformed into a compact little starfish that can be used on the go, was small and simple to make and had amazing cooling and soothing properties. Cosi Care as a brand was born and we were on our way to creating a useful little gadget that every parent raising a child with a skin condition would need.
I loved exploring the logistics of business and fast learned the elements to creating a successful brand. Yes, it was a lot of workshops, meetings and networking, but the entrepreneur in me finally started to learn the ropes.
Where are we now?
We ended our journey at the CRL at the end of March and from that program we walked away with a fully functional prototype, great manufacturing connections and are on track to get investment in the next few months. We also have another member of the team, Antony, who is now our CFO. We work together on working out the best direction for Cosi Care and we are working hard to get this to market. We are building our instagram following, refining the product further and are set to exhibit at the Allergy and Free From Show 2019. Keep an eye out too for Cosi Care in the next issue of the Exchange magazine by the National Eczema Society.