In the beginning
We are Jayne and Troy, homeschooling parents of 8 children (four of whom have now flown the nest and one is in college). We began our business adventure in Lincolnshire, U.K back in August of 2015.
There is nothing particularly glamorous about our ‘start up’ story, although I am convinced my husband considers the event to be one of unprecedented romance on his part. He returned home from work, ran me a bath, passed me a coffee and announced that he had decided to resign from his job in order to support me.
“Support me with what?” I cautiously asked.
“Your new toy making business” was his reply. “We are going to turn your hobby in to a full time business”.
To this day he still considers the look of horror on my face to be one of stunned admiration!
The thumb guards
The thumb guards were not added to our product range until 2017. A much loved friend had asked if we could make something to help her child give up thumb sucking. Being parents of thumb suckers ourselves, we fully understood the need to encourage an end to the habit. One of our children had just embarked upon a two year spell in braces to correct his overbite. It was also clear that our youngest son would follow suit. His overbite had become so pronounced he could suck his thumb without even opening his mouth.
So it was that for the next few days, we stopped stuffing toys and started sketching around our children’s hands instead. Much cutting out, stitching, and re-designing followed. In fact we trialed several designs and many fabrics in order to create something suitable.
It was not enough to simply create a guard either. For us the guards had to meet certain criteria. They had to be comfortable.The fabric designs had to appeal to children and the fastenings had to be simple. We wanted to create a guard that would assist children with their decision to stop thumb sucking. As such the design had to be one a child could put on and remove easily by themselves.
Our business in the U.K, Exclusively Handmade, was soon inundated with requests from parents wanting to try our guards. At this point we gave up toy making to concentrate on the thumb guards.
About us today
We have experienced many changes since then. The greatest of these has been moving to New Zealand. Today we offer a range of thumb guards, finger guards and guards that are a combination of the two. Our standard guards are designed to fit children aged around 3-4 years as this is the optimum time to encourage them to quit. Certainly children need to be encouraged to do so before their adult teeth cut through. However we are able to create our guards to fit any size, from baby to adult.
We do not promise miracles but our guards may help to prevent many forms of malocclusion including overbite and open bite. They can be used to deter from the nervous habit of nail bed picking and are a suitable aid to assist children and adults to break habits that may have led to chapping, cracking or an infection of the thumb or finger called Paronychia.
Ending the thumb sucking habit can also reduce the likelihood of your child contracting viral infections.