11 Mar 2015
No teething troubles for Izzy Melody as it wins February Merseyside Innovation Award
Izzy Melody’s teething rings have been taking the baby product world by storm and now the product has been chosen as February’s Merseyside Innovation Award winner.
Now the Allerton mum-of-two behind the creation can add Merseyside Innovation Awards monthly winner to the list of accolades her simple yet unique product has earned.
From Paddy McGuinness to model Nell McAndrew and even the Prime Minister David Cameron, the Izzy Melody teething bangle has been capturing attention since the product launched two years ago.
Made of medical-grade silicone, it stands up to the sterilisation process unlike many other teethers in the market, is easy & lightweigt for baby to hold & play with, can be worn by mums as a fashionable bangle in a range of colours and is made in Britain.
It was the brainchild of mum-of-two Alissa Koopal. She wanted to find a durable, safe, light teething ring that was hygienic, easy to carry, and really did what is was intended to do - soothe her baby’s itchy gums.
“I looked around and struggled to find what I had in mind,” she said. “I ended up going back to traditional wooden teething rings.
“But that was not good enough so I began looking at how I could create my own.”
Alissa spent time researching materials and ideas for teething ring that was 100% safe and pleasant for babies, robust enough to withstand cleaning and handy for busy mums.
She came up with the Izzy Melody BabyBangle – named after her daughters Isabella May and Chloe Melody.
“It ticks all the boxes,” she said. “The most important thing is it is hygienic and safe for baby and does its primary job of soothing a teething child.
“But the range of colours and the fact it can be worn as a bangle by mums means it you always have it with you, you don’t have to remember to pack it in a travel bag.”
It has been so successful that as well as winning some high-profile admirers, Izzy Melody bands can be found in John Lewis and Mothercare and Alissa has plans for a major expansion this year.
Despite this she intends to retain manufacturing in Britain.
“When you are making products for babies it is vital that the safety and quality is preserved,” said Alissa. “For that reason I am keeping production in Britain, where it is easier for me to maintain control and keep an eye on the work ethics.
“It was not an easy decision, some potential investors were put off by my stance, but the most important thing is that I have confidence that the products I sell are 100% safe.”
The Merseyside Innovation Awards judging panel recognised the potential of the Izzy Melody bangle, which is the first mass-market teething ring to use medical-grade silicone.
“Innovation does not have to be very complicated,” said MIA founder Brian McCann, partner and director of MC Vanguard Corporate Finance.
“Sometimes the best ideas are simple, what is key for us is that they are innovative. The Izzy Melody bangle is definitely innovative and we are proud to announce it has won the February award.”
Once Alissa had been notified of her win, the first person to find out was daughter Chloe.
“She is seven and asked me why I was so happy,” said Alissa. “When I told her she made us do a victory dance!”