Baby teething necklace wins Dragon’s Den star’s award

Jen Downie with her daughter Hannah and one of the necklaces. Picture: contributed
Jen Downie with her daughter Hannah and one of the necklaces. Picture: contributed
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A MUM who set up her own teething jewellery business after her baby persisted on chewing her necklace has scooped a top award from Dragons’ Den star Theo Paphitis.

Over the past year, and working from her Kirkliston home, Jen Downie has worked to create stylish handmade necklaces for mums to wear that are also suitable for babies to chew on.

The idea occurred to the 33-year-old when her own daughter was teething and repetitively broke her necklaces in a bid to find something to nibble on.

“When Hannah was teething she would often end up breaking my necklaces and it put me off wearing them,” Jen said.

“I love jewellery and I couldn’t find anything that was suitable to wear. That’s what gave me the idea for Num Num’s teething necklaces.”

Num Num’s teething necklaces come in a variety of designs and are all assembled by hand.

The beads used are made from squeezable food-grade silicone – the same material as a dummy or bottle teat – which is flexible but firm.

Jen said it would be perfect for chewing on as it “provides a firm and satisfying chew for babies while being kind to tender gums”.

Jen said: “It’s amazing to have won a competition judged by an entrepreneur and businessman as successful as Theo Paphitis. My husband and I think of Hannah as Num Num’s tiny CEO so maybe the reason she didn’t sleep on Monday night was she knew we had won.”

The Small Business Sunday award was created by Mr Paphitis, who is most famous for his appearances on the BBC business programme Dragons’ Den. He made the majority of his fortune in the retail sector.

Each week, he rewards small businesses that tweet him and describe their businesses in one post.

Every Monday night, he reviews and chooses his favourite six who are then retweeted to his 450,000 followers.

Jen added: “The business has only been going a little over a year so to get this kind of recognition is amazing and I want to thank Theo and his team for the work they do in supporting small businesses such as mine.

“I would also like to thank Elliot and his team at Bébélephant, our distributors in the UK, who have been fantastic and are always very supportive.”

Num Num’s teething necklaces can be purchased online or at Pippin Gifts on Clifton Terrace. They will also be stocked at the new Willow boutique, which will be opening in Stockbridge in August.

All of Jen’s products can be safely washed and sterilised.