In 2008, when she was 23 years old, Hannah Saunders joined the Royal Air Force Personnel Support Branch.
It was her taste for adventure that first attracted Hannah to the RAF and taking full advantage of the opportunities she learned to mountain bike, ski, surf, sail, climb and windsurf.
Alongside her sporting achievements, Hannah was awarded a Chief of Air Staff’s Commendation for a strategy project she had worked on.
While at RAF Leeming she met her husband, Ed, and together they have two children.
Hannah, whose young family loves outdoor activities, noticed on one of their days out that her toddler son’s lips were so badly chapped they were bleeding. Clearly, the lip balm she’d been using for him wasn’t doing the job.
Surprised to not find any effective outdoor toiletries for toddlers in the shops, Hannah realised she’d stumbled upon a gap in the market.
So, while still in the RAF, she decided to develop her own natural, vegan products specially created for kids.
Eventually, Hannah reached a point where she wanted to put her plans into action. She left the Armed Forces in 2017 to embark on the entrepreneurial life.
Protecting Outdoorsy Families
Driven by the desire to protect her son while in the open air and to help other families enjoy their own adventures, Hannah developed DribbleProof Lip Balm, which gets through a toddler’s dribble to moisturise their lips.
As a parent concerned about her children’s skincare, and a lover of nature, Hannah ensured that Toddle’s ingredients were 100% vegan, natural and not tested on animals.
Furthermore, as a company Toddle is proudly eco-conscious, with sustainable product packaging and environmentally friendly business practices.
In this respect, the brand is already way ahead of any established products that could be seen as competition.
When starting Toddle, Hannah faced an unexpected obstacle: getting used to working alone.
During her RAF career, she’d relied on the chain of command, but as a business owner, she found herself as the sole decision-maker.
However, thanks to skills developed in the RAF, she soon found that she was able to consider the many consequences of a single business decision, which is crucial when building a successful venture.
Toddle Is Gathering Pace
Hannah’s tenacity and ability to get on with the job, despite the challenges, has made her an effective entrepreneur.
In fact, Toddle’s future is looking tremendous. The brand is attracting interest from major retailers such as Boots, Tesco and John Lewis.
Since launching the brand, Hannah has expanded the toiletry range. Her unique products are becoming popular among families who love hiking, camping, kayaking, skiing, and other activities, yet want to keep the family safe from the effects of the weather.
This story is part of Life After Service, a week-long campaign where BFBS will be running positive stories about ex-service people across all its media channels.