Diary Doll

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When Carol Smillie dropped me a tweet about her business venture with Annabel Croft, I was pretty excited because I grew up watching Carol on Tv shows like ‘Holiday’ (I actually thought ‘abroad’ was a place until this programme came on TV) and I love Tennis.

It seemed like a random pairing, and also something that two such busy ladies would have time for, bu hats off to them for creating such a product.

Diary Dolls pants are for periods, pelvic floor and post maternity. Although it’s not a nice subject to talk about, it can be nice to have some extra peace of mind at those times. Especially teenagers who have to go through a seriously embarrassing few years.

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One of the things I noticed when I unpacked the pants from their lovely packaging, was how dainty and normal they looked. From the product specification you would expect them to be a bit bulky, but this is not the case. They are even comfortable on, and I can confirm they are comfortable all day.

After trying the product, I caught up with Carol to ask her a few questions about her and Annabel’s venture, the running of Diary Doll and how they manage to keep them so cheap when they are so well made.

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Kelly – How did you and Annabel Croft come up with the idea of ‘Diary Dolls’. Did you know each other before? 

Carol – We’ve been friends for many years with 4 teenage daughters between us of similar ages. It all came about after an off-the-cuff comment about periods while on holiday in Portugal. Annabel has always suffered from a young age, and found it try stressful worrying about leaks while playing tennis in a short white skirt. I always assumed that women at the peak of their sport, probably had minimal bleeds, but apparently not!

Why are so many women’s sports in white or light clothes? Ballet, horse riding, tennis, judo, the list is endless!

Kelly –  How did you research the market? Obviously problems that your product looks to solve are not talked about very comfortably, so was it hard to find out if there was a market there?

Carol – Obviously our daughters had all sorts of drama stories, but  we wanted to make sure it was as widespread an issue as they thought. We surveyed 100 teenage girls across 3 schools via the school nurses. The results were startling….34% had accidents every month, but 91% were so concerned about it potentially happening, they avoided sport, sleepovers or light coloured clothing for that whole week!

Kelly – Diary Dolls are really reasonably priced, but still really comfortable and obviously well made. What do you do to ensure your consumer still gets a quality product at the best deal. 

Carol – It always amazes me that women till pay up to £50 to buy pants that make them thin for one night, yet the one issue they have to deal with ,whether they like it or not, is still swept under the carpet as being all a bit ‘awkward’ We have come a long way since those early days and have now modified the pants according to what our customers tell us. We increased the size range, (6-20) and extended the waterproofing to wrap around the leg elastic. What we have today is really pretty, soft, lightweight and beautifully packaged. Everyone wants to feel cared for, especially at that time of the month

Kelly – Have you always known you might have a little foray into women fashion or did it just come about randomly? 

Carol – Never! Life is funny, you never know what’s around the corner, but we love being pushed out of our comfort zones, and because women from 10-70 buy DiaryDolls for not just periods, but pelvic floor weakness (who doesn’t dread that 3rd sneeze?) or even post-maternity, it’s fantastic that we get to hear from women of all ages and life experience.

Kelly – How hands on are you and Annabel in running the company day to day? Is it hard to fit in with other commitments. 

Carol – I am the one driving the business full time, as Annabel has far more commitments as a commentator for Sky & Eurosport, and we live at opposite ends of the country! That said, Annabel pops up as often as she can, our daughters are at Edinburgh Uni together, so it means she can catch up with Amber too!

 

It’s great to know that ‘Diary Doll’ is so family orientated, and you may recognize Christie, who is the model on the website, as she is Carols daughter.

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If you would like to learn more about ‘Diary Doll’ you can visit their website here: http://www.diarydoll.com/ and you can also catch up with the latest via their Twitter page:  https://twitter.com/diarydoll/

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