Director of KIH Products and Founder of the Single Mums Business Network. Multi-Award-Winning Business Woman and Visionary. Also co-organiser of Find Your Power Event 2021 and Author of Finding Happiness and Freeing Your Spirit. Human.
It’s 9 years since I designed the KIH Bed Pregnancy Cushion, when I was pregnant with my daughter in 2011, and it took me two years of background work to finally bring it to market and launch KIH Products Ltd in 2013. It has been such a great journey and despite the challenges along the way, I am so proud that I didn’t give up and that thousands of pregnant ladies have benefitted via treatments with professional practioners both in the UK and Worldwide.
Dozens of ups and downs and a few awards later I can hand on heart say I would do it all over again, and if you have something to share, do it. It may be tough, but if you needed it others will too! You may not get rich in money, but you will be rich in achievement.
A few years ago I set-up a little Facebook page for something called ACP – Accumulated Credit Payment – I wanted to encourage others to give a lifeline that had been given to me when I needed to start a business, without having a single penny disposable income. I’m raising awareness of it again now – as it may be just what you, and your customers need, to help your business not only survive, but thrive during Covid-19.
It is very simple, and very easy to administer.
I see a lot of posts where people are offering either discounts, or vouchers, in the hope that this will help to generate some income in difficult times, and whilst that holds great intention, it does not solve the issue of uncertainty about timescales or finances. Many people will naturally be vary wary about spending £40-£100 on a voucher, when they may be worried about how long their finances have to stretch. Equally, offering discounts still requires an outlay, and devalues your product or service.
That is where ACP comes in - it is something that I desperately needed when I formed the company 7 years ago. I needed a professional corporate photo, so that I could confidently communicate as 'a business woman', and have a press ready pic etc, but the £150 charge for this was unmanageable. In the early days of business I was very quiet about my own personal finances as I did not want to raise concern over my products or services, but I had not long suffered house repossession and my credit file was in tatters, I was working part-time as a newly single mum and £30 or £40 was all I could stretch to food and household each week, and so the only way I could progress, was to open myself up and ask for help.. and this is what is so crucial about ACP..
ACP is not credit, nor is it discount, it is simply enabling your customers and clients to pay an affordable amount each week. I have always been proud to offer this for the KIH Bed, and with every product or service that I offer, as once you have experienced financial stress, you do not want others to be locked out, essentially in ‘relative’ poverty. I paid that photographer £10 per week, I was very happy in the knowledge that 3 quick months later I could have my pictures and share my biz with the world, and it inspired me to keep going. I needed to commit in this way, and I need the money to leave my bank, if I had put aside £10 per week I would not have spent the money on photos. I would have used £150 on filling the fridge and freezer! I had to force myself to take care of both home, and professional development. I did the same with my massage therapist a couple of years later, I told her that I could not justify spending £30 every six weeks on myself (despite knowing how important it is as a qualified therapist), and so she agreed that I would pay £5 per week by standing order, never in arrears – I paid a manageable weekly amount, and every six weeks I enjoyed a massage without needing to dip into my weekly budget.
As it stands, I think that come September, when the children are in school and we can get back to much needed maintenance, business, in the beauty and holistic industries, will thrive once more, so why not let your customer base know that they can start an account with you now, so that they have credit with you and all they need to do is book in when you are open again? It saves them the embarrassment of worrying about outlay, and you benefit from immediate, and crucially consistent income. It is easy to set-up a standing order, and of course you have options such as regular FB payments now, and if you are a limited company you can let GoCardless do all the admin for you – the customer sets up the DD with them, they pay you, and they let you know if the customer cancels the DD – they take a small fee, but it’s not much, and well worth it for the convenience for you and your customers.
Here’s the FB page with some SO templates – you are in a very powerful position right now, to not only help your own business, but to offer a lifeline to your clients in times of uncertainty. Even your more affluent customers are likely to appreciate and enjoy having consistent credit with their favourite practitioners, so that they can enjoy regular treatments without even thinking about the money.
We are all able to help each other. Let your customers help you now, so that you can help them in the future. This can be applied to any business in any industry. Car servicing, MOT’s, restaurants, therapies, DIY, electronics, Legal, Support roles; whatever it is you offer, let people start paying you now, so that they can reap the rewards in 16 or so weeks when the children are in school and they are ready to push forward with business whilst taking good care of themselves.
And of course if you are pregnant, take a look at the KIH Products website – on the find a therapist page you can have a look on the map for a chiropractor, osteopath, spa, hotel, or massage therapist near you, offering treatments using the KIH Bed Pregnancy Cushion – which enables you to lay prone (on your belly) in both your second and third trimester of pregnancy.
‘I bought a KIH Bed from Julie earlier this year and have been very impressed with the quality and comfort of the product. As a Chiropractor I often treat ladies in variable stages of pregnancy and the double layer to the pillow allows a fantastic transition between stages. The removable covers are great and easy to remove and wash. I would highly recommend Julie and her KIH pregnancy products. From
Thank you for this amazing product and excellent delivery service. I have a very happy pre natal client who received her treatment using this product and had great positive feedback on how comfortable and supported she felt using it.
As a therapist allowed me to offer a more comfortable treatment to my client and allow me a better position to treat back and shoulders.
#Pregnant? in #Dursley? Have you had a #pregnancymassage yet with ABBEY Holistic Therapies.? Abbey purchased a KIH Bed Pregnancy Cushion after she tried it (she is pregnant too) at the NEC last month – and she already has great client feedback!
Whether you are 2nd or 3rd Trimester you can lay on your belly as you are fully supported by the firm cushion – you do not have pressure on the lumbar region of your spine and your ligaments are supported by the sling style 100% soft brushed cotton cover. Your therapist will have been taught not to lay a pregnant client on her right or back due to pressure on vena cava but now you can lay on your belly as well as your left due to this brilliant award winning product.
Designed 2011, Established 2013. The KIH Bed is loved by professional practitioners, osteopaths, chiropractors and top spa’s not only in the UK but worldwide. #madeintheUK
We exhibited at the Holistic Health Show at the NEC last weekend and it was so great to finally be able to showcase the KIH Bed to practitioners from all over the UK. We did a live demo on the stage on Monday and the purpose of this blog is to share that VT. – It’s a raw copy, no editing out umms and arrs and no photoshopping or personal styling so forgive the random presentation style – but it served its purpose – to enable therapists to try it out! and to share my own story and the H&S of the KIH Bed.
Such a great position to finally be in after all these years!
So, please see the VT below by following this link
The KIH Bed is a luxury Pregnancy Massage Cushion Made in the UK since 2011. Loved by leading Spas, Osteopaths, Chiropractors & Massage Therapists Worldwide.
The luxury 100% Soft Brushed Cotton Cover is removable and washable and the KIH Bed Pregnancy Cushion is designed to support your clients skeletal structure and round ligaments. Enabling them to fully relax laying prone at variable stages of pregnancy.
Award Winning * Made in the UK * Established KIH Products Ltd since 2013 *
‘It gives me great pleasure to contact you today and inform you that we have received a nomination for KIH Products Ltd within our prestigious Hotel and Spa Awards 2019, proudly hosted by LUXlife Magazine!
LUX Life Magazine is looking to honour those who work tirelessly to provide the best guest services, amongst fierce competition, allowing peaceful and tranquil experiences. From private rentals & unique stays right to health & leisure treatments, LUX Magazine will leave no ‘hot’ stone un-turned when it comes to finalising this years winners.’
There’s no denying that makes me a very happy lady LUX
The KIH Bed Pregnancy Cushion was designed in the UK in 2011 when qualified therapist Julie Hawkins was heavily pregnant and could not find a pregnancy cushion to enable her to do so!
Following the initial design Julie spent two years researching laying prone (on your belly) in pregnancy and dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s with respect to all other aspects of Health and Safety. Having to incinerate her beloved KIH Bed to Comply with British Standards Testing was a painful experience. But finally after two years with the finished product along with relevant certification Julie was ready to secure finance, set up the company KIH Products Ltd and launch the KIH Bed to the general public.
In the last six years since the business was established the KIH Bed has been increasing in popularity with Osteopaths, Chiropractors, Massage Therapists and Leading Spa’s, not only in the U.K, but in the Irish Republic, Australia, America, France, Spain, and an attempted Cyprus purchase!
Julie, and KIH Products have been shortlisted for and won a number of awards including the Federation of Holistic Therapists Excellence in Innovation Accolade Award in 2015, MPower Mums in Business finalist, Women’s Business Club Innovation Award and a couple of others! Julie now supports other Single Mums in Business.