Though I did my best to clear his nose with tissues and manual pumps, nothing seemed to work fully.
When we took him to the doctor, they suggested using saline to help flush it out.
Then, when he was two months old, I put Joe down for a nap, praying he’d sleep through the afternoon.
Just minutes later, he was screaming the house down.
‘My poor little boy,’ I soothed, wiping the snot away from his nose.
When he did finally drift off, I managed to squeeze in a sit-down.
Flicking through a parenting magazine, I came across something that caught my attention.
It was an ad for a nasal aspirator called a Snotty.
Powered by batteries, the device was designed to gently remove snot from babies noses. The other products I’d tried required users to manually squeeze a bulb to suction the gunk out.
But I’d always been paranoid about the snot being pushed up farther once I let go.
With my poor bub struggling to sleep and feed, I was desperate.
It can’t hurt to try, I reasoned, buying one online.
When it arrived, I wasted no time in giving it a whirl.
Although Joe squirmed when I placed the device in his nose, I knew it was for the greater good.
‘Hush little one,’ I whispered gently.
Pressing the button down, the machine buzzed to life and whisked away all the snot in a matter of seconds.
‘What a clever boy,’ I cheered.
Before long, Joe was feeding like a champion and sleeping for hours at a time.
It’s like I’ve got a different baby, I thought, relieved he was doing so well.
Over the next few months, I told all my friends about the miracle product.
It got me thinking that every new parent in the country would benefit from having one.
Some mums were even sucking out their baby’s snot with their mouths!
But it wasn’t until the following year that I decided to order a box for my
As word spread, I soon had friends of friends
calling to get their hands
on a Snotty.
I managed to sell all 24 devices in less than two weeks.
That’s when I realised I could help even more families.
So, I set up a website to sell the devices to other struggling parents around Australia.
I called it Snotty Noses.
Next, I put up flyers around the local playground and set up social media accounts for my business.
Before long, my inbox was flooded with emails from parents who were desperate to help their children.
Soon, all of my free time was spent packing and sending orders.
With Max busy at his office job, it was up to me to run the show.
But the best part was
This was a lifesaver, one mum wrote.
‘It feels so good knowing I’m helping families far and wide,’ I told Max.
I learned that the device wasn’t just helpful for children, but also for people with disabilities, and stroke sufferers who have trouble blowing their noses.
While some users found the device took some getting used to, others said their kids loved it.
Our youngest boy Harry would even laugh when I used it to clear his snotty nose!
In 2016, three years on from launching my business, I made the difficult decision to hang up my whistle and chalk at the school, so I could focus on it full-time.
Last year, we managed to crack $1.7 million in sales.
It’s hard to believe what started as a one-woman project to clear snotty noses has made me a millionaire!
Now, just six years after starting, I’ve got a team of four dedicated employees.
Although Max has a degree in business, he
often jokes I have more experience than him.
Thankfully, the business has allowed me to spend more quality time with my family. And the extra money has meant we can treat ourselves to much-needed family breaks.
My advice to anyone wanting to start a business is give it a go. With hard work and determination, there’s no limit to what you can achieve.
While it’s snot the most glamorous role, I wouldn’t change a thing
To find out more, visit Snotty Noses.