When I first started selling Brolly Sheets at local markets, two customers stood out. One asked if they were absorbent enough for her elderly mother, the other for her teenage son with additional needs. Back in 2006, Brolly Sheets were just a couple of layers of cotton and a waterproof back. That was plenty absorbent enough for kids weeing in bed, but not for an adult.
Humble beginnings Brolly Sheets at a market in 2007
After those two conversations, I started thinking, if I added an extra layer of absorbency, then I could help seniors and those with additional needs. I wouldn’t be just limited to helping children toilet training. Then I decided to introduce them in plain white. In the early Brolly Sheet days, they just came in pink, blue, lime and red. I thought seniors would prefer the white – but actually, they liked the bright colours.
Old Brolly Sheets packaging
A couple of years after that, I was talking to a Mum whose teenage son had additional needs, and who “weed up” every night. So each day she was washing the upper layers of bedding. They became my test family for the waterproof flat sheet. We had several variations before we hit on the two layers of soft cotton, with a thin waterproof membrane in-between. This was soft and quiet and a long way from the early scratchy prototypes. Next I was talking to a mum whose teenager with cerebral palsy didn’t want to wear a baby bib (to catch excessive saliva), so he would wear a cotton non-absorbent bandana that his mum changed every 20 minutes. So then came the Brolly bandanas that were cotton, absorbent and waterproof.
Sam wearing one of our old styles of bandanas
After that it was:
- Woxers (waterproof boxer shorts) when I was looking for absorbent underwear for kids and adults and hated the terrible, undignified and downright ugly products that were out there.
- Chair and car seat protectors
- Adult bibs (and youth sizes coming this month)
- Adult washable diapers and more
Late in 2019 we decided to launch a new brand called Independently You complete with its own website.
I wanted a brand that reflected our values of quality and dignity. I have always disliked the sterile, hospital like products (and images) of many of our competitors. Just because you have additional needs, doesn’t mean you don’t like design, quality products and images that reflect your lifestyle.
Please help us get the word out to any friends or family that may be interested.