Making it Work

Clevamama expecting growth in Britain and Middle East for baby range

The Dublin-headquarterd business is looking to triple its sales for its products which includes bedding, buggies and toys

Suzanne Browne of Clevamama: set up an online business with her sister to help parents navigate the ups and downs of rearing infants. Picture: Fergal Phillips

Clevamama, a Dublin-headquartered company which sells baby products including buggies, bedding and toys, expects to triple its sales by 2025 as part of an increasing push into overseas markets.

The 19-year-old business, set up by sisters Suzanne Browne and Martina Craine, now sells in 50 markets and employs 24 people, having been set up out of a bedroom in Dublin, Browne explained.

Initially Clevamama operated as a website selling third-party products, after Browne and Craine Suzanne realised that their experiences on the front lines of parenthood – they had four babies under two between them – were not unique to them.

Browne was an IT worker and Craine’s background was in recruitment, but they decided to set up an online business to help parents navigate the ups and downs of rearing infants.

Today, however, a much-changed Clevamama operates from an office beside Dublin Airport and only sells its own branded products. It has a UK-registered entity, which was set up in response to growing demand in that market.

“We were set up as a family run company, and that’s still what we are today,” Browne told the Business Post. “But from where it started, as an online website, to where it is now – to be honest, it’s a million miles apart. And 19 years ago, I certainly didn’t think I’d be in the position that we are now.

“We’ve gone from just a domestic company to an international company which is now supplying over 50 markets. And at the moment, we’re quite busy throughout the Middle East, and in south-east Asia.”

The Asian market is an area of particular focus right now for Clevamama, which is backed by Enterprise Ireland and sells primarily through retailers around the world.

“For us, it’s about getting our brand awareness out there,” Browne said. “And we’ll continue to invest in that across the Middle East.”

Saudi Arabia is the most high-potential market of all. “In the likes of Kuwait, Bahrain, the UAE and Oman, Saudi is a different kettle of fish. So that will be a big area of focus for us, particularly in the next year.”

Clevamama is also a well-known name in the Irish market where its bedding products, in particular, are highly regarded by parents and industry groups alike. Its bedding products, which make up 75 per cent of its sales, were recently certified as asthma and allergy friendly by a global certification company.

“We have a continued commitment to research and development. Our asthma and allergy certification, we’re the only ones in the market who have that at the moment,” Browne said.

“The brand itself, within the last number of years, has definitely gone up in the ranks. We are now seen as one of the leading bedding suppliers in a lot of countries.”

Clevamama is not immune to the challenges presented by a world in flux. Browne referenced the pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as particularly testing factors. But its founders are still optimistic about its growth.

“We are very confident, and we are still continuing our investment in product development,” Browne said. “And that is where we see ourselves as being able to grow, particularly in the UK and in the Middle East.”

This Making it Work article is produced in partnership with Enterprise Ireland