Our business journey
It all came to mind in 2007 to create a plate for children that would allow them to gain a sense of mastery as they learned to eat for themselves. It was a part of my daughter's and my frustration when the food ended up on the floor instead of in her mouth that led me to come up with a solution. My then little daughter Naomi, was the inspiration behind the Naomi plate. After 2008, it was designed to be protected for Europe, but a hectic schedule as a single mother made it impossible to work on the plate.
After ten years of putting the project on hold, I was able to resume it in 2017. My search led me to a factory in China that could help me with the production. I chose to visit them before making a final decision to ensure that they take care of both their employees and the environment around them. I had a gut feeling that it was the right place for me.
As a result of the collaboration, the first silicone plates arrived in Norway in the spring of 2019. No1 Products AS was founded in the late summer of 2019, after which I was admitted to Gründerhub, a program facilitated by Coworks Connect Sørlandet with support from Sparebank 1.
My experience here and at the Establishment Center in Vest Agder were similar. People were knowledgeable and eager to help me. Due to the pandemic, 2020 was also a difficult year for me. This led to fewer face-to-face meetings, and the search for good dealers was largely conducted online which was a struggle. However, I was optimistic by nature! We first partnered with Bee Organic, and shortly thereafter we went into business with Babycare.
For us, in addition to Culina being the first distribution, there was an anniversary that showed me that we were heading in the right direction. Solid players wanted us in their ranks. Incredibly fun and exciting! Even though 2020 was a struggle, it was still a year of great progress for my new company. I was accepted into the Innoventus Sør incubation program. With good help and guidance in the process, my application for a market clarification grant was approved by Innovation Norway. Happy day!
Shortly thereafter, it received support from the Shiva Foundation, a fund jointly used with Elkem. An exciting and informative collaboration with Elkem. Here I have learned the enormous potential of the material silicon and the lack of knowledge about the actual manufacturing process. Our plates are made of platinum silicon, which is pure silicon composed of sand and carbon. Platinum silicone maintains even higher quality than regular silicone and is safe for children to use.
Additionally, the material is also very durable. Working with Elkem gave me more confidence in the material and what I was doing when the Naomi plates began producing. It was important to have good people on the team to see my dreams come true in order to reach my goals. Finding an investor who believes in me and my dreams paved the way for me to get a loan from Innovation Norway and start working on a new collection which launched in our online shop in January 2021.