Interview with Elspeth Fawcett, Mother of 3 & Founder at Environmental Toy Company: Yummikeys

Yummikeys is a small, mum-owned business based in Scotland. We create environmentally sound, plastic-free toys and feeding necklaces, as well as keepsake necklaces. All products we make are fully carbon offset and made in an ethical manufacturer.
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How did you come up with the idea for the company?

I have three children and my middle son was particularly obsessed with playing with car keys. He had zero interest in the plastic toy one we bought him but he LOVED real keys when he could get his hands on them (not at all ideal I need to add).

Somehow our son had managed to get his hands on our last set of car keys and they were never seen again. We searched the house top to bottom for 2 weeks but eventually had to have the car towed and a new key made and recalibrated. This cost over £400!!! Keen to ensure this never happened again I went on Amazon to order my son some metal toy keys and I was amazed that there was no such thing available in Europe, so I got busy designing my own.


How has the company evolved during the pandemic?

We’ve been pretty fortunate as an online business: as we sell mostly direct to customers, our market hasn’t changed. We have been able to sell to and post orders to customers as usual and have actually benefited from the additional people shopping online.

We have a strong social media presence that has gone from strength to strength during lockdown, leading to us setting up a community to support parents, particularly during the pandemic. Recently we also launched two new products – Ultrasound Scan Necklace and Photo Engraved Necklace – which have been well received by the public, many purchasing for loved ones they are currently unable to see. Maybe biggest of all, we’ve been signed off as carbon neutral, which is such a big boost. So as you can see, we’ve used the time wisely (between homeschooling for myself and the team!).

What can we hope to see from the brand in the future?

I have 3 products set to launch this year and also a rebrand in the works to further strength our identity as a green business. We will continue focusing on being both ethical and carbon neutral in all that we do.