The Chronicle - - Weekend -

Any par­ent will re­late to the cring­ing task of trim­ming a baby’s nails with tra­di­tional clip­pers. But one mum’s Nail Snail in­ven­tion is mak­ing the job al­most ef­fort­less.

Nail Snail founder Ju­lia Christie was tak­ing time out from her ca­reer as a sup­ply teacher and singer to have her first child when her leap into en­trepreneur­ship be­gan.

“When I had my new­born baby boy – nearly five years ago – I got my­self a set of clip­pers and clipped the tip of his fin­ger off,” the 32-year-old said.

“I was so up­set.”

Ms Christie’s son was four months old when her light bulb mo­ment hit.

“I woke up at 4am on April 1 – April Fools and went, ‘Oh my gosh, I think I’ve got it.’ It was the con­cept that in­stead of cut­ting or clip­ping the nail, a blade es­sen­tially shaved it off side­ways.

“I was up doo­dling at 4am when I thought, that kind of looks like a snail.”

The now mum of three ad­mits she had no idea at that point the amount of time, pas­sion and fi­nances she would need to in­vest in that lit­tle draw­ing.

“Serendipit­y would have it that I was driv­ing and I was be­hind a bus,” she said.

“There was an ad on the bus say­ing ‘How to turn your idea into a mar­ketable product’. I called the num­ber on the ad and was put in touch with Belinda Coker, who has been a men­tor since.”

Ms Coker, also a mum of three, is the in­ven­tor of En­vi­rosax re­us­able shop­ping bags and Novem­ber Rain pon­chos. She is also a man­u­fac­tur­ing and mar­ket­ing con­sul­tant.

With her guid­ance, Ms Christie moulded her first Nail Snail out of Fimo mod­el­ling clay, then took her ideas to in­dus­trial de­sign team For­m­zoo, in Bris­bane. They turned her clay snail into a blue­print for man­u­fac­tur­ing.

“It took al­most two years of engi­neer­ing just to get the blade per­fect,” she said.

Ms Christie launched the Nail Snail at the same time she gave birth to her third child in 2017 af­ter a suc­cess­ful Kick­starter cam­paign se­cur­ing $11,000 in dis­counted pre-or­ders.

“I had my third baby and was in hos­pi­tal sign­ing off on mar­ket­ing con­tracts, post­ing to so­cial me­dia, try­ing to keep things go­ing while she was one day old,” she said.

Ms Christie sold her ini­tial 3000 Nail Snails and is on to her sec­ond or­der of 10,000.

Last month, the Nail Snail won a Good De­sign Award 2018, the high­est ac­co­lade for de­sign in­no­va­tion.

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