We interview Sussex graduate, Chloe Dunkeld, about her breastfeeding support service, Little Pumpling
When did you graduate?
I graduated in 2020 with a BSc Psychology with Education
I am based in East Sussex which is where I can meet clients in person. However, my social media and website content reaches breastfeeding parents from all over the world.
Website and social media handles
What type of business have you started and when did you set up?
I describe Little Pumpling as a project which I hope will turn into a full-time business in the future. I started on 1st February 2021.
How did you get your idea for your business?
In 2020, I gave birth to my little boy. Like a lot of babies, he wasn’t able to latch in order to directly breastfeed despite how many different techniques I tried. Although we faced issues, I was determined for him to benefit from drinking breast milk. I opted to express and feed it via bottle instead. The first time he drank it, he seemed so much happier and as a mum that’s all you want. That’s when I decided to do it full time and I later learned this is called an exclusive pumper.
What is the problem you are trying to solve?
Exclusive pumping isn’t often represented in UK media. It’s not spoken about in antenatal classes when preparing to have a child and is often unsupported by health professionals too. This is a shame as thousands of parents who choose this feeding method are left to feel isolated with no one to support, educate or to advocate for them.
What is the solution?
The solution is to advocate and educate for this feeding method in order for it to be included within breastfeeding conversation. Little Pumpling uses social media to share images, videos and articles surrounding pumping in hope that others will feel more confident to share their pumping experiences in their own lives. I aim to showcase it like every other topic on social media with beautiful curated content. I aim to showcase exclusive pumping as beautiful – to make EP-ers feel beautiful too.
How is your business unique?
There are plenty of traditional breastfeeding support services, but few include exclusive pumping in the conversation. Little Pumpling is unique because it is advocating exclusive pumping for people who live in the UK.
Who are your customers?
Parents-to-be, New parents & lactating parents and of course Exclusive Pumpers from past and present.
How do you market your business and attract customers?
I predominantly use Instagram for marketing. I have social media accounts with all other platforms but this one seems to be the most successful. Reels do really well at captivating new audiences as well as sharing and connecting with other support networks. My business & website are registered on Google which in the future should be a huge tool for me to capture new audiences in order to grow my coaching side of things.
What are your revenue streams?
I have a small amount of revenue coming in right now which I reinvest into the brand in order for it to improve and grow further. I write blogs which have affiliate links which generate a small commission. Since the Instagram account is nearing 1000 followers, I have had companies approach me with gifted and paid opportunities. The most surprising and most fun opportunities being creating reels and TikToks for use on their websites.
I hope to add another revenue stream in form of 1:1 support but I believe I will have to work longer on the project for this to become a regular income. I am in the midst of planning Pumping Workshops. I’d like to share my knowledge and experiences in order to empower and equip parents with all they need to know for a positive feeding journey.
Have you had to adapt your idea along the way? If so, how?
I think with any business, you have to adapt as you go. I will be forever learning, especially with social media platforms as their algorithms change constantly. In the few months Little Pumpling’s been live, I have gone from predominantly images to reels. Video media is currently where it’s at but that does not mean it will always be this way and I have to keep an eye on what my audience wants in order to keep them engaged with everything I’m trying to do. I always take the audience opinion on board. I often use polls and DMs to get their point of view to ensure I’m considering as many of them as possible. I hope this keeps me adaptive and ever growing.
What unseen opportunities did you see that has resulted in making your business a success?
As I’ve previously said, exclusive pumping is severely underrepresented in the UK. There are a huge number of parents embarking on this journey with little to no support. I noticed this and wanted to change it. I believe others valued finally being included and wanted to join in. I only hope that Little Pumpling keeps connecting with parents and keeps the conversation building.
What makes this time so perfect for your business to launch?
The pandemic eliminated all forms of support for new parents. It was here that online support grew so it was clear to me that it was now more than ever that exclusive pumpers needed support too.
What are your future goals?
I would love to conduct classes on a regular basis to provide new pumpers with the skills they need to have a positive journey. I’d also love to combine my Psychology and Lactation qualifications and have regular 1:1 to support clients. I want to be that person that provides support as it’d be hugely rewarding and motivating to be this person for someone.
What are you most proud of regarding the business?
It makes me incredibly happy when I receive messages from the community. It’s hard to recognise how many people you impact when you don’t often see them in-person. So, when I receive a message of thanks or a dedication on their social media, it is hugely rewarding to know I have helped them. It makes everything worth it. I only hope to continue to help others as Little Pumpling grows.
What one piece of advice would you offer to someone starting up?
I’ll keep it simple and say – go for it. You don’t have to spend anything to start, just open a social media platform that you’re confident in and go for it. You can navigate your next steps as you go. But you’ll never know how far it could have gone if you never tried.
What three skills are the most important for an entrepreneur to develop?
Problem solving, adaptability and interpersonal skills.