By Jo Hardie

I still remember that 10 hour car trip like it was yesterday!

My husband and I had packed the kids (who were five, three and one at the time) and car for our annual drive from Maitland NSW to Dalby QLD to visit my brother and his family.

This was not the first time we had done this trip with three kids under five, so were well equipped with what to pack. Or so I thought!

Three hours on the road and my eldest daughter began to say that she wasn’t feeling well. Unbeknown to us she was carrying a 24 hour virus that had unfortunately just started.

Before we had time to think, miss five was vomiting everywhere.

Not thinking we would need to pack a spew bucket, I began frantically searching for anything I could find, using towels, blankets, and even clothes to mop up the spew.

When we arrived at my brother’s, I searched online to find a product that would help make things easier for those car trips when the kids were sick and maybe even help to reduce the smell.

I came up empty handed and this is where the idea for Spewy was born.

Jo lives in Rural NSW with her husband and three daughters.

After we arrived home from our holiday, I started researching different types of materials to work out how to make a product that could absorb spew and not leak through, unlike towels.

I borrowed a friend’s sewing machine, bought some supplies from Spotlight and Clark Rubber and started to put together a few prototypes.

After many attempts, and many late nights, I settled on a mixture of terry towelling that could absorb up to two litres of liquid and used a waterproof backing to ensure that nothing leaked through. Designed with kids in mind, it was also important to create a cotton top layer with a range of fun, colourful prints that children would love.

Jo invented the Spewy is a practical, versatile and hygienic product that contains spew, so that there’s no mess for you to clean up.

After sending out samples, I was blown away by the feedback. So many people commented on how versatile the Spewy was in comparison to the commonly used spew bucket, as it can lay under a child’s head and be ready to use when needed. And when friends of friends started asking for a Spewy, I knew I had to take this product further and share it with parents across Australia and, eventually, around the world.

From working out of my house four years ago to now operating out of two warehouses, my business is continuing to grow. I have extended my range to include Bed Mats for toilet training and will soon be launching pull up training pants. I’m also really lucky to have four amazing women that work with me, from social media management to packing orders in the warehouse.

Jo in one of her two Spewy warehouses.

Since starting Spewy, I’ve had so many lovely customer’s say that before they found my products, they’d spend hours washing and drying sheets, blankets and pillows, and now they only have one product to wash!

It makes me feel really proud that I’ve not only solved a problem that many parents face but have also been able to give them back more time.

Jo Hardie is the founder of Spewy, an Australian business that helps make parent’s lives a little bit easier when their children are sick, going through toilet training or just need a little extra protection. For more information on Spewy, check out the website or Instagram.