We chat with Townsville mum of four Mia Dickson, founder of Safe Bandz, about what sparked the idea and how it became such a success.
How did the brand begin and when was it launched?
My husband and I have always encouraged adventure, we travel a lot with our children and want them to explore within safe environments but still like to take extra safety precautions when we can. They have all had their turn of doing a runner on me at least once or twice and normally when I have my hands full! We also have a cheeky new puppy that has become quite the escape artist.
Where did the idea spark from?
After attending an event with a police officer friend, she wrote in permanent marker up her child’s arm, I was shocked all to think that all her details on display. I thought that there had to be a better way! As a mum myself to four runners, I was always looking for a way to protect my children that loved to explore their environment. There needed to be a better way to do this, I didn’t want my details on display, and I knew that I needed something to list my child’s medical needs.
Do you have any previous business experience?
Yes, During the first covid lockdown 2020 I launched Social Dot a Covid safe alternative to Business cards. Allowing people to share contact information, social media profiles and custom links, directly to a phone at the tap of the Social Dot- Instantly! No more business cards needed ever again!
How exactly do the Safe Bandz work?
Safe Bandz is a wearable, waterproof wrist band sewn with reflective stitching for people or a collar attachment for pets. Safe Bandz stores two sets of parent/guardian names, contact numbers and any medical or emergency information about the wearer.
If a lost person or pet is found, the QR code can be scanned and then the unique code on the band entered. Which allows you to call the parent or guardian listed directly, also any medical or emergency information about the wearer is displayed.
After two weeks with a huge response from our customers we were able to build in a GPS location upgrade. Meaning when a “finder” scans the Band and allows location services, the band owner can log into their profile and see where the band has been scanned.
What are the bands made from and what was the design process like?
They are made from a nylon webbing material, with Velcro clasp and reflective stitching holding an engraved QR Code metal plate. We knew we wanted them adjustable so that they could fit an array of people they can size between 15cm- 20cm fitting most toddlers to adults.
We started the designing process in December of 2020 and knew what we wanted the Bandz to be able to do. It took a few goes to get the exact build that we were wanting but we were finally happy to launch in May 2021.
Why do you think a product like this is important, what are the benefits?
It’s reported in Australia that 20,000 children go missing every year, these are just the reported ones! Not the children that go for a wonder whilst you’re at the beach or wonder off whilst you’re at the park and it takes an hour to locate them. Being able to use the “About Me” section to store and medical or important information about the wearer, gives parents peace of mind when heading out on family outings.
Not to mention the countless Bandz that have been purchased all over the globe even for elderly relatives wanting more freedom in their daily adventures.
We also have a Pet Collar option which allows fur parents to list their address or vet details in the “About Me” section, no more needing to take the pet to the vet, paying to have their chipped scanned. The “finder” simply scans the QR code, enters the unique code and calls the fur parents direct or notes their address and simply pops them back behind the gate!
We have found from the medical alert bracelet users that have now switched to Safe Bandz were paying a large cost each year to use the medical bracelet facilities. We do not charge additional payments to store data. Most importantly kids are loving wearing their Safe Bandz!
We are so excited to say that we now offer NDIS assistance to those who are plan managed and self-managed. Please just contact us via the website.
How should parents teach or inform their children about wearing Safe Bandz?
We ourselves have taught our children to locate an adult to have their band scanned. Even just to raise their band hand up if they are too scared to talk. Some wearers parents have asked that wearers locate another mum or parent when in their location to scan their band. We have also made the Bandz quite bright to stand out and chosen to add a reflective stitching to the band just in case a wearer decides to wander in the night.
Are there any direct competitors in Australia?
Not that we are aware of, our product is the first of its type in Australia. There are medical alert bracelets used in Australia and globally however we have found a fun and funky way to combine a medical alert and ID contact bracelet. We are shaking things up in the medical alert bracelet field as well as the pet space. We also don’t charge monthly fees, just the once of purchase price.
What has the response been from customers?
It has been overwhelming, they are so grateful to have their toddlers, special needs children or family members, as well as some cheeky furry family members covered. See what Safe Bandz users have to say below.
“I was so excited to set up my daughters Safe Bandz. I’m impressed! It’s so easy, and I can put her medical diagnosis and hospital details on there. So, so happy with our purchase. Thanks, you have made our emergency situations a tad easier.” J.R – NSW, AUS
“I’m so happy I have ordered this for my grandmother, she has dementia but still loves the freedom of her daily coffee shop. This means they can now call myself or my mother directly if ever they need too. Thanks for such a great product.” S.L – Germany
“When I saw this, my first thought is I need this for my dogs! Then I found your Pet Collar attachment, I was so excited, I ordered 3 straight away! My Dogs are old and do like to wonder our quite street, heaven forbid they go any further. The About Me section has come in handy too, I have their address and medications listed to all right on their collar! So simple!” A.R- QLD, AUS.