Thoughts...

Interview with Lully founder Jane Stewart

Lully founder Jane Stewart caught up with well known entertainment presenter Ross King to discuss the origins of Lully, why she brought it to the market and why everyone needs a bear for life.

How did Lully come about?
I originally created a CD for children that was a top selling CD sold in M&S. Obviously CDs don’t exist anymore so I decided to put the same music into a little baby bear. There are 23 songs in the bear that play continuously, with no breaks or pauses. I found that when my kids were little, it was the pauses that woke them up. So what we have is a completely endless loop that either moves with music or with a vocal for nearly an hour and it doesn’t stop.

How hard was it?
It was very hard and I was surprised at how long it took to get the quality of what I was looking for and to make sure the sound was perfect. But it was worthwhile to create the tested product we have today.

The singing voice is of course your voice and you are a former West End Star. Did you sing these songs to your kids when they were young?
I did sing a lot of these songs to them when they were young. Although they are too old now! But I wanted to create something knowing and understanding it is hard to make babies go to sleep. The idea is that Lully can be used as part of a bedtime routine, so bath then music and then baby knows what’s coming, sleep. I want other parents to experience what I needed or required when my children were little but I didn’t have.

There’s nothing else like this in the marketplace?
Nothing quite like this. There is lots of white noise, so hoovers and heartbeats and that type of sound. But there is nothing out there that is the human voice. These songs have been carefully chosen, as part of a musical journey.

I imagine song choice is very important?
It was very important that I found not just the usual songs, but some songs slightly off the beaten track. So there are songs you will know and love, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Tomorrow from Annie, Brahms Lullaby, When You Wish Upon a Star. All the songs that parents and grandparents will know and love. But then there are some different ones. Mike Batt wrote one for his son who was born prematurely called I Watch You Sleeping, while he was in hospital. It’s a beautiful song, the words are very moving. Everyone that has a baby will identify with this track.

It’s a scientific fact that music soothes children?
Great Ormond Street did a very intense scientific study about music and calming children and it was noted that childrens’ heart rates actually lowered as soon as they hear music. But it wasn’t just because of music, it was the voice as well. So it was music with a voice rather than just plain music. That was another reason I created the bear, so that children would not only have this lovely soft teddy bear but they would also identify the music was really calming, as part of a bedtime routine.

Where do you see Lully going? Could there be a Lully World?
I do see this as the beginning of a brand. I’d like to create other bears playing different music. I’d like to see a book a television or a film. I lost a bear when I was a little girl young called Teddy One Eye and I was devastated. The love you have for the first bear you have in your life is special, so if this is a child’s first bear they will want to keep it. There is a little book that comes with every bear bought, which is the story of Lully. So if this is the start of Lully World who knows where it could go?