Today I caught up with the amazing Angela, a passionate creative with a soft spot for Textile Design and Founder of ZIPPYUP, the original zip up baby grow. Angela designed this product to make the lives of fellow Mums easier and with her organic cotton options, she is also doing her bit to protect the planet . During this interview, Angela talks about what it takes to become a successful retailer, difficulties faced along the way and her future plans…
Tell me about yourself? Your story / journey /family/ life/ love/ hates
I have a passion to create a lovely home and family life by doing something I enjoy.
This passion started with being creative, I completed a degree in Textile design which then progressed to working in fashion wholesale. I learnt the trade of wholesale, sourcing and retailing clothing. I spent many years sourcing and traveling to factories, trade shows and working with high street buyers so when I became a Mummy I realised it wouldn’t be practical or possible to combine both!
I decided to start my own baby clothing brand, this has put my hard earned experience to good use and I can be flexible with my time to fit around family life.
What is your product business and what inspired you start the business?
I created ZIPPYUP, which is the original zip up babygrow, after I had my first baby. I realised that a zip would make life so much easier for parents. No more poppers!
ZIPPYUP is a babygrow with head to toe zip for easy dressing and changing. The product range has since expanded to include sleeping bags and outerwear zip up suits.
You have been getting involved in Organic September, why is this important to you and what are your other brand values?
Organic September is a reminder that we can all help the environment in a small way, the process of creating organic cotton is much kinder to the planet and it’s important to give customers this choice.
As a small retailer I am involved in every aspect of running the business, I hope that customers get a sense of personal touch when they receive their orders and will think of ZIPPYUP when they need the next size or a gift for friends and family.
Where do you currently sell / your distribution channels?
I sell ZIPPYUP online via the website aswell as NOTHS.com.
I’ve recently ventured into selling to some select boutique independent baby shops.
How did you start your wholesale business?
I have been very lucky to be approached by independents wanting to stock ZIPPYUP.
You have been in the retail industry for a while, both as a supplier for a big retailer and as a small business owner, in your opinion, what does it take to be successful at selling into retailers?
I’d say the most important thing is building a relationship with the buyer. They need confidence in you, your product and that you can deliver quality and value. Your product also must be something the consumer wants and it needs to sell well for the retailer.
What advice would you give to businesses wanting to start wholesale? What products do your customers love from you?
Start small and grow steadily, make sure everything is clear for both parties and ask questions if you aren’t sure.
What products do your customers love from you?
The best selling products are from the organic range, closely followed by the lovely tropical prints.
What has been difficult about the journey so far?
At first it was difficult to predict sales of each size and manage stock levels but with time this has improved. The last year has been a huge juggle with lockdowns, home schooling, my treatment for breast cancer and running ZIPPYUP!!
Where do you see your business in a year from now?
In a year from now I’d like ZIPPYUP to have increased sales which means improving conversion on the website and expanding the products available to customers. I have some beautiful new sleeping bags about to launch in the next couple of weeks.
Is this your dream job?
What keeps you up at night?
Thinking about how long my list of jobs to do the next day is.
What makes you happy?
Seeing my gorgeous boys smile and enjoying new adventures.
In the sunshine
What do you do for fun?
I’m about to start decorating our house!
If you have a bouncing baby and you’re looking for an organic clothing option, you can find the original Zip Up baby grow available at www.zippyup.com