Sometimes it take a life shift to make you realise what’s important – or to make a change in your working life. Today’s interviewee is Angela Hall, founder of innovative baby sleepsuit company ZIPPYUP who made a huge leap from working in-house in the fashion industry, to launching her own brand!
HOC: Great to meet you, Angela! What’s your elevator pitch for ZIPPYUP?
Angela: The award winning ZIPPYUP is an affordable, good quality, practical baby sleepsuit with a head to toe zip for easy, quick nappy and outfit changes. For parents of newborns, the zip makes night changes much simpler, with built in mitten cuffs it stops scratching too. Sizes go up to 18-24m so little wrigglers can be changed in record time before they make a quick getaway.
HOC: What is your journey to starting your business; we know you made a career switch from working for a corporate; what made you take the leap to running your own business?
Angela: Yes! I spent the majority of my career in the fashion industry working with factories making men’s and women’s clothing for high street stores. Working with designers and buyers to import and supply large retailers on time and on trend. I made the leap of running my own business when I became a mummy with my first baby. I realised there was a need for affordable zip baby clothes (I still have no idea why poppers are used on the majority of babygrows?!). I decided to put my experience of design and the clothing industry to good use and created ZIPPYUP. I can fit my business around family life and I only have myself to answer to.
HOC: What difficult choices have you had to make for the business?
Angela: I’ve had to compromise on the selection of colours I can offer due to budget. I would love to have a wide range of colour combinations, prints and stripes for customers to choose from but to keep costs down and the product affordable I need to order reasonably large quantities and so cannot risk a colour not selling well. Customers are also still very keen to buy pink for girls and blue for boys. Although Aqua has been my best selling colour to date!
HOC: What does the team at ZIPPYUP look like?
Angela: I am a solo team with the help of my two little boys aged 3 years and 18 months. I am the designer, buyer, marketing dept, social media guru, pick & pack and customer service. Everything from the logo design to the budgeting is down to me!
HOC: And how has your business grown since starting?
Angela: Since starting my business from nothing I’m really pleased to say it has grown steadily over the last 18 months. I have been able to buy more stock and I am in the process of designing and ordering the next range for Autumn/Winter 2019. I’ve had amazing feedback from customers which is most important to me.
HOC: How can someone prepare themselves for entrepreneurial life / can you prepare yourself? Is it a leap of faith?
Angela: It’s a huge leap of faith and I really do think you should prepare yourself for a few knocks. Also, take as much help as you can when it’s offered, make friends and enjoy the journey otherwise it can be stressful and lonely. I’ve found that while promoting the brand everyone has been very welcoming and friendly. The Mummy community especially on social media is very supportive.
HOC: How do you take time out between running your business and being a mum, do you ever find it difficult?
Angela: Running my own business and being a mum is a complete juggling act in itself, working between nap times and nursery drop offs is difficult. Time out with friends and my hubby is rare but very much appreciated when it does happen.
HOC: What’s your ambition for your brand?
Angela: The aim for ZIPPYUP is to become the go-to zip babygrow company, with a huge choice of designs, colours and patterns for customers to select from. It’s currently the best priced zip babygrow on the market at £15 for 2.
HOC: The ’10 years ago’ challenge is all the rage on insta at the moment, what advice do you have for the 2009 you?
Angela: I’d say to myself – make the most of every minute you have before having babies and a business because once you have both there isn’t much time left in the day!
See Angela’s designs over at ZIPPYUP.com
Follow her work on instagram at @ZIPPY.UP