Onesie Warehouse- Star Business of the Month – May 2015

The Story

Onesie WarehouseHi 🙂 I’m Georgina and Onesie Warehouse started after selling hundreds of the all in one piece suits from my dining room table via Facebay (Groups on facebook selling locally to one another). Whilst this was happening my Sister, Lucy Hall who runs Kent Social Media was building the Onesie Warehouse website. This was all happening when onesies just emerged as a super comfy fashion item worn by many celebrities including One Direction and Brad Pitt. Once the website was launched and passed on to me the competition was rife – however sales were still pouring in. Therefore I made the decision to transform my garage into a Warehouse and continue to increase stock levels in order to market a wider range of designs and styles.

I knew for the business to keep going amongst big competitors such as New Look,, Marks & Spencers, Next and many more I needed to create partnerships. I have always liked the idea of doing business and giving back. I read Richard Branson’s ‘Screw Business as Usual’ and this inspired me to start partnering with charities.

Onesie WarehouseMy first charity partnership was JDRF a large Type 1 Diabetes Charity which offers support and research to cure those diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. I provided their official Onesie and gave £5 from each sale to the charity as well as going the extra mile to improve awareness of the charity. I helped with their competitions providing a onesie as a prize and held a large campaign around World Diabetes day when JDRF put on a huge walk which they do every year. I also gained my first celebrity endorser, Simon King of The Hairy Bikers. Over 150 sales of the onesie came just from the charity and raised over £750 in a few months.

I am now partnered with Anthony Nolan, the blood cancer charity, The Children’s Air Ambulance and will soon be partnering with a cause for animals, to utilise this we will make use of our fleece animal onesies. I believe Onesie Warehouse growth will be centred around developing strong partnerships and giving back to great charities.

Why start a business?

I have always wanted to run my own successful business; after university studying Media, Communication and Cultural studies I travelled to South America and returned becoming part owner of a woman’s clothing boutique. It was great fun and such a learning curve but I wanted something more and went on to travel again for a year to Asia and Australasia.

Team OnesieOn return I started managing music artists. This combined my two passions, the first being music and the second, selling, which was brought on by years as a market trader for my family’s business. I became part of a new digital music start up company which allowed me to be involved in music projects and come up with creative ideas on a daily basis. Two years on and I am now COO for the company and have since started a new music business alongside this with a great passionate team.

Onesie Warehouse and the music management both came to fruition at the same time. I really do consider myself lucky that I have a business with low costs that is growing and at the same time building a successful career in the music industry – two completely different businesses that provides an equal amount of passion. I will continue to grow Onesie Warehouse and hopefully pass the business to either family or other passionate people who believe in the brand and its partnerships. I would love to continue to run both businesses, however managing my time between the two can prove difficult at times.

Finally, I feel I must use my selling skills to plug the Business Mentoring on offer from Kent Foundation. My Mentor Jo, has not only been a great guide but she has offered fantastic support, which when times have got stressful has made me feel at ease to create strategies and take a new approach to combating problems that have arisen in the business.

Business Tip:

Its hard for me to give just one business tip so here is a few for those early on in their business.

“Keep moving forward, think of new ways to grow everyday and start that plan as soon as possible. Don’t sit on things or procrastinate.”

“Partnering with those more experienced or those that can help you grow is important.”

“Finally give back where you can because you can.”

Get In Touch with Onesie Warehouse:

Website          Facebook        Twitter

Belle’s Star Business of the Month – March 2014

The Star: Leanne WoodBelle's Clothing and Acessories

Description: Belle’s sells second hand clothing and new jewellery. We have a range of both men’s and women’s clothing, some still with tags on.  Don’t forget my accesorised shoes too.

Get In Touch: Facebook


Leanne Wood - Belle's Sandwich

Belle’s ~ Preloved clothing and accessories is run by me – Leanne Wood. How I work it, is a little bit like a dress agency. For those of you who are not familiar with this concept, people bring me their preloved clothes and I sell them on a 50/50 basis. I find this works well, as I have no outgoings and really feel that recycling is the way forward…

Belle’s is situated in Sandwich on the premises of Delf Farm Shop which is run by my Auntie and Uncle. Having seen how their business works has always interested me and sparked my interest to start up on my own. After leaving school I just wasn’t keen on the idea of going to University due to the high costs and the uncertainty of a job after graduating. So I felt starting a business was the right option for me. Creating employment for yourself is hard work, and there is a lot to learn but I enjoy it and there is a huge amount of self satisfaction that comes with it.

As everybody knows, the economic climate at present is lacking a little confidence, so I wanted to accomplish two objectives:
1. To start my own business
2. Bring more customers to the farm shop.
I am a great believer that diversification is a key element to helping a business survive. That’s where my idea for Belle’s came in. It’s something quirky, useful and a little bit different and puts a whole new twist on why customers will want to pop in and visit the site.

Belle's Customised Shoes SandwichNo business start-up can run entirely smooth and I have had my fair share of hurdles to overcome. The main problem I had was a battle with the council over planning permission, which has recently been approved after nine gruelling months. It was difficult to advertise the business whilst this case was in process as I could not be certain of the future of my business.

Word of mouth advertising has been bringing in most of my customers but the next step for me is to plan and implement a large advertising campaign. I am looking to print and distribute leaflets, increase my presence on social media and to really engage with my customers I’ll hold various open days. The Mayor of Sandwich has been a huge support and even voiced his approval towards a large chain of Belle’s preloved stores… So who knows? Onwards and upwards.

Oh and don’t forget my customised shoes, these are absolutely fantastic for weddings, proms, parties or maybe just an everyday splash of bling.

My one and only business tip that I could give would be: No matter what stands in your way; Overcome it. Don’t move around the mountain, climb it. Never -ever- give up on your dreams.

Monks & Co Clothing: Star Business of the Month January 2014

Monks logo rsClient: Amy Barker and Michael McMillain

Business: Monks Clothing

Description: Monks & Co Clothing is an online menswear clothing store with a shop on Swan Street in West Malling, Kent offering premium, personalised customer service.

Telephone: 01732 841900Amy-of-Monks-Clothing

How to keep in touch with Monks Clothing:

Website     Facebook     Twitter

“Run by humans not computers” is our motto behind everything we do over here at Monks Clothing.

With the internet being riddled with shops I (Amy) along with my business partner Michael decided it was time to get our customers to say ‘hello’ to a new way of shopping. Struggling to find an online store with a personalised experience was difficult so we decided to do it our own way and introduce a new way of shopping.

We encourage our customers to get in touch or visit our store in West Malling and truly believe that offering a premium, personalised service is key to our operations. Whether you get in touch by email, social media or phone there will always be a real person there to respond.

The recent launch of our store received a fantastic response and since opening, we have been extremely busy. We have beaten our predicted sales targets, introduced 2 new suppliers plus a range of footwear. Providing a personal service means we can really engage with our customers to find out what’s selling to bring them the products they truly want.

The special thing about our store is the personalised service we provide. The same personalised touch is implemented in every element of our business. The store was completely decorated and created by us. From welding a table base, sanding scaffolding boards and constructing a changing room. Every single element was created by us and we are so pleased with the outcome.

There have been some challenges along the way and by far my biggest challenge in starting a business has been my own mind and having the confidence to do it, everything else has actually been really easy and straight forward. We are looking forward to the future to expand, grow and create even more business opportunities.

Thanks for reading our story and we look forward to seeing you in our store soon.

Best Wishes,
Amy and Michael

Business Tip

“Seek every piece of help or guidance out there and do your market research! We spent 2 months doing our market research which has proven to be the most important part of our whole planning and we still think things would have been better if we had done even more!”

inside store