We’re interviewing the winners of the 2011 Mumpreneur Award, this week’s business mind is Emily Goodall from London, winner of this year’s Most Unique Product: Bronze Award.
For any of our readers who aren’t aware of you, can you give us an intro to the business?
BundleBean Ltd designed and sells the first 5-in-1 waterproof fleece blanket that works like a cosy-toe to fit all buggies, bikeseats, rear facing car seats and front style baby carriers. It also opens up flat for use as a picnic rug or play mat!
Where can we find you, and why did you choose to set up shop where you did? - What attracted you to that area?
I run my business from my family home in Fulham and sell directly from our website: www.bundlebean.com. I chose to work from home to save costs on renting office space and so I could effectively juggle childcare and running a business. We distribute throughout the UK to various high street and online retailers including Asda, Amazon, Halfords and Mothercare.com. We are shortly going in to Toys R Us stores and Boots stores in January.
What inspired you to start your business?
I absolutely love being self employed, having been a freelance Events Manager for several years. I had the idea of BundleBean in my head for a while and after the birth of my second child decided to go for it and turn it into a business. It was definitely the right decision – I have the freedom to work around my children and have the enormous satisfaction of running my own business.
What’s your philosophy in a nutshell? What would you say makes you stand out from the crowd?
BundleBean is a uniquely versatile solution to the time old problem of ‘too much baby kit’! By fitting securely onto so many different modes of transport we manage to save parents from having to buy endless branded foot muffs and waterproof covers for each appliance. We are very proud at BundleBean’s affordability – at £29.99 it is a cost effective and highly practical solution – and we think that makes us stand out in a crowded market place.
Can you explain how your business works and what differentiates it from your competitors’ in the industry?
Our business follows a simple model. We buy in bulk from China and supply to customers and small independent retailers directly. We also supply in bulk to high street and major online retailers through our UK distributor PHP Ltd. I don’t think we vary hugely from other similarly sized business in this sector, but we do pride ourselves on offering a personal edge and excellent customer service, coupled with a rigorously tested and perfected product that performs extremely well in all weather.
Do you have a signature product/speciality you could tell us about?
Our only product at present is our 5-in-1 BundleBean but we are working furiously on other complimentary products to add to our range.
What would you say is the secret to a successful independent business? What advice would you give to someone looking to follow in your shoes?
The secret to success is to outsource as much as you possibly can. As a working mother it is simply impossible to do it all yourself and by surrounding yourself with an excellent team, from manufacturers, designers, PR and distributors, you can create a far more successful and profitable business, with a supportive team and freedom to think about your next product…
Can you share a few of your favourite local, independent businesses with us?
I am lucky to live in a vibrant and fun part of the London and as a mother to two small children I am delighted with the local businesses on offer.
Eddie Katz in Putney is a great place to spend a rainy morning with two bored and energetic children. BabyWorld on Munster Road is a truly local and caring nursery store which offers a personal and friendly service as well as fantastic products. For a rare night out – Sukho Thai Restaurant on Fulham Road is very hard to beat!
How did you hear about Mumpreneur & why did you enter the competition? Were you confident you’d win?
I heard about Mumpreneur after searching online for support and advice on starting a business. I entered the competition as I feel hugely proud of my product and from our incredible customer feedback I felt confident that the product is needed and well designed. I was delighted to be shortlisted and get a chance to go to the Conference and network with other successful women (and men!) but to get a Bronze Award and receive that endorsement was fantastic.
How does it feel to have won your Mumpreneur award?
I am over the moon! We have only been trading for three months and our success to date has already far exceeded all my expectations so to win an award so early on really was the icing on the cake for our first quarter in business. It is also a great feeling to have endorsement from an impartial third party, especially as the competition was so strong.
If you could give one piece of advice for anyone considering entering next year’s competition, what would it be?
Go for it! Be confident in your product and service and write your entry with the passion you have for your business. Be proud of what you have achieved and make sure the judges feel this in your application.
Finally, following the Mumpreneur win, what can we expect from you in 2011/2012? Anything our readers should be looking forward to?
We are working on a new range of fabrics and a new product, but my lips are sealed for now. Watch this space – BundleBean has plans afoot!!
Yell sponsored one of the Mumpreneur awards this year and we can highly recommend the site to any parent looking for support with their business. Who knows, maybe next year you could be a winner too!