It has only been 18 months since Robert Hollander and Adam Phillips launched My Babiie, but already the brand can be found in Mothercare, Kiddicare, Babies R U and Argos.
Despite being described as the ‘UK’s fastest growing baby brand’, dominating the domestic market is not enough for the Tunbridge Wells-based company which produces buggies for sale from £65 plus car seats, changing bags and high chairs.
“We are hoping to soon start exporting to the EU and the US and expand our presence abroad,” said Mr Hollander, who believes a reasonable price range and the ability to adapt quickly to changes in fashion lie behind the brand’s success.
Like many entrepreneurs, it was the joint experiences and combined expertise of both Mr Hollander (35) and Mr Phillips (33) that led them to start their venture.
Mr Hollander said: “I have four children and am quite a hands-on dad so have spent the last ten years going in and out of places like Mothercare and buying baby products, plus I have a background in design.
“We analysed what competitors were doing and felt some of the long established brands were living off a name rather than a quality or design.
“We knew we could design better products and deliver quality at better retail prices so we did it and now we are a disruptive influence in the baby product market, which is what we set out to achieve.”
Mr Phillips, whose previous employment saw him supplying baby products to nurseries, brought the industry connections, the links to manufacturers and also helped supply the start-up funds, Mr Hollander explained.
“Because we started debt-free but with only limited capital, we initially expanded slowly and have managed to maintain organic growth which has allowed us to avoid taking on debt.”
In order to break into a market Mr Hollander described as ‘quite saturated’, the pair sought to tie up with a celebrity in order to boost their profile.
They found the perfect match in Billie Faiers from The Only Way Is Essex who herself has a background in product design.
Mr Hollander said: “We contacted Billy when we heard she was pregnant. She had a designer background and was going to be a mother.
“We have collaborated with Billy on her signature range because she is quite stylish and has an insight into what young mothers want.
“This really helped when we launched as it gave us a platform to work on and she had a much greater reach online than we had.”