Skibz – a Small Business Success Story
Helen Bristol was a young mother who liked her tinies to look presentable. And with that she had a problem. Her children were dribblers. If they didn’t wear their bibs all the time, they’d have soaking wet fronts to their clothes.
But bibs are not exactly the height of baby fashion. They don’t look good when you take your children out and about.
Helen lived in an English country town. There were some local clothing stores but she had to travel quite a way for a good choice of children’s fashion shops. It didn’t matter where she went though; she couldn’t find any attractive children’s scarves that would double as bibs. So she made her own, and called them skibz.
It was such an obvious gap in the market, that not long afterwards she remortgaged her home so that she could turn making skibz into a business start-up. She took an enormous risk, but it was good move. In just a few months, Skibz had taken off.
Helen soon got the word out about her product. She took advice from her local Business Link, the British government sponsored organization set up to help small businesses. She networked locally and found an American ex-pat who was keen to take the product across the Atlantic. She went to trade shows and met enthusiastic independent retailers who were linked to magazines.
Now Skibz can be found on various websites that sell children’s clothing, as well as in the baby boutiques and children’s clothing shops of the US and USK. They are also moving into continental Europe.
Skibz are for babies and toddlers up to three years old, with an adjustable fastening. Some babies just need them while they are teething, others are habitual droolers and will wear them until they grow out of it. Coming right up to the chin, Skibz look like a smart cotton scarf, but they are backed with an absorbent double layer of material. They keep children comfortable by keeping moisture away from their skin so that it’s less likely to get sore.
They also keep proud parents happy as they come in a number of designs and can be color-coordinated with different outfits. When they’ve spent a good deal of their hard-earned cash on smart clothing for their children, they are pleased that they don’t have to be covered up by unsightly plastic bibs.
Skibz was a brilliant business idea that is going to make Helen Bristol a rich woman.