JoJo Maman Bebe

Origins

The company was launched in 1993 by Laura Tenison as a response to a request from a friend for her to design some ‘decent’ clothing for wear during pregnancy. Having just sold her previous business, Laura was looking for a new challenge and decided to specialise in the manufacture and retailing by mail order of maternity wear for fashion-conscious working women. After the success of the maternity range (the company turnover increased five fold between the first and second year in business), baby-wear was introduced followed by children’s clothing, nursery products and most recently, toys. With minimal start-up capital, the company grew consistently and slowly. The major challenges faced by Laura and her team in starting the business included finding factories to manufacture the designs in small quantities and predicting future demand.

Success Factor

The innovative nature of the business is crucial to its success and JoJo concentrates on being one step ahead of the competition with ‘brilliant ideas’ and continues to offer exclusive products in a competitive marketplace. The design and quality of styles have also proved popular with the market. Finally, keeping all elements of the company (from design to distribution) in-house ensures good customer service and quick response to orders.

The Future

The main aim for the business is to keep growing within its current UK market niche, as there is still a considerable amount of growth potential before the company hits market saturation. The firm will also continue to launch different spin-off companies such as JMB Retail and JoJo Present Cards (a unique one stop gift solution launched in September 2003 and with distribution in several countries including the USA).