Ickle Bubba (Llanelli)

Origins

The birth of Ickle Bubba coincided with the birth of Fran and Veronica Vaughan’s first child in 2011. Shopping for the all important pram lead to a life changing experience for the couple – even before the baby had arrived! As they noted, “When we started looking for a pram we were shocked to find how expensive they were. Not only that, but there were so many other bits and pieces we had to buy on top of it, which in turn added not only to the cost, but also to our apprehension as first time parents as to whether we had everything we needed.” With no experience in design or engineering they decided to design a pram comparable to the leading brands but at half the price. With guidance from a manufacturer in China, they created a template for the first product, and the Stomp Travel System was well and truly on the move. Within 6 months of its inception, 40 retailers were stocking the stylish prams and accessories in their shops. The biggest challenges in the first three years were cashflow, to fulfil an ever increasing demand and trying to manage a Chinese supply chain from a remote part of Wales. As the firm grew, cashflow became easier once we started to prove the business concept and gain trust from mainstream lenders and in 2018 the first overseas office was opened in China and they now employ a small team to manage Far East operations.

Success Factor

The three main success factors are providing safe and stylish products that offer best value within a crowded market place; an ambitious vision with clear direction and objectives; and building a great team of empowered people that enjoy working autonomously.

The Future

Ickle Bubba’s range continues to grow and they are really excited about the product pipeline for the next 18 months. In terms of revenue growth, the UK market remains a key focus in the short term as the firm looks to penetrate even further and become a market leading brand within the next three years. It has recently started to plan for export and are trialling a couple of initiatives in Ireland and France with mixed results so far although once they have found the ‘sweet spot’ in these two markets, they plan to scale across five European markets as part of the longer term vision to become a globally recognised, market leading nursery brand.