When did you start the business?
Von: I started developing the idea around Nimble back in 2014 after my sister told me about her problems with my niece’s milk bottles. She said that the bottles have gone cloudy and smelly over time and she couldn’t get rid of it easily with regular washing-up liquid.
Being a chemist myself, I decided to work on it after finding out that it’s a problem that a lot of parents experience. In a survey that we did with 650 mums, there was as much as 80% of them who experienced it and half of them found it worrying.
So after 18 months of hard graft – developing the formula, filing patents, working with the right suppliers, developing the website – I’ve managed to launch Milk Buster into the market in Sept 2015.
How have you grown the business?
Von: A few months after launching Milk Buster, I realized that the brand needs more products in order to grow and be taken on by retailers. The only issue was that I’ve already spent all my money into launching the first product and I now need funds to expand the product range.
I have then worked tirelessly to find investors who would believe in the vision that I have and thank God I eventually found them through the help of the team in Swoop.
Since securing our first investment, we now offer 10 products in our portfolio and we’re now selling on Boots.com, Ocado, Amazon and exporting to a number of overseas markets too. And from May, we’re launching in 87 Boots stores nationwide.
Have you taken on funding to expand the business?
Von: Yes, we’ve taken on funding to expand the business and also get mentorship and advice from people who are far more experienced than I am in other areas of business.
How have you worked with Swoop to grow your business (If applicable)?
Von: The Swoop team was great in teaching me about the whole funding process, which was very confusing and daunting for someone who’s never done it before. They shared with me a number of possible sources of funding that I’ve never even come across. It was like having my own internal fundraising team who did all the research and contacting for me and all I needed to do was to turn up in the meetings and phone calls they’ve arranged. This was a very helpful arrangement especially that I was on my own in the business at that time and had to run the business whilst raising funds.
How big a role will financing play in your future?
Von: A growing business is like a growing baby with a growing appetite. Having funding and financing available will be key for us to grow the business, especially in letting us have good cashflow and working capital to fulfill larger orders from larger retailers and distributors.
What’s the next big challenge your working on now?
Von: The launch in Boots stores in May will be an exciting but also critical time for us in the business. We have to make sure that the launch is successful, especially that they have over 2500 stores nationwide that we can grow into. If we’re able to prove great traction in the first 87 stores, then it gives us credibility to grow into the rest of their stores and also help us get into other high street retailers.
And what is the goal for Nimble Babies in 2019?
Von: The goal is to make a huge success of the Boots launch. This will be critical for our success as a business and brand to break into the mainstream.
What are your predictions for your industry over the next 5 years?I
Von: I think more and more people will be aware of the environmental and safety impact of the cleaning products that they use around their homes and children, I expect that the industry will grow in the next 5 years. Also, people are looking for ethical and authentic brands like ours so we should be able to take advantage of this move in the market