When I launched JoJo it was a tiny business with just two new recruits helping me; Harriet (straight out of college) at our little office and Joyce (a newly retired teacher and friend of the family) in the shed I borrowed at my parent’s place in Wales to use as our first ‘warehouse’. I was a jack of all trades handling design, buying, accounts & marketing. Harriet took care of the customer service and Joyce the stock and dispatches. We were a merry little team and once the nightmare IT problems settled down, we had a nice little system.
A few months later Joyce called me at our tiny shared office in London. She had just received her faxed orders to dispatch for the day and she was horrified. “Laura I just can’t cope – you’ve sent me 30 orders and most of them need gift wrapping. This is just too much, why oh why do you need to keep growing the company?” Well that was 22 years ago and we did keep growing. In the UK we can now send out up to 4,500 mail orders on a busy day and put a great many more sales through our 70 stores. We have a nice little system and a lovely not-so-little team.
So “why oh why” do we have to keep growing? Well there are many answers:
1. We like to please and have had many requests to open in the US from parents who came across our brand and boutique stores whilst on holiday or working in the United Kingdom.
2. Our styles are designed in London and made together with our UK production. Same quality and unique styles – which you won’t get from another brand in the US. We put a lot of trouble into perfecting them, so selling to more people makes it worth the effort.
3. Our teams are really excited about this expansion, it keeps us very busy, engaged and growing. It’s so important to find ways to keep moving forwards in life, don’t you think? Plus we know we can create great jobs and that’s possibly the thing I am most proud of.
4. And finally – it’s simple, we just want to be useful. Our maternity, baby and kids’ fashion, nursery products, gifts and toys all add up to making life as a parent a little easier. If we can make Moms and Dads happy around the world we have done our job well.
The founding team are mostly still with us (although Joyce did finally retire again but is still a firm friend). Harriet is our Nursery Buying Director and so many have been here for more than 10 years. Even the newer recruits are like family! We are really lucky to work with a lovely group of people, doing something we enjoy whilst helping out during the most exciting time. Who could not love running and working in the Pregnancy and Baby & Child field?
You will notice we have a few passions here at JoJo which appear time and again in the designs. You may gather we have a certain love of elephants (my house is full of them!), dinosaurs, the great outdoors (we even have a company veg garden), dogs and basically animals of all types. We also love people and work so hard to achieve great things at our charity in Africa where we work to reduce infant mortality, build schools (4 built already) and much more. And of course we love all people and the beautiful, amazing planet we live on and do our best to protect it through our numerous environmental projects.
Thanks for reading and please do pass on the good news that JoJo Maman Bébé, the UK’s favorite mom and baby brand has hopped across the Atlantic and landed very firmly in the US and we’re here to stay!