Skellywear was created by fellow PMUK member Leonie and her partner Jonn back in October ‘13. These two are a complete powerhouse, whilst Leonie works another job alongside Skellywear they also home educate with their two punky kids. Based in Nottingham, UK, the couple operate the funky, alternative childrenswear store from their home with the sofa for their office and the spare bedroom as their stock room.
Skellywear is a whole family effort with the kids sometimes helping pack orders and post office trips – go team! Their online store is bursting with cool, urban and fun alternative childrenswear with something to suit every personality. My personal favourites include this awesome shirt dress, an out-of-this-world sweatshirt, and this colourful-meets-grungey dress. Skellywear’s roster currently includes incredible brands from Poland, different parts of Scandinavia, and Australia.
When was your company founded and where are you based?
Skellywear went live in October 2013. We are an online children’s wear store, I started planning it in February 2013 whilst on maternity leave. The original idea was to start a kids T-Shirt brand, but I slowly realised with 2 smalls under 2 that would be really hard to put the time into. We are based in Nottingham, UK and work from home – the back bedroom is the stock room and the sofa is the office…
How many are involved in your small business?
It’s a teeny tiny business so only my partner Jonn and myself are involved. Jonn does most of the technical side, when I say most I actually mean all of it. We both look for new brands, collections visit trade fairs etc…sometimes the smalls help out with packing and post office runs…
What inspired you to start your own company?
I’ve always wanted to run my own business, I started out as a freelance Knitwear Designer after my Masters Degree but ran out of steam and needed more money. So I gave up designing to concentrate on regular money coming in and re-trained in a few different things along the way…
Did you have a background in business prior to starting your company?
Nope, not one bit, I currently work part-time as an ODP in Health Care and previously I studied B.A and M.A Knitwear Design at University, i’m also a fully qualified Remedial Massage Therapist and Reiki practitioner. I really love learning, there’s always something to learn.
Did you run into any problems or resistance while launching?
We had a few early issues with finding the right e-commerce site, we started out on a different one which we felt didn’t fit with us so changed over to where we are now. Maybe picked a few brands that didn’t fit well, it was and still is a massive learning curve and always will be…that’s a big part of the enjoyment.
How do you get the most out of your day?
Early morning wake ups, lots of coffee and lots of lists. I’m an avid list writer, I’ve just discovered Bullet Journalling and am reading into that to organise my hectic days.
I work 3 set days a week in health care and we home educate two small people 5 days out of 7, so days are incredibly busy rushing with various activities and Skellywear work is usually during the evenings…social media sometimes gets done during the day but less about products…more about what we’re doing as a family.
How is your family a part of your business choices?
Pretty much involved in every decision really, Skellywear is all about the clothes I would buy for my own children I got sick of seeing dull gendered clothes on the high street. We mainly look for unisex collections so from researching new brands to attending trade fairs we all go along, the smalls have been attending trade fairs in London and Copenhagen since we started in Feb 2013…a lot of our brand researching can be done online making it easier on everyone so we don’t have to take the kiddos to trade fairs. Currently we sell brands from Poland, different parts of Scandinavia, and Australia.
What music inspires you?
Anything loud, I’m definitely stuck in my youth when it comes to listening to music. I love listening to the Punk I listened to as a teenager (I’m definitely a punk at heart). Conflict, Crass, Culture Shock (not always child friendly though), Siouxsie and The Banshees, Led Zeppelin, David Bowie, The Beastie Boys, Sigur Ros, Tomahawk, Dub Trio…there’s always some kind of music on in the house it’s never very quiet.
What is your favorite thing to do when you are not working?
Growing things. We’ve had an allotment since June 2015, if I could spend all day there digging and planting I would. It’s also great for the kids to run around playing and swinging in the hammock there…home educating the smalls means lots of days out, park visits, researching things with them etc. We’re currently working our way through learning about Arctic Animals, the smalls also go to Capoeira twice a week, which is simply amazing to watch…i’ve just started recently started running again, so 20 minutes or so 3 times a week running and listening to music in the early mornings.
What do you see in the future for your shop?
Ideally I’d love to be able to give up my day job and run Skellywear full-time and build the brands up we stock…maybe a real life brick boutique, but who knows?