What is your business all about?
My fiancée and I have created Tui-B.com, an online store that sells designer baby wear that was, until now, unavailable in the UK. We are the exclusive UK stockist for a number of fantastic labels including:
- Anarkid Organic
- eeni meeni miini moh
- Love Luck & Wonder
- Sapling Child
- Sunday The Label
From the start we have been clear in what we want to achieve and we only select brands that offer both a high quality and unique style.
Not only do we want people in the UK to be able to style their babies in our distinctive products but to also enjoy their experience in doing so. We have spent a lot of time making sure the buying process is enjoyable for our customers, from browsing the website to the final product that arrives at their home.
Where did you get the idea from?
I have been looking into different business opportunities for a while now and came across this gap in the market by chance. A lot of our friends here in the UK are having babies and we had trouble finding products that were a different and of a high quality. We were forever purchasing items from outside of the UK and creating Tui B seemed like a great solution to fill the gap in the market.
What parallels have you found between playing rugby and starting your own business?
All the basic characteristics you need to be a successful rugby player convert really well into business. Effort, organisation, time management, teamwork, goal setting and confidence are all key. In rugby there is a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes that people don’t see. People see us play on Saturday, they see the final product, but goals are put in place, and a plan on how to achieve these are fine tuned on a daily basis for us to win. By the time its game day we know exactly what our role is, exactly what is needed to succeed. It is the same in business, put the effort in, plan, and fine tune to succeed.
How do you think your sporting career has prepared you for starting your own business?
It has helped enhance my skill set as I mentioned. These core skills I have learnt from being a professional athlete for over a decade now can only help in achieving in this new role with Tui-B. Like anything you improve over time, and its no different as a professional sportsman. For instance, I haven’t always been so punctual, I have learnt along the way from past mistakes, finding what works best for me to perform at my best week in week out.
What do you think is the most challenging aspect about starting up your own business?
There are a lot of things that have to be done in the background such as setting up the business structure, crunching the numbers and coming up with a business plan. It is a lot of hard work, time consuming, challenging but worth it. Juggling around what I must do with the Saints in regard to training, fitness and diet takes up a large amount of my time, the time that is left over has to be used and planned so that I can still give Tui-B 100 per cent.
How would you differentiate your business from the competition?
We are the only stockiest within the UK that sells these amazing labels. We have spent a lot of time accessing what designers we want to go with and have key criteria that has to be met. Quality and design is essential. We have a specific taste, we love items that are a little different and will provide a ‘stand out’ look. We also strive to offer an exciting shopping experience on our interactive website – for example we have a great, unique re-usable packaging and send a small gift with all packages that our babies will love.
What advice would you give to someone looking to start out on their own?
Go for it. My outlook on life is pretty much summed up in those three short words. I travelled to the opposite side of the world, left family and friends behind, and went for it, unknown to many in the rugby world this side of the globe, and thought to myself, why cant I? If I work hard enough, why cant I? I know for a fact it would be a lot more satisfying to look back and say ‘hey I tried’ but didn’t succeed, then to look back and think I never tried that at all.
For more information visit www.Tui-B.com