Buggi Lights Founder Anna tells her story of how she transformed her idea into her very own, multi-award winning business…. and shares her top tips for other budding entrepreneurs juggling family life out there.
How it all began… finding a gap in the market
I can still remember the young man who helped me in the bike shop, he had a piercing through his lip, something cool on his T-shirt, and he was extremely knowledgeable about bike lights.
I explained that I did a lot of walking with my baby son and because it was winter we often walked home in the dark. I couldn’t find any specific ‘pushchair lights’ and I needed to make sure cars could see me when I crossed the road with the pushchair. The young man entered into the spirit of the project and helped me try out various options on the bars of the buggy until we found a light that fitted easily.
Then, one afternoon a woman stopped me in the supermarket to ask where I had bought my cute ‘buggy lights’ because she wanted some for her daughter and it suddenly struck me that I had inadvertently hit upon a gap in the market.
Turning it into something real
I did a few brainstorming sessions in the kitchen with my husband, Tom, and we decided to give it a go. Now here is a crucial point, Tom left his job when our son was three months old and went back to work when Samuel was nine months old. We had around six months during which I worked on the business and Tom looked after the baby. Without that, it would have been impossible.
I had absolutely no experience in making or designing a product, but getting the lights made was actually the easiest part. I used a rule of ten. Firstly I needed a product designer, so I Googled ‘product designer’, did a bit of research and wrote down the names of ten possible candidates. I emailed them all and made appointments to visit three. Next I needed a box factory, so I Googled ‘box factory’ and wrote down the list of ten likely candidates, emailed them all and got samples from the top three. Next, a light factory, so I Googled …. You get the idea.
Within a year we had our first Buggi Light samples. They were hot pink, flashing and I loved them. Off we went to a Christmas baby fair in Guildford to see how they would sell.