Monday, 11 October 2010

Two Women, a Website and a Baby – The KiddieBase Story

Back at the end of 2009, 2 good friends were having a coffee (this will be a recurrent theme in this story!) and talking about their lives.

One of them, Antonia, had just decided not to go back to her corporate job quite yet and the other, Karen, was debating whether or not 3 children was enough   Both of them were talking about a need to do something useful and hopefully earn a little bit of money to help their families along.  Karen used to work in retail and Antonia in technology so quite quickly the idea of a shopping-related website emerged (after a few more coffees!).

Exclusive to Kiddiebase - Sold by Piddley Pix
The debate then ensued for some time (for far too long if you were to consult the KiddieBase husbands!)  Then as with the inception of most good ideas, it came back to the general idea of finding a problem and fixing it.  And the problem identified was the huge volume of choice out there online for bumps, babies and children, the time it took to shop and hunt down all the websites and of course, what about the wonderful products that were out there and no-one even knows about!? The KiddieBase ladies really don’t like to miss out on anything you see...  How good would it be if there was a site that brought all these great products together to give the shopper the best choice possible but still let the sellers retain their own brand, individuality, descriptions, pricing etc.  Light-bulbs flashed and an idea was born...

So now the coffee shops of one small town in Buckinghamshire have significantly higher takings, two ladies have an idea and two husbands and 5 small boys have breathed a big sigh of relief.  What next?  A company name you say, that won’t take a minute – let’s just jot a few ideas down.  The greatly abridged version of this chapter is that after a few thousand online searches and many spreadsheets of potential names, KiddieBase – the base for all your kids needs – arrived!

So the idea is here, the name is here, now just a lot of hard work to do.  Plans were put in place, action lists written, logo ideas discussed and then over coffee one morning, Karen said to Antonia, “There’s just one little thing I need to tell you....” and that’s when “Baby Arrives” became a new line on the project plan!  Much debate was had over timing, how quickly could the idea be brought to life from the technical perspective, how much marketing should be done pre-launch, need to be out before Christmas and however many times the plan was cut, September 2010 ended up with two major milestones – “Launch of” and “Baby Arrives”!

Months of hard work later and the many jokes about the PR potential of the baby and business coinciding became reality!  On 24th September, went live and early on 25th September Karen’s baby arrived.  The full story of the latter can be found on our blog!  So what’s the situation now?
Poppy Sparkles on Kiddiebase is live with more than 50 retailers on board, 1000+ products and some sales under its belt.  Antonia and Karen are delighted that KiddieBase is to be featured in a Guardian supplement in October and in a number of local publications and are really looking forward to exhibiting KiddieBase at the Earls Court Baby Show.  They are especially proud of the fantastic group of stores that have joined them and that make the site what it is.  There are some truly amazing products there and the range covered is fantastic – gifts, toys, clothes, art, slings, maternity, nursing, furnishings, travel, accessories, personalised items, totally new products and much, much more...

And Baby KiddieBase, well he’s happy, healthy and just gorgeous......

So, make sure you head over to Kiddiebase and check out all the great products, you will find some one off pieces by Piddley Pix there too!!

Thank you to Antonia and Karen for a wonderful post, Congratulations to them both on the launch of the website and to Karen and family and the arrival of the new baby!!

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