Having previously earned a place as a finalist in Mumpreneur Idol with her launch of The Little Letter Company in 2011, Stephanie is already known to us here at Mumpreneur UK.
Her second business, Blinx, was launched just a few weeks ago. “Establishing The Little Letter Company taught me a lot about launching and growing a new business. ”, explains Stephanie, “It has given me chance to recognise my strengths and weaknesses, and ultimately has led to a much stronger launch with my new product, Blinx.”
Blinx are a new eye-catching range of accessories for children who wear glasses, allowing them to easily customise their existing spectacle frames. Designed to easily slip on and off the arms of children’s spectacles, the small silicon charms can be swapped and changed to suit the ever changing moods or outfits of little ones! They can be worn individually, as matching pairs, or mixed together to create a unique and colourful look.
Having worn glasses from an early age, Stephanie is no stranger to the common dilemma of choosing spectacles, “If you wear glasses day to day, choosing frames can be difficult unless you have a enough money to buy several pairs. Glasses not only form part of your visual appearance but also tend to be associated with your personality too, so it can be tricky to find just one or two pairs that encapsulate all of your styles and moods as well as match all of your clothes! It occurred to me that it must be even harder for children, who love to express themselves through the things they wear (is there anyone out there who hasn’t allowed their child to go out in fancy dress at least once?!) As the mother of two boys, I am also used to seeing beautiful ranges of clothes/shoes/accessories in all colours of the rainbow for girls…but a whole lot of navy and brown for boys. I thought it would be great to design a product that would allow children to mix, match and customise their glasses to match their clothes or just to express their interests.” Stephanie began to draft designs and soon realised that silicon charms provided a soft and flexible solution that wouldn’t become entangled in longer hair in the way hard plastic hair accessories tend to. As the idea was presented to potential customers, she discovered an additional benefit too, “Parents were attracted to the though of having a way to identify which glasses belong to which child. It hadn’t occurred to me that children’s glasses would get mixed up at school, but with the limited range of children’s glasses available, I guess it was no surprise that a number of girls/boys in the class often have the same designs.”
From initial conception it has taken Stephanie just six months to go through the design process from to the finished products arriving in stock. “As I already import stock for The Little Letter Company, I was able to draw on the knowledge I have built to identify suppliers and confidently work with them through the iterative design process. It’s a little like having children really, second time round you are a lot more prepared for the hurdles and challenges that may present themselves! Even if you’re dealing with different issues than first time round, you generally have more confidence and are able to navigate through a little easier.”
Moving forward the challenge now rests to see the products on the High Street. “I realised that my target market would be restricted if the charms were only for children who wear glasses, so I have also launched a range of wristbands for siblings and friends who also want to collect the charms. We also hope to offer a range of sunglasses that Blinx fit too for the summer.”
The result is a an initial range of twenty colours and designs that fit around 85% of children’s spectacles. “I’m very pleased with our first range, the designs we saw on paper look amazing in reality! I’m so pleased to have designed a product that will help children who wear glasses to feel cool and fashionable. I wish Blinx had been available when I was small!”
Priced at just £1.99 each, Blinx charms and wristbands are available from www.myblinx.co.uk