SunSibility’s fashionable range is a completely unique UV protective apparel line designed for real people in the real world, an innovative concept making a considerable improvement to lifestyle’s everywhere.
Beneficial to all who are concerned about the effects of ultra violet rays, are sun sensitive, & those who care about their wellbeing and like to take precautions and stay safe in the sun with ease …
Tell us about yourself?
I studied BA ( Hons ) Product Development for the Fashion Industries at The London College of Fashion and graduated in 2000 with. 2:1. For my final project we had to design a collection seeing it through from the early stages of research all the way through to consumer.
I have always enjoyed being outdoors the sun and travel and wondered about those who couldn’t go out and enjoy the sun – this I really where the concept began …
If you could go back in time a year or two, what piece of advice would you give yourself?
Even when times are hard if you are truly passionate about what you do you just keep going the personal rewards and sense of satisfaction one gets from helping others is immense and you feel a great sense of pride.
The last two years have been very difficult as travel was of course stopped and this had a great impact on my sales – you just keep going in the hope things will pull through and the situation will improve worldwide I have entered some awards over the past 24 months and it has been wonderful to finally be recognised for my contribution to the industry
What problem does your business solve?
Our range is made up of many different products allowing people to enjoy the sun safely. The idea is you don’t stand out like a sore thumb and people congratulate you on your style not even knowing that nearly all our products are functional too offering excellent UV Protection.
Whether our clients are simply going about their day to day tasks, holidaying or are extremely sun sensitive for various medical reasons we offer a diverse range of superb quality products that can help !
What is the inspiration behind your business?
My customers are my inspiration. In the initial stages I was working with Lupus UK members ( 65% of whom are sun sensitive ) I then began working with The Vitiligo Society, The Albinism Fellowship and The XP support group many of which find the everyday task of being outdoors very challenging.
Like many entrepreneurs this has been a complete labour of love and the passion will always be there especially when customers provide feedback it’s a testament to why I continue to do what I do.
What is your magic sauce?
The SunSibility range is designed by myself, I have tailors and dressmakers who individually make to order in the UK. I do believe we excel with our customer service and aim to always provide an excellent level of customer care in guidance, products knowledge and after care also.
Most of our business is based on recommendation and repeat customers. We listen to customers and find solutions.
I know our array of products really make a difference and in some instances can be life changing. I have dedicated half of my life to raising the awareness of UV protection and creating a brand that can help provide sun protective solutions.
What is the plan for the next 5 years? What do you want to achieve?
To be honest I would love a mentor someone to help me take it to the next stage. I feel there is a lot of opportunity for SunSibility and would really like to expand a little more.
I do also have an 11 year old and 4 year old so juggling the two can be a little challenging however my passion for seeking out new products and brands as they arise to also meet demand is always very exciting I have a fabulous new designer who will also be on board over the coming months which is wonderful.
SunSibility have been leaders in the industry for the past two decades and continue to constantly evolve in our field. We have a duty of care to help & encourage customers to take care of their skin all year round.
Sun Protection is not geographic or demographic and as time has moved on the awareness of sun protection & self care is much more talked about now, we all want to enjoy the outdoors and the suns health benefits by reducing its dangers and absorption to the skin.
Skin rates have also soared and people are more conscious of these facts – knowledge and education is power. To continue to be acknowledged for our products and service.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?
COVID definitely had an affect on my business as it did many I am certainly determined to pull through and come out the other side. I also have two daughters one age 4 and the other 11 that too can also be a little challenging 😁.
I think one of the biggest challenges I have faced is being the original in the UK going back twenty years over the past decade new businesses have come into the market usually with competitors I try and join forces as why not ?
I want to give my customers the best provide options and make it all available in place.
However there have been a few ( one in particular) that has simply taken everything I’ve ever done and basically used it all on their website even using my brand name in searches behind their website as key words.
Being a small company well really just me with a small budget I do not know how to deal with this – it is morally wrong and I would never work in that way and is really disheartening as I have done all the hard work !
How do people get involved/buy into your vision?
I have always taken great pride in selling direct to the consumer and not being a wholesaler however I never say never. I do feel I would as I mentioned previously would really benefit from a mentor possibly an investor to help market the business and guide me.
I think SunSibility really needs to change its Logo and although have worked on it over the years still not 100% on it being exactly right and I think it needs to be rebranded very carefully.
As climates change worldwide and even the UK is seeing temperatures of forty degrees there is a lot of potential but am more than open to working with companies with the same interest, dedication and intentions that can really help get our name out there and reach a wider audience also the possibility of supplying outlets but would like to tighten our image and branding first to ensure it is all done properly.
Bouncing ideas off of fresh eyes can only ever be a learning curve ! An investor and mentor would be amazing 🤩