KickStart Winners SNOOKS – One Year On

SSNooks

A start-up skiwear company from Leicester is preparing to launch its bid for £25,000 worth of investment.

Snooks was successfully started by former Loughborough University students Susie Beere and Sophie Kelly last year after they became frustrated at a lack of ski and snowboarding clothing with the correct fit for women.

In 2016 they entered Baldwins Accountants’ KickStart Young Entrepreneur Awards, where they won and collected £10,000 of funding and £10,000 of mentoring.

Sophie and Susie’s next challenge is to use all of their experience and mentoring from Baldwins to help secure £25,000 of crowdfunding in one month from their online Kickstarter campaign, which begins on Tuesday, 4 July.

This will see investors pledging money to the campaign in return for different products which include a new jacket, hoody, t-shirt, beanie hat and a chalet holiday.

Since winning Baldwins’ KickStart Awards Snooks last November Snooks has gone from strength to strength.

The business has sponsored a snowboarding festival in the Alps where they sold hundreds of products, and has also teamed up with luxury chalet accommodation provider The Works to have branded leaflets on display in front of hundreds of visitors.

Snooks’ products – which include UK-made hoodies, jackets and beanie hats – are now also available via the Amazon launch pad while they are also selling stock through an independent retailer in Norwich.

The firm’s online Kickstarter campaign has got off to a positive start on social media, attracting more around 150 people with a social media reach of over 240,000 signed-up to share Snooks’ Thunderclap ahead of their crowdfunding campaign.

Sophie said: “Achieving our crowdfunding target would be a game-changer for us and enable us to broaden our reach in terms of marketing and supplying products for more customers.

“We’re getting in touch with various key influencers, bloggers and snowboarding groups for their support and the signs are really positive with the likes of Sophie Radcliffe showing support

“People like the fact that we are combining a solution to a common problem with a stylish approach so that not only can women feel comfortable in tailor-made skiwear, they can also look stylish too without the stereotype of pink clothing.

“The business is growing and growing. We’ve almost sold out of our first range and we’ve opened up to the UK and European markets, and are now featured on Amazon’s home page as one of the UK brands to watch.”

David Baldwin director at Baldwins Accountants in Tamworth has been mentoring Sophie and Susie since winning the Baldwins KickStart Awards.

He said: “Sophie and Susie have used their investment from the KickStart Awards wisely to get their business off the ground by raising awareness of their brand in one of the key snowboarding locations in the world.

“The business is about to head into its first peak season for selling their skiwear and coupled with the prospect of securing substantial investment, the business is poised to grow even further this year.”

Applications for the fifth Baldwins KickStart Young Entrepreneurs Awards are now open for 18-25-year-olds at  www.baldwinsaccountants.co.uk/kickstart. This year marks the first time the competition has expanded across the UK after its success in the Midlands area.

The winner will receive a £10,000 grant and £10,000 of mentoring and accounting advice and two runners-up will be given £5,000 of mentoring and accounting advice.

For more information about Snooks’ Kickstarter campaign visit www.facebook.com/thesnooksgirls

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