Baby products firm Ickle Bubba has relocated to larger premises in Swansea to supports its growth plans.
The business, established in 2013 by husband and wife team Fran and Veronica Vaughan, has achieved consecutive triple digit growth for each of the last four years and created 56 jobs.
With its third and latest debt backing from the Development Bank of Wales it has moved from Llanelli to the 45,000 sq ft Atlantic House at Swansea Enterprise.
Ickle Bubba’s product range includes car seats, pushchairs, nursery furniture and most recently, nursery interiors. Its products are manufactured in China then shipped directly to customer distribution centres and Ickle Bubba’s warehouse before being sold via a UK wide network of stockists including Smyths, Asda and independent retailers.
Managing director Mr Vaughan said: “Great product design and aftercare support is the winning combination behind our success. This is a very competitive market, with some well-established household names, so we’ve had to work hard to penetrate the market with a new product range.
“Having the Development Bank of Wales as one of our funding partners, we’ve been able to transform our start-up business into a successful international brand in just four years. Having the additional working capital has meant we’ve been able to invest where it matters and grow exponentially. Importantly, we are safe in the knowledge that we now have room to expand into our new flagship HQ as we further develop our product range and sales channels across the UK.”
Dave Perez, senior portfolio executive of the Development Bank of Wales added: “Ickle Bubba is quickly building a reputation as an award winning, affordable and stylish brand that is making parenting easier by understanding the needs of new parents. Sitting in the low-mid priced end of the market, the business has grown rapidly in a very competitive market that is worth about $50bn annually.
“We were delighted to first support the hfirm in 2018 as a small start-up. Our follow-on loans from the Wales Business Fund have supported long-term sustainable growth at a time when we must do all that we can to support our homegrown businesses. The success of ambitious and innovative SMEs like Ickle Bubba will play a vital role in our ability to recover from Covid-19. Now more than ever it is vital that these businesses can benefit from long-term support and quick access to the funding that they need to capitalise on growth opportunities; creating and safeguarding jobs in our local communities.”
The funding for Ickle Bubba came from the development bank’s Wales Business Fund which is part funded by the EU. It was created specifically to support businesses with fewer than 250 employees based in Wales and those willing to move to Wales with loans and equity packages from £50,000 up to £2m.