Snow problem boosting sales for kids clothing firm

Stephanie Jones of Spotty Otter with daughter Holly (2) and son Luke (9), wearing the firm's outfoor clothing.
Stephanie Jones of Spotty Otter with daughter Holly (2) and son Luke (9), wearing the firm's outfoor clothing.
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WHILE most firms suffered because of the bad weather, one Barnsley business has been jumping for joy.

WHILE most firms suffered because of the bad weather, one Barnsley business has been jumping for joy.

Spotty Otter, which makes outdoor gear for children, has seen demand soar, boosting turnover by 50 per cent and causing it to sell out of some of its ranges.

Director Stephanie Jones said: “We had already seen a dramatic increase in sales from about September onwards, but when the snow hit at the end of November it went crazy.

“Everyone else looks out of the window and says ‘Oh no, it’s snowing’, but as soon as the snow falls a big cheer goes up in here.”

It isn’t just snow that is good for business, rain is a bonus, too, for the firm whose range includes waterproofs, down jackets, fleeces, boots, mittens and UV protected clothing for children from babies to ten-year-olds.

Stephanie, a former midwife, and her husband Matthew, an IT expert, set up an on-line shop called Little Trekkers, selling children’s outdoor clothing, 10 years ago and launched their own range under the Spotty Otter brand in 2007.

“We wanted to make hi-spec outdoor clothing for kids, designed with kids in mind. It is not just scaled down adult clothing, it is clothing designed for the real shapes of children,” said Stephanie.

“For example, children’s heads tend to be bigger proportionally than adults, so hoods need to be bigger. We also want the clothing to be fun as well as functional and to last.”

The company now employs nine people at its premises at Bullhouse Mill, near Penistone.

Spotty Otter’s success has been assisted by Enterprising Barnsley, the business support programme that aids businesses with high growth potential and is currently helping Spotty Otter explore opportunities for exporting to Continental Europe.