Happy 5th Birthday Bare Kind
08 May 2023
Happy 5th Birthday Bare Kind
My small business has reached 5 years old so I’ve spent some time reflecting on what we’ve achieved so far.
Five years feels like a very long time when you’re in your 20s. It’s quite a pivotal decade as a person and so Bare Kind actually feels like it’s been with me through a lot. I’ve moved multiple times with my partner, bought a house, spent time living abroad, spent time living in lockdown, got pets, lost pets, changed jobs and left jobs.
Through all this, Bare Kind has had its own evolving story. It stared as a project, something to test the waters. Then it evolved into something that actually made money. At times it’s been a hindrance (being a business owner is hard) but most of the time it’s been a passion. Most importantly it’s been able to donate thousands to charity, and one day I want to say that it will have donated millions.
So where has Bare Kind been so far?
"In 2022, our turtle socks raised enough money to fund the construction of a turtle hatchery."
Bare Kind is born.
To start with it was a reusable straw company. Yes, those socks we know and love today were not at the founding point but come along later at a crucial junction.
I spent a couple of years building Bare Kind using straws as the main focus. I dabbled in some recycled tote bags and t-shirts too, but nothing really took off until I introduced my very first sock - Turtles.
In 2022, our turtle socks raised enough money to fund the construction of a turtle hatchery. This is so pivotal for us because turtles were the first sock I tried out in 2019 and to this day they’re still a solid favourite.
"I could either sell out and shut up shop or roll the dice again.
A year we’re all never going to forget.
A very interesting year for businesses who either struggled to the point of failure or blossomed under new opportunity.
Bare Kind could have gone either way here as I had to shut operations down whilst we waited out lockdowns. I took out a small covid loan, bet it all on Facebook ads and decided it was make or break time. I could either sell out and shut up shop or roll the dice again.
Turns out, selling out all of my stock by November gave me the taste for business, because I quit my job by the end of November and was full time on the business by Christmas!
"We had record breaking days, weeks, months - and then - the year, in revenue and this was reflected in the amazing charity impact report for 2021."
A lot happened in 2021. It was my first full time year on the business so we accelerated like never before.
Are you ready?
I brought out 17 more sock designs.
I made my first two hires.
I won a £7.5k grant.
I took on £50,000 investment. I spent over £50,000 on stock.
I got a fulfilment warehouse.
We took out an ad in The Times. I was featured in The Financial Times, the Guardian and The Big Issue.
We had record breaking days, weeks, months - and then - the year, in revenue and this was reflected in the amazing charity impact report for 2021.
We had a great year, but 2022 was set to be even better……
"We doubled the amount of sock designs, doubled the team in size, doubled our turn over and yet more record breaking days, weeks and months."
I won an innovation and impact award from my university.
We doubled the amount of sock designs, doubled the team in size, doubled our turn over and yet more record breaking days, weeks and months.
We went from having 20 retailers to over 500.
I sent David Attenborough some socks and he wrote back to thank me.
Our socks were in the FINAL of Strictly Come Dancing with a full on slow-mo of them on screen!
We had radio ads that went out to millions of people across the UK.
We survived the Royal Mail postal strikes.
Which brings me to 2023.
"Bare Kind has had to endure, and will have to keep enduring, which is why I will always be grateful each time we make it through a year."
We are already seeing that this is a tough year for businesses across the UK.
Of course, with all the triumphs we have had, there have been challenges. Covid, Brexit, supply chain delays, lack of lorry drivers, the Ukraine war, the cost of living crisis, the strikes...
Bare Kind has had to endure, and will have to keep enduring, which is why I will always be grateful each time we make it through a year.
This year will be no different.
We’ve already had some great success: I’ve won The South East entrepreneur of the year award, we’re in over 700 retailers, we’ve won an opportunity to run a pop up shop on Oxford street, we’ve started a podcast.
And the big news for us is my partner, Andy, after supporting me on the sidelines for 5 years, has quit his job to run the business with me.
So this is officially a family business now. I don’t know what the next 5 years hold for Bare Kind but I do know we are throwing our all into it.
Thank you for standing by us in your Bare Kind socks. Thank you for coming back each year for your Christmas presents.
Happy 5th birthday Bare Kind, thank you for giving me purpose.