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Pogu is an award-winning safety brand launched by husband and wife team Tiffany and Neil Solender in 2009 after moving from London to the Lake District for a lifestyle change.
We’ve interviewed founder Tiffany to find out more about why they started the business and what inspires them to keep producing lifesaving products.
What was your inspiration for starting Pogu?
My husband, Neil, was pushing my daughter in the pushchair across a zebra crossing at dusk when a car came around the corner and nearly crashed into them both. The driver claimed he didn’t see them and we realised pushchairs are not visible to drivers as they rarely have any reflective parts on them. We had an idea that by simply adding reflective patches to the pushchair, which is always first into the path of traffic, we could significantly increase the whole group’s visibility.
How quickly after this idea did you start the business?
With experience in the outdoor and sports market we were able to move things along quickly and launch the reflective buggy sticker kit, our first product, within 6 months from idea to retailer.
How do you come up with ideas for new products?
The outdoors and space has always been important to us, and has really benefited giving us inspiration for new product ideas and focus.
With 2 young children and a dog we spend a lot of time outdoors with the need for visibility so don’t have a problem coming up with new ideas. However, we do constantly filter the ideas in order to keep focused.
What did you do before starting Pogu?
We lived in London prior to launching Pogu in the Lake District where I set up my first business Juicebusters – pop up smoothie bars at events across London. Within 2 years we won contracts with many sporting events including the London Marathon, Tour de France and many other key events. I sold Juicebusters prior to moving north as the weather is not predictable up here!
What are the best bits about running your own business?
Working hard has its rewards. I love being able to go for a run over the fells with Rosie our labrador, or a bike ride from the office. I am trying to find the perfect work life balance but I also love running Pogu so I don’t see it as work.
What makes Pogu products unique?
As a family run business child safety is as important to us as it is to our customers. Our product range, which has been designed to increase visibility in every situation, has passed the most stringent safety tests for the nursery/child market. Our products are sold by retailers in Sweden and Norway, two countries with exceptionally good records in terms of traffic-related injuries involving children.
If one of our products protects just one life it has all been worth it.