Gift Focus inc Attire Accessories - March/April 2022

DESIGN DETAILS When did you start up and why? Groovy UK was launched in 1991. I always had a love for design and items with unusual features – art college taught me to create and work from concept to finished product. I opened gift shops but still couldn’t find the things I wanted from many suppliers, so I found out about manufacturing in China and started to make my own products. Due to the size of the MOQ’s I needed to sell the extra stock, so I set up a wholesale/distribution company. What prompted you to launch the business? The wholesale side of the business grew at a much bigger rate than the retail, so I decided to close the shops and fully concentrate on the design and distribution What challenges have you overcome since the company’s launch? Great companies and customers we deal with going bust or huge cutbacks due to store closures. Licenses cutting licensees (Groovy included) when they account for a large part of turnover. Other issues have been Brexit and no having no EU warehouse, huge duty rates into EU for bathrobes and slippers, as well as massive increases in shipping costs. There has also been a shortage of ships and big delays, large cost increases for materials, and of course COVID. Shopping habits have moved away from the high street and we have seen a big increase with online shopping, which was beneficial for us during lockdown. There are some silver linings and it’s also very interesting to see how the market changes over the course of years and world events. Groovy UK has a wide product offering that is steeped in quality design. Despite finding the pandemic challenging, the company is excited to try new ideas. Here Monique Scott, Managing Director and Owner tells us more… 68