Cumbrian firm Pogu reflects on export success

Cumbrian firm Pogu reflects on export success
Tiffany Solender

Tiffany Solender

A Cumbrian manufacturer of reflective safety gear for children is selling tens of thousands of its products worldwide and is poised to enter new export markets.

Pogu Ltd, based in Staveley near Kendal, only began exporting last year but its range is now available in retail outlets in nine countries abroad.

Founder Tiffany Solender says her firm’s swift success overseas benefited greatly from expert support and advice from the Department for International Trade (DIT) North West.

She said: “Our DIT international trade advisor said we should try exporting to the rest of the world and they’ve been brilliant throughout, with constant support and advice.”

The DIT helped identify and research the right distributors overseas, supported exhibitions and research visits and assisted with expanding Pogu’s product range for export markets.

Tiffany got the idea for children’s reflective safety gear after a near miss in the street on a dark evening in 2014 when a car failed to stop as her husband Neil steered a pushchair containing their child over a crossing.

The firm was launched in 2009, initially making safety products for the bike and hike market, but Tiffany has since developed a range of innovative reflective safety accessories for the nursery and children’s market, such as high-visibility reflectors for buggies and reflective laces, zip pulls and armbands for youngsters to wear.

Pogu exports to Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Scandinavia, selling 40,000 products in Sweden last year alone. Deals have recently been agreed to export to Canada and Taiwan with Pogu in discussions with retailers in South Korea and other countries.

Tiffany said: “We make technically leading, robust safety products born out of a desire to protect our family.

“They are fun, reflective items which give parents peace of mind and keep their children safe when they are picking up the kids at school or pushing a buggy down the road, in low light.”

Paul Stowers, deputy regional director, DIT North West, commented: “I’d like to congratulate Pogu on its impressive success in overseas markets and I’m confident that this high-quality and original product will go on to achieve even greater success in further export markets. Pogu is a great example of the difference our bespoke help and advice can make to such businesses.”

Paul urged first-time and established exporters to access expert advice and information on exporting available via the DIT’s Exporting is GREAT initiative, a key element of the Government’s great.gov.uk, a single digital destination for trade and investment, bringing together and connecting UK businesses, international buyers and international investors.

Whether businesses are new, occasional or frequent exporters, they will be able to take advantage of the new suite of tools and exclusive deals on fees or commissions with some of the world’s leading online marketplaces.