A Farmer who set up The Warm Welly Company over a decade ago, has seen business expanding in 2020 - thanks to welly innovations and the growing market of families looking to make the most of the outdoors this winter.
Simon Wood, a Cumbrian farmer diversified into designing and producing ‘Warm Wellies’ for kids, when his own children were small. He spotted a gap in the market and was the first in the UK to produce neoprene-lined wellies exclusively for kids.
The Warm Welly Company’s range has developed since the early years to include wellies for all members of farming families - making them ideal for the general public who love the outdoors too. Simon, now known as The Warm Wellies Farmer, has seen business expand rapidly since Spring for two reasons: firstly, the autumn introduction of Short Wellies and Wide Wellies, and secondly, because of a new post Covid-19 audience demanding good outdoor winter footwear.
Simon explained “We’ve lots of customers who are very active outdoors, be that on farms, riding horses, walking or working, and those with chunkier calves or wide feet wanted a wider fit welly. Similarly, older people with less flexibility in their joints wanted more room in the ankle – that’s why we created our Wide Wellies. We decided to include short wellies because we also had feedback that customers wanted an easy to slip on style that’s great for gardening or just nipping outside.”
The second key factor for the growth in the welly business relates to COVID-19 and the increased demand for suitable outdoor footwear as more families plan outdoor activities.
Since lockdown in March, as families spent time on the internet, the website has seen visitor numbers grow by more than 90%. Predicting a spike in sales Simon increased production with additional consignments arriving before Christmas. Sales are currently 95% up on the same time last year.
Simon said “We have been selling more wellies right across our range, but it seems an increasing number of parents are more prepared to invest in their children’s feet with good quality, comfortable wellies that have the added benefit of a neoprene lining.
It’s very positive news for our business as there’s long term growth potential in this market - children’s feet can keep growing until they’re teenagers, which means customer loyalty is valued highly. We know our wellies last because we hear from customers who are buying bigger sizes, who tell us they are still working well as hand-me-downs, that’s perfect recycling.
Warm Welly customers are located right across the UK. Many are farmers and they are all keen on family adventures in the fresh air. They aren’t afraid of getting muddy. Like us, they appreciate the value of keeping kid’s feet warm and they know the outdoors can be fun all year round if you wear the right gear.”
Making the right impression and connecting with customers is at the fore of ‘Warm Wellies’ marketing plans. During the summer they invested in a new website using ‘real-life’ customer photography alongside pictures from photographers that connect with farming and the great outdoors.
Interaction on their Facebook and Instagram accounts has grown too – and the company is working with a diverse range of Influencers from kids who want to be farmers to an Ex Norland Nanny in London who has been developing a practical parenting ap. Championing farmers where they can, The Warm Welly Company is supporting the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution (R.A.B.I) and The Farmer Networks across Cumbria and Yorkshire by offering members a discount on wellies.