Here at House of Coco, travel is in our DNA, we do it on the daily and can often be found jetting from hot destination to another in a heart beat. As much as we try and remember the important things, like sun screen, we can somethings get waylaid with cocktails and parties to remember to look after our skin. Cue Sunsibility, the brand that has UV protection built in to it’s clothes to protect you even when you forget.
Founded by Angeli Jackson, her journey has been filled with rejection but it has spurred her on even more to make a success of her brand, and that she has. Here, she tells us more about the brand and her plans for the future…
Tell us about the journey that lead to you launching Sunsibility…
I was studying a BA(Hons) Product Development for the Fashion Industries at The London College of Fashion and wanted to create a functional and practical range for my final collection. The initial idea was a ladieswear collection for Lupus patients (65% of Lupus patients are sun sensitive ). This has now evolved into a one stop shop for UV protection including men’s and childrenswear but also sunsuits, sun creams and window films for general everyday protection. LCF wouldn’t support me as they didn’t think it was commercially viable which made me even more determined. I worked so hard and when I did graduate, the college were there supporting the project as it was a successful idea. The following year I gained a start up loan from The Princes Trust and began to turn the dream into a reality.
What is the importance of UV protection?
UV Protection is a MUST HAVE. A very large proportion of our customers are sensitive for various medical reasons so UV protection is essential and preparation is key, not getting caught out on those warmer days. Handy accessories can make all the difference. A wrap, sunglasses, hat and a compact umbrella are ideal products to keep to hand. All our clothing is made to order and provide a UPF50+ factor preventing 97.5% of UVA & UVB rays. With clothing, customers do not have to worry about any absorption of any ingredients into the skin but it is very important to apply sunscreen to those areas exposed regularly.
We have a range of timeless classics, gorgeous beach and resort wear ( many multifunctional ), that can take you day into night and keep you safe from the sun. Health is Wealth, so invest in yourself and in your skin whether it’s for protection, against skin cancer ( rates just continue to keep rising ), anti ageing or vanity don’t let it be too little too late. It’s good to be outdoors and needs to be encouraged, we all need vitamin D it’s essential for good bone health and just makes us FEEL GOOD it’s about getting a good balance.
How does the process work when making new designs?
New designs usually come from a purpose or a request it is vital we listen to our customers, their needs and desires. However, I always have a pen and paper handy as new ideas may come to me at any time, especially on holiday as you are watching people at leisure and hopefully protecting their skin or not, as is often the case. Our products are about making sun protection easy and hassle free but it is imperative to look and feel great. We only ever work with our specialist Italian fabric which is a stretch fabric but I don’t really use it in a fitted way, a lot of our designs are loosely cut unless stated otherwise. The fabric is just brilliant and I really did search worldwide for it. It’s cool to wear, breathable, machine washable and quick drying. These fabulous features contribute to any new ideas as its so travel friendly and virtually crease free. I will usually sketch something up and then send it to our pattern cutter. A sample is then made up on site and together the tailors and I will tweak how we’d like it. Once happy we will then put it into production and photograph it as soon as possible.
Looking back, is there anything you would do differently?
I don’t believe there was any other way. I’ve always given it my all but certainly for the first six years, I had 3 jobs whilst trying to build the company. You do what is necessary. I am a great believer in everything happens for a reason. Although one thing I would have liked along my journey and even now would be a mentor.
What is your mission?
To provide quality stylish sun protection and make it easy to wear for all whatever age, genre and wherever you are in the world. UV Protection is for everyone but can also be life changing for those who are sun sensitive. Being highly regarded in the industry is very important and we have some of the best medical and sun protection specialists in the world recommending our products. That to me already means we have done as we set out to do but need to let more people know we are around.
In five years time, where do you hope to see the brand?
Into the new decade with a great focus and plans. We sell direct to the consumer so just expanding our awareness internationally is a focus for the next five years. I have some interesting developments I’m working on but am keeping those close for the time being but do keep in touch with SunSibility so we can update you on new products and services. I am always aiming to bring the best & innovative concepts to our collections.
Talk us through an average day in your life…
I wake up and feel thankful for the health of myself and all those around me this isn’t a ritual but a thought at the beginning of the day along with my two must have milky coffees ( which my husband makes ) to kick start my morning. I also do try and be grateful for all I have & enjoy life !
I have two gorgeous girls, Atalya 9 & Elysia 2 so the school run is first thing and then either onto nursery or my parents who are brilliant and presently help me 3 x a week. They have always been a massive support & strength for me. My working hours are 10 – 5 so once in the office there is a never ending list. My office is attached to the house but completely separate so I go to work like anyone else and come home at the end of the day. Every day is different there is always so much to do. I do wish there were more hours in the day, more days in the month, and more months in the year – There never seems to be enough time !!
What quote do you like to read when you are lacking motivation…
“You can do anything you want to when you put your mind to it – and there is no such word as No !” This is up on my office wall and something I try and teach my children too.
Our readers love to travel, what destination is at the top of your Bucketlist?
Oooh what isn’t ? I love to travel. My promise is to show the children as much of the world as I possibly can. The world is such an amazing place and so inspiring. I used to do a lot of my design work on the plane prior to having kids – that’s virtually impossible to even think about now I don’t get a very time free flight these days ! Every time I see / read about somewhere I’d like to visit I put it in my travel box and tick the places off as I go. Long flights presently aren’t ideal but Aruba Cuba and Mexico are on my list for about 10 years time. In the meantime I’d love to explore more of the Greek islands and Italy over the next decade but also more of England too. I live and breathe my holidays I could be in Barbados, I could be in Bognor it’s all about quality time with those you love & creating memories.
How much has social media played a part in your business?
Up to now to be honest very little but now we are present and consistent over several platforms the future is exciting. It is a very powerful tool. It’s a great and speedy way to communicate with our clients.
For anyone thinking about launching a brand, what advice would you give?
A belief in what you do has to be at the forefront of your business and the passion behind it because when things do get tough that is what will always keep you going. You have to enjoy what you do. Everything else is secondary.
What’s the best piece of advice anyone has ever given you?
This sounds crazy but is the absolute truth. I read a book called Flossie Teacake when I was a kid and she puts on a fur coat and turns round three times in the mirror – she can be anything she wants to be ! …and honestly, that’s all I ever needed to know and just to believe in myself and what we do!
Visit us at : sunsibility.co.uk
Telephone us :+44 (0)208 224 2299
Contact me direct at [email protected]