I wanted my product to be Made in Britain, so attended a show on Brick Lane, aptly named “Make It British”. There I met a seamstress who relieved me of my patterns and made me 12 suits (4 small, 4 medium and 4 large), all in my cheap navy waterproof fabric. I’d hoped she might do a wonderful job but she did a RUBBISH job and took lots of my cash. So I found a ladies’ fashion Atelier in Greenwich to help me smarten up the design. The next 4 months were spent back and forth to Greenwich to approve design revisions. Eventually, the design looked great. It was time to create the ear and tail accessories. I searched high and low until I found a website full of creative people. Based upon the fact she had worked on costume design for Lord of the Rings, I chose to work with a lady from Finland and developed the bunny, cat and piglet accessories. That was the point at which I got really excited. I put the very first Scootasoot on my niece – who was then 6 – and she LOVED it! A fluorescent yellow all in one with cat ears and a tail in the same colour!
The last bit of the puzzle was to choose a manufacturer. I thought this would be easy peasy. It was awful! The textile industry isn’t big on sharing contacts. Everyone keeps very quiet when they find a good manufacturer and word of mouth recommendations are simply not a thing. I tried to find someone in London first…no joy. I tried Sheffield, Leeds, Liverpool all to no success, then I called a workwear company in the West Midlands and struck gold. The manufacturer has a factory on-site and has made outdoor clothing for everyone from North Face to The British Horse Society so his finishing was second to none and he had some brilliant ideas – little touches to make my design even better. We built a zip pocket into the back of the hood so the whole suit can be shoved into it when it isn’t being used. I ordered my first 1,000 units and was DELIGHTED with the Scootasoot I’d dreamed up!