Jessica McLean, Baggers Original

Jessica took out a Start Up Loan to develop her business, Baggers Originals. McLean graduated from Northumbria University in 2007 with a degree in Fashion Marketing. After gaining some entrepreneurial experience, Jessica decided to take the plunge and set up Baggers Originals. The business sells adaptations of fun, fashionable practical rainwear sets for children, that her mother sold when Jessica was five years old. Jessica knew how popular her mother’s creations were and was confident that she could re-create the same buzz by producing rainwear and swimwear sets for children and adults.

With the support of a £2,500 Start Up Loan, Jessica was able to achieve lift-off and she then went on to secure an additional £100,000 investment. In March 2014, the business also secured an order with Monsoon – this is the first time the high street chain has stocked an outside brand in its 40-year history. Now a truly family-run business with a team comprising of Jessica, her mum Angela and her sister, the brand is also stocked in garden centres nationwide as well as Dobbies. They appeared on Dragons Den and turned down a £100,000 offer for a stake in the business from Debora Meaden and Peter Jones.

Baggers launched their swimwear range at the end of January 2017, and John Lewis are considering stocking it within their 2018 range.

Baggers Originals also have a key wholesaler in Ireland, which they export to. They still sell online and are now developing a patterned range of Baggers.  To date, they have never had one return from their online sales – something they are very proud of.