Posted on 09 February 2020
5 years. Five years since I sat on our living room sofa with a laptop (in Ashford, Surrey), clicked the 'publish' button in nervous anticipation and launched the Tikiboo website into existence.
With few products to promote and limited stock, we didn't quite know what to expect. With only 5 orders in February 2015, we knew this project would be an uphill struggle, but an exciting challenge all the same.
At the time we had no idea that we'd still be running the website 5 months later, let alone 5 years!
We had no plan to become a brand (an online shop selling other brands was the initial intention; the original name in 2014 was Tikiboo Boutique for this reason), but through the support of our amazing customers, we (somehow) became one.
What went from being something Faye and I could work on for a few hours in the evenings soon completely took over our lives (to the point that we had to leave our day jobs and dedicate all of our spare time to Tikiboo). From modelling and photography to social media and customer service, to product development and design, to website updates and packing orders, the 2 of us worked relentlessly to keep the business growing.
There were points when I often worked 20 hour days to keep up with the workload (I'd like to say that this has changed now that we have a team, but as everything has become a-million-times-busier, I still find myself working late at night trying to keep things running smoothly!)
Admittedly, I never quite understood the appeal of colourful leggings initially. Not being from a fitness background, I couldn't quite work out why our Tikiboo products were popular (not that I was complaining as I was grateful for the custom, but I was also puzzled).
I appreciated the products from a design perspective (coming from a creative background), but wearing them? I didn't get it.
Aside from Faye championing colourful leggings to every fitness class you can ever imagine, I didn't see many people wearing clothing like Tikiboo in 2015 (the landscape has changed somewhat nowadays!)
However, when I started seeing customer photos across social media hashtags showing their enjoyment from Tikiboo products, and the brand itself, it all started to make sense.
Seeing the various use cases (photos of sports and fitness classes I never knew existed), the positivity on customer's faces and the inspiring customer stories (the weight-loss journeys are incredible) helped me to understand what Tikiboo is. The growth of a supportive Tikiboo Community in recent years now even more so.
Also, having tried on some of the leggings myself since then (I shan't be modelling them, I might add), I now understand the appeal (they're so comfortable!)
It has been a truly fantastic journey.
The growth from a simple idea between 2 people in a living room to a full-blown business with staff and offices in Windsor is something I never expected in hindsight.
The great people we've worked with and met along the way. The friendships we've made. The business partnerships we've formed (I never once imagined I'd be having conversations with staff at Sesame Street in New York). The publications we've featured in. The various awards we've won. The money our customers have helped us raise for charities.
All of it has been amazing, and we're very grateful for everything.
To anyone who has ever placed a Tikiboo order, or supported us on our journey in any way, we thank you.
5 years, complete.
Here's to the next 5 years and to us doing our best to continue to provide great products and happiness through the wonderful world of Tikiboo!
Tikiboo Co-Founder / Director (aka Tikibossman)