The UK’s leading organic children’s clothing brand, Cornwall based Frugi, which currently has a £10 million turnover and 86 staff members has reaped the benefits of a tailor-made management development programme that was designed from ‘scratch’ by specialist coaching services provider, Oxford Innovation.
For 30 years, Oxford Innovation has been delivering exclusive coaching packages for high growth SMEs like Frugi. Current Oxford Innovation support for Frugi comes via Transform, a coaching programme aimed at ambitious businesses in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly and funded by the European Regional Development Fund.
Oxford Innovation, which has a staff of specialist coaches on-hand with a variety of skills including marketing, finance, HR and logistics, has been working closely with Frugi since they first began training from a back bedroom over ten years ago. Continual growth has seen the business grow with their products now being sold by 550 independent stockists worldwide, instore and online.
Due to issues affecting their young family, Frugi co-founders and husband and wife team, Lucy and Kurt Jewson, aged 46 and 47 respectively, were inspired to create products that don’t use harsh chemicals and are kinder to young people’s skin like their own children Tom and Sam.
Frugi’s range of organic and ethical clothes can now be found in leading international high street retailers like John Lewis in the UK, David Jones in Australia and 25% of their overall sales coming from Germany. In 2018, Frugi were presented with the “Gold” Made for Mums Award.
“With help from Oxford Innovation we (Frugi) now have a clearer customer focus and a better understanding of the company’s direction. From a business and a staffing approach our time spent with their dedicated coaches has made a massive impact on Frugi’s future. It has ranged from providing guidance on the creation of our training manual through to helping us define who we are as a brand and where we want to go with our vision and values,” said Lucy Jewson.
Lucy added: “We’ve been associated with Oxford Innovation across different stages of our journey. Their clear and precise approach has benefitted our outlook on areas such as our visions for growth and people strategy. Over a third of Frugi’s entire workforce, from directors to future managers, have worked with Oxford Innovation. Their experience of working with big corporate clients really shines through, giving us a clearer pathway and business dynamic.”
Oxford Innovation has worked with the Frugi team in a number of areas during the current Transform programme. They delivered a five-module coaching and advisory programme with three groups of the Frugi workforce including mentoring and coaching for senior managers seeking to improve their leadership skills. Marketing support helped shape winning brand strategies and exercises on company demographics and staff development improved their HR and wellbeing performance.
Mike Jobson of Oxford Innovation worked closely with Frugi’s people specialist Janine Laity to craft and devise the training programme and workbook. After completion of their training each person received a copy of the interactive workbook, the presentation notes, hints and tips on how to put the training into practice, and details on self-development.
Lucy concludes: “What has also been refreshing is the way our staff have responded to working with Oxford Innovation. They are proud to be chosen for the programme as they appreciate that we are investing in their future.”
Oxford Innovation’s stats bear testament to the extensive reach and impact of their work.
Helped clients raise over £162 million in finance
Delivered £80 million pounds of business support
Created/safeguarded over 19,000 jobs
Supported over 500 SMEs to bring new products or services and processes to market
Oxford Innovation has worked with businesses from a variety of different sectors including breweries, I.T, clothing and the medical market.
Mike Jobson of Oxford Innovation, said: “We like to deliver completely bespoke ‘wood from the trees’ solutions for businesses. People start a business because they have a skill or a particular product they would like to offer the world, and sometimes they need a fresh set of eyes to help provide advice and guidance to achieve growth. We like to help people work on their business rather than in it, giving them a greater opportunity to make things more effective. It gives them a chance to really dissect and assess the overall management of what’s involved to move a business forward.
“It has been rewarding to see how Lucy and Kurt have built Frugi up into a multi-million pound, award-winning and internationally recognised business. Frugi has not only cornered its niche market but also realises the true importance of investing in the business through staff development. We are delighted to have been part of that fruitful journey and hope to play an ongoing role in Frugi’s future.”
The Transform programme, delivered by Oxford Innovation in partnership with Unlocking Potential, offers coaching and assistance to established businesses with the ambition for high growth in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. The programme is open to businesses that have been trading for more than 12 months, subject to eligibility.
If you feel that your business could benefit from coaching from Oxford Innovation visit www.transformcornwall.co.uk You can also follow the programme on Twitter @AskTransform and via LinkedIn. Also, to check out the latest products from Frugi please click www.welovefrugi.com.