Case study: How we brought our YUUbag dream to life

Kellie and Gill with their YUUbags

By Gill Hayward, Founder and Director, YUU World

Even as we head towards our seventh year of trading we still enjoy that warm glow when we spot a child proudly wearing a YUUbag. Whether it’s driving past a school at pick up or at an airport watching an excited youngster ready to board, YUUbag in hand, that moment is still one we savour – and long may that continue.

Since we launched in 2010 a lot has changed in the business but our core values and purpose remain the same. Our vision is clear – to empower, inspire and entertain kids while reassuring and making life easier for parents. Since the early days round a kitchen table, we have kept true to this vision and it defines our product development, international expansion and even our hiring policy. Without putting kids and their parents at the heart of our business we wouldn’t be where we are today. It’s a key factor in our success.

Like so many of the best ideas and products, the YUUbag was inspired by our own parental experiences. Kellie travelled frequently with her young daughters and, in a bid to keep them entertained on flights, dining out or car journeys she started to dream of a backpack that would double as a play area, packed with storage to keep all her children’s kit and caboodle organised.

We launched in 2010 with a TV ad produced on a shoestring with the help of our children. We were astounded that within minutes of our first TV spot airing on children’s channel Nickelodeon we sold our first YUUbag. Just seven weeks later we had sold our first container load.

In 2012 we took YUU into the Dragons’ Den. It was this proven sales success that helped us emerge victorious with offers of investment from all five dragons.

Fast forward to 2017 and 80,000 YUUbags later. Our message to children, and our vision remain the same; “Take the fun wherever YUU go” – with a foldown desk, loads of pockets (and even a secret compartment!) plus a YUUfun pack filled with stationery and games. We ensure every YUUbag is brimming with fun and entertainment.

We believe it is important to continue to keep children and parents at the forefront of what we do. Our new YUUgo backpack, with integrated GPS was designed with the help of feedback from kids and parents. It’s how the bags started, and it’s how we intend to continue to develop them.

The YUUgo will be the world’s first GPS integrated kids activity backpack complete with 2 tracking apps – one for parents allowing them to track their child’s YUUgo at the touch of a button setting ring fencing, motion and battery alerts. The YUUgo kids app is all about learning and laughing through fun and education. Kids can track their walks or journeys learning fun facts, e.g. their walk to school is the same as abseiling down the Empire State building.

Bringing our YUU range into the 21st century with the YUUgo is just the latest stage of our business growth.  Our resources are limited, but our ambitions big so we are launching YUUgo on Crowdfunding platform Indiegogo and we really hope people will get behind us to make YUUgo a reality – we’re planning on delivering in November just in time for Santa’s Christmas elves to do their work. Check it out here

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