50. YUUworld (Kill Jellie Ltd)

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Founders: Gill Hayward and Kellie Forbes
Founded: May 2010
Website: www.yuuworld.com 

The success of Dragons’ Den backed YUUworld’s children’s backpacks (YUUbags) and accessorises is down to the marketing channels the business utilises as much as the innovative products themselves; a direct reflection of the complementary backgrounds of marketing professional Gill Hayward and co-founder and mother-of-two Kellie Forbes. It was Forbes who dreamt up the idea of a ‘desk in a bag’ to keep children entertained, while Hayward’s previous career at Viacom exploring advertising opportunities for start-ups led to the YUUworld brand advertising via a clever, and extremely effective, shared risk marketing partnership with Nickelodeon. Rather than sacrifice hefty margins to stockists, the co-founders decided to create their own distribution channel, with adverts driving consumers directly to YUUworld.com. So far, over 25,000 YUU and YUUtuu activity backpacks have been sold directly to customers via YUUworld.com since launch less than three years ago. With plans to extend their product range and roll-out the YUU model globally, the duo have created a model that seems set to last.

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