Wellity Active – Riding the Start-Up Roller Coaster!
It has been a truly roller coaster few weeks for the team at fitness clothing and lifestyle brand Wellity Active. The company, the brainchild of three Devon school children aged 10, 11 and 12 to raise awareness of childhood obesity, has made international waves for many reasons in recent weeks. Our Editor-in-Chief Joff caught up with Wellity Director Simon Scott-Nelson who talked through some of the events of the last few weeks.
Hi Simon, so tell me about the ups and downs that you have encountered recently?
Let’s start with the ups. What’s really exciting is that we’ve had interest from a national chain of clothes shops about stocking some Wellity ranges in September or October of this year. To add to that, Wellity has also received support from some internationally renowned sports stars such as Exeter Chiefs and England Rugby’s Don Armand, the England Rugby captain Dylan Hartley, and rugby legend Jonny Wilkinson. Alex Payne (Sky Sports presenter) and many others have also shown their support for what we are doing. You can check them all out on the Celebrity Wall on our site (click here).
Wow, that is quite the positive start to 2018!
Yes, it started well. The three Wellity Kids were also announced as Exeter Foundation’s Devon Sports Awards Finalists for their Volunteering / Ambassador roles in a variety of initiatives and we’re also looking to open the first small Wellity retail outlet at some point this year. Lots of exciting stuff going on.
And what about some of the challenges you’ve been facing?
The main challenge we have faced recently was a legal dispute with two internationally recognised organisations in the fashion industry, neither of which had a strong case. We had to make the decision to re-brand as we had to be realistic about the time and energy that we could give to fighting such big corporations. As flattering as it is to know that we have been noticed by such big firms, we couldn’t let pride come before a fall. The kids have worked tirelessly since to re-brand and have released their new logo, made up of three triangles – representing each one of the children. The three points of the triangles represent the three hashtags that they used to start the business (#ThinkBig , #StartSmall and #ChangeNow).
Of course, we are also encountering the usual challenges that young businesses face. With intense competition in our industry and trying to stay determined and focussed to break Wellity Active nationally, it is overwhelming at times. Wrestling long term ambitions with the reality of actually being a small new brand is full of constant re-evaluation.
Wellity is also looking for investment, funding or equity partners to grow the brand and while funding is a maze of opportunity, not knowing which way to turn is incredibly frustrating.
Simon, you are doing such a fantastic job. We are 100% behind you and wish you all the best. One last thought from you?
Whilst we may be small fry, we certainly won’t be eaten up. Exeter is such a great place for support and our passion for what we are doing will overcome any adversity. After all, that is the Wellity mantra – “better every day.