MooJoo – Small Business Spotlight
We are Mike and Jennie, a husband and wife team in the South Wales Valleys. We have a laser cutting business called MooJoo Designs but that is not where the story began…
We have each been teaching for nearly 20 years, Jennie in the primary sector and Mike in secondary. In these jobs, we picked up so many skills in design, computing, and of course – laser cutting! After making some money for Mike’s department in school, we decided that it was something we could do for ourselves. Mike had all the know-how we needed to find a reasonably priced first machine and we were ready to start designing.
Whilst Mike was working his strengths (and not just in the gym), I was making sure that I was gaining the business skills that had managed to elude me whilst being an educator and I enlisted in the 5-9 club run by the Welsh Innovation Centre for Enterprise. This was a crash course in all the basics of getting a business off the ground and was exactly what I needed for getting my head around what was ahead of us.
We started the business off with selling some of our beautiful personalised Easter tags, linking with our children’s school PTA to generate a little interest outside of our immediate friends and family and it was encouraging! We have been building our portfolio of products ever since, and we now sell a wide range of items for homes, events and businesses.
We are so proud of our Welsh culture, and love making sure we offer lots of products in the Welsh Language and celebrating important points of the year in the Welsh calendar such as St. Dwynwen’s Day. However, our customers come from all over the world, so we love to share our knowledge about Wales and its traditions to those who may not already know them. We also enable those who have moved abroad to still feel close to home by being gifted a love spoon or a Cartref slate heart.
We have lots of plans for developing our business in the future, including new team members and a range of Montessori style items for children that we are planning on making in both Welsh and English. We have a growing support team of technicians, electricians, accountants, business experts and wonderful support from organisations such as Cymru Wrth Galon that work tirelessly to support Welsh businesses. From September, I will be working full time on our business, and Mike will be continuing to lead the way with his amazing design skills. It’s an exciting time to be a Welsh business!