Clare Holman, Chilly Moo
7th October 2015
Every month we speak to women entrepreneurs who have just launched into the business world.
In the hot seat for October’s Women Who Launch is: Clare Holman, co-founder of Chilly Moo.
The Elevator Pitch
Chilly Moo is unique: a gluten free frozen yogurt sweetened just with fruit juice concentrate and made especially for kids
We are still a small operation: we outsource our production to a factory in Carlow. That leaves me and my business partner Joanna Lovegrove free to work full time on selling and marketing the product as well as the day-to-day running of the company. We also have two part time staff.
We got to market quite quickly so sales are continually improving as we gain traction in the market. In addition, we have received a priming grant from the Dublin LEO and, earlier this year we received CSF funding from Enterprise Ireland which has given us a great boost. We are currently in the process of looking for outside investment.
We made this product for children and so have made our packaging and flavours appealing to a younger demographic. However, the customer who buys it is generally the Mum doing the weekly shop. Parents are becoming increasingly conscious of the growing problem of childhood obesity and so want to avoid unhealthy snacks and treats. On the other hand, every parent likes to be able to say ‘yes’ when their kids ask them for a treat and this is where our product is perfect: kids love it and parents feel good about giving it to them!
Brands You Love
We love Innocent – but who doesn’t?! Another brand doing a great job are Bear who make healthy fruit treats for children – they suddenly seem to be everywhere with some nice innovative products.
Biggest ‘Win’ To Date
Our biggest win or wins have been getting into all three of the major multiples in Ireland: Dunnes Stores, Supervalu and Tesco.
Biggest ‘Slap in the Face’
Thankfully, we haven’t had anything major but because we are so close to our product, it’s always hurts when anyone – be it customer or store buyer – says they don’t like the product for any reason. But we’re growing a thicker skin and learning to take all criticism constructively – or trying to anyway!
Are You Social When It Comes To Media?
Social Media is hugely important for our brand as the Mums who buy our product tend to really engage with Facebook and Twitter. We haven’t always been great at it though as everything else tends to take precedence but it’s something that we are working on and actually beginning to enjoy now.
Technology & Innovation
Not a huge amount to be honest apart from our iPhones! We can essentially take our office anywhere and without them, I’m not sure we’d have a business! We also store all of our documents in Google Drive which means that we can just as easily work apart as in the same office.
A Business Model You Would Like To Emulate
Ultimately, we’d like to secure investment or enter a partnership with a larger player who can take it to its full potential.
If you had a blank cheque:
- Go wild with NPD – test out all the wacky ideas we’ve had over the past few years!
- Launch three new products!
- Pay for an amazing advertising campaign!
Tenacious, optimistic and dedicated.
Impatient, grumpy in the morning and bad at maths!
Best Business Lunch Date
Ben & Jerry!
Ideal Business Partner (dead or alive)
I’m lucky: I went into business with one of my best friends and amazingly after three and a half years, we are still friends!
Best Advice to pass on
Go for it!