Dress to im­press with Kim


The Sligo Champion - - NEWS - By JES­SICA FARRY

A for­mer banker has launched an in­ter­na­tional on­line cloth­ing com­pany from her kitchen ta­ble in ru­ral Sligo.

Kim­ber­ley Stripp set up Oh Hello Cloth­ing af­ter her pas­sion for buy­ing clothes – and tak­ing self­ies in them — turned into a vi­able busi­ness.

She now op­er­ates the com­pany, which sells oc­ca­sion wear all over the world, from her of­fices and ware­house in Col­looney, Co Sligo.

“I was look­ing for cer­tain clothes – mainly dresses – that I could not find in Ire­land or the UK. So, I started sourc­ing them from fac­to­ries over­seas. I took self­ies of my­self wear­ing them and when I posted them on­line, other peo­ple started to ad­mire them and wanted them too.

“So, I de­cided to buy in larger quan­ti­ties and sell them on a Face­book page. It was very much a hobby but when I started mak­ing more money from it than my real job, I de­cided to take the jump and set it up as a ‘real’ busi­ness,” says Kim­berly, who is the founder and owner of Oh Hello Cloth­ing.

Orig­i­nally from Brighton in Eng­land, Kim­ber­ley ended up in the North West of Ire­land when she met her fu­ture hus­band, Gra­ham Lee who is from Sligo, on her first day of a hol­i­day in Lan­zarote.

As Gra­ham was work­ing man­ag­ing two bars there, Kim­ber­ley ended up staying in Lan­zarote a lit­tle longer — for three years in fact. The cou­ple moved to Sligo in 2013, with their baby girl Daisy.

“I had vis­ited Sligo a few times be­fore we moved and it was very dif­fer­ent to Brighton and Lan­zarote but I loved the laid-back at­mos­phere. Sligo was buzzing and I was re­ally happy to move here. Gra­ham has a large fam­ily so we had great sup­port.”

Kim­ber­ley was a for­mer banker when she lived in Brighton but be­gan work­ing part-time in re­tail when she moved to Sligo.

As a hobby, she set up the Face­book page selling clothes that she had sourced her­self di­rectly from fac­to­ries out­side of Ire­land.

“I started it from my kitchen ta­ble and any­thing I bought in was sold out re­ally quickly so I had to get se­ri­ous and I de­cided to jump into the deep end.

“I got so busy that I had to put all my en­ergy into it,” says Kim­ber­ley, who set up the busi­ness in July 2015.

When the clothes started tak­ing over the cou­ple’s home, Kim­ber­ley moved the op­er­a­tion into a large ware­house in Col­looney last year.

What makes Oh Hello Cloth­ing dif­fer­ent is that the com­pany of­fers next day de­liv­ery to the UK and all of Europe as well as a ‘Click and Col­lect’ op­tion within 40 min­utes to all cus­tomers in the North West of Ire­land.

“It’s al­ways so amaz­ing to me to see some­one or­der and then they are in Por­tu­gal or wher­ever post­ing pic­tures of them­selves in the dress the next day.

“We also of­fer live chat on the web­site so peo­ple can talk to us from nine to five – and be­yond most days — so that re­ally helps with the con­ver­sion rates.”

There are now two peo­ple em­ployed full-time in the busi­ness with one part-time, with plans to cre­ate an­other full-time job in the com­ing months.

The com­pany is also now mov­ing into whole­sale and are in talks with bou­tiques around the coun­try about stock­ing Oh Hello Cloth­ing.

“I have al­ways taken one step at a time. I don’t want to grow too fast; I want to en­sure the com­pany is sus­tain­able.

“Brexit has re­ally im­pacted on the busi­ness as peo­ple from the UK have de­creased their spend in euro since the fall in Ster­ling so we are fo­cussing on other Euro­pean coun­tries, in­clud­ing Ire­land where con­sumer sen­ti­ment is re­ally strong.”

Kim­ber­ley Stripp set up Oh Hello Cloth­ing Com­pany and now runs things from her of­fices and ware­house in Col­looney.

Kim­ber­ley Stripp pic­tured above with some of the dresses seh sells on­line.

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