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The JoJo Story


From our humble beginnings as a kitchen table start-up, our ethos has always been the same: to offer gorgeous, quirky yet practical designs and excellent customer service while putting people and the planet before profit. So much yet so little has changed since 1993; we’re no longer a one-woman band, but we’re still creating beautiful collections while being kind to the world around us.

1992

In the beginning

Following her studies, running her small clothing business and travelling around Asia, Laura sets up a business based in Brittany, France. Here, she falls in love with the outdoor lifestyle, chic fashion and the practical way children are dressed to enjoy being active whatever the weather. On her way to sell her French company, Laura has a near fatal head-on collision, leading to an extended stay in hospital. Her ward neighbour complains about the lack of good catalogue fashion for her children. Laura has a light bulb moment, and the idea for JoJo is conceived; Breton influenced, quirky British fashion via mail order.

1993

JoJo is born

JoJo Maman Bébé launches from a tiny shared office in London with the stock stored in a disused carpenter’s workshop at her parents’ place in Pontypool, South Wales. The first catalogue is 24 pages and offers 30 styles of maternity & baby wear.



1995

The first team members arrive

The first team members are recruited (who are mostly still with the company today). Some lucky PR and an eclectic maternity collection get the brand noticed by the press and customers flow in. Predicting and keeping up with demand is a steep early learning curve.



1997

Learning from experience

After 3 years of working around the clock, Laura’s first son is born. Finally having a child of her own, she starts to really understand the needs of the mother, and innovative nursery products are added to the range. Helping the collection keep up with modern technology, JoJo launches its first website early on, when 99% of internet users are computer geeks, and most people don’t know what the WWW is.




1999

Keeping up with demand

After years of trading out of various sheds and garages, JoJo finally buys a 20,000 sq ft warehouse in Newport, Wales to help cope with growing demand. Within 4 years the company doubles the space with a large extension. JoJo head office works closely with the community and builds good local loyalty.




2000

Putting people and the environment first

Productivity is high; employees understand the brand values and work in an environment which puts people and the planet above bottom line profit. A profit share system is introduced and after years of development, the JoJo recycled Polarfleece is perfected and put into production.



2002

The first JoJo store opens

JoJo opens its first store in Battersea, London after giving in to customer pressure. Old fashioned customer service and highly trained staff prove to be a hit, and several more stores open soon after. Within 10 years JoJo becomes the leading boutique mother and baby brand in the UK.





2003

Hard work gets recognised

Laura Tenison receives an MBE for services to business in the Queen’s New Year’s honours list.



2006

Doing good while doing well

Wanting to support a charity where the funds really make a difference, JoJo decides to work directly in rural Mozambique to reduce infant mortality. Working with a small local charity, JoJo takes on the accounts and helps with fundraising and managing the teams. Nema has built 4 schools, funds local health, education, water and sanitation projects and is achieving the JoJo goal by helping to reduce child poverty. Read our blog for more details.


2011

The expansion continues in Newport…

The international department launches at a start-up level with trade fairs in New York offering the quirky British designs with a French nautical style to the Americans. The collections are a hit and agents are appointed across the States and Canada, and a distributor appointed in Japan. JoJo is now sold in 70 countries across the world. To keep up with demand, JoJo needs more space and relocates down the road to a new 90,000 sq ft warehouse and new purpose built offices, staying local to retain the loyal Welsh workforce.




2012

…and in London

After 10 years of working from a small property in London, the JoJo Design, Buying and Marketing studio moves to its gorgeous new home in a converted convent school. JoJo House is christened with a company BBQ and the introduction of a team gardening club.



2013

JoJo celebrates 20 years

JoJo celebrates its 20th birthday. The mission today is exactly the same as it was in 1993: to design gorgeous collections and innovative products for mums-to-be, parents and their babies, whilst offering exemplary customer service, being loyal to our suppliers, sensible about the environment and respecting our teams. To mark the occasion, JoJo recruits Eloise, a vintage Citroen HY Van who now travels all over the country, spreading the JoJo word.




2014

A place for everybody

JoJo is voted Best Employer in the Disability Awards by long-time Downs Syndrome employee Sammy-Jo, recognising the company’s on-going effort to work with those with learning disabilities by offering full contract employment or work placements.





2015

Fit for a princess

JoJo comes to the attention of the world’s press when worn by the British Royal Family. The Duchess of Cambridge looked amazing in the already aptly named “Cream Princess Coat” whilst visiting the set of Downton Abbey.

Where to next..?

After 23 years of trading, JoJo now employs over 700 people in the UK, has 70 stores across the UK and Ireland and has trade customers in 40 countries across the globe. With the recently opened warehouse in New Jersey, the aims is to continue expanding at a steady pace without losing sight of our ideals: putting people and the planet above profit and offering great service and gorgeous designs.

Click here to watch the JoJo video

The JoJo History


1992

Following her studies, running her small clothing business and traveling around Asia, Laura sets up a business based in Brittany, France. Here, she falls in love with the outdoor lifestyle, chic fashion and the practical way children are dressed to enjoy being active whatever the weather. On her way to sell her French company, Laura has a near fatal head-on collision, leading to an extended stay in hospital. Her ward neighbor complains about the lack of good catalog fashion for her children. Laura has a light bulb moment, and the idea for JoJo is conceived; Breton influenced, quirky British fashion via mail order.

1993

JoJo Maman Bébé launches from a tiny shared office in London with the stock stored in a disused carpenter’s workshop at her parents’ place in Pontypool, South Wales. The first catalog is 24 pages and offers 30 styles of maternity & baby wear.

1995

The first team members are recruited (who are mostly still with the company today). Some lucky PR and an eclectic maternity collection get the brand noticed by the press and customers flow in. Predicting and keeping up with demand is a steep early learning curve.

1997

After 3 years of working around the clock, Laura’s first son is born. Finally having a child of her own, she starts to really understand the needs of the mother, and innovative nursery products are added to the collections. Baby Ben proves to be a great asset and turnover nearly doubles during the first year of his life!

JoJo launches its first website early on, when 99% of internet users are computer geeks, and most people don’t know what the WWW is.

1999

After years of trading out of various sheds and garages, JoJo finally buys a 20,000 sq ft warehouse in Newport, Wales to help cope with growing demand. Within 4 years the company doubles the space with a large extension. JoJo head office works closely with the community and builds good local loyalty.

2000

Productivity is high; employees understand the brand values and work in an environment which puts people and the planet above bottom line profit. A profit share system is introduced and after years of development, the JoJo recycled Polarfleece is perfected and put into production.

2002

JoJo opens its first store in Battersea, London after giving in to customer pressure. Old fashioned customer service and highly trained staff prove to be a hit, and several more stores open soon after. Within 10 years JoJo becomes the leading boutique mother and baby brand in the UK.

2003

Laura Tenison receives an MBE for services to business in the Queen’s New Year’s honors list.

2006

Wanting to support a charity where the funds really make a difference, JoJo decides to work directly in rural Mozambique to reduce infant mortality. Working with a small local charity, JoJo takes on the accounts and helps with fundraising and managing the teams. Nema has built 4 schools, funds local health, education, water and sanitation projects and is achieving the JoJo goal by helping to reduce child poverty. Read our blog for more details.

2011

The international department launches at a start-up level with trade fairs in New York offering the quirky British designs with a French nautical style to the Americans. The collections are a hit and agents are appointed across the States and Canada, and a distributor appointed in Japan. JoJo is now sold in 70 countries across the world.

2012

After 10 years of working from a small property in London, the JoJo Design, Buying and Marketing studio moves to its gorgeous new home in a converted convent school. JoJo House is christened with a company BBQ and the introduction of a team gardening club.

2013

Truffle, the original JoJo Office Dog is joined by her colleagues, Ruby and Taylor who add to the refreshing work place environment.

JoJo celebrates its 20th birthday. The mission today is exactly the same as it was in 1993: to design gorgeous collections and innovative products for mums-to-be, parents and their babies, whilst offering exemplary customer service, being loyal to our suppliers, sensible about the environment and respecting our teams.

The latest JoJo recruit joins the team in London. Eloise, a vintage Citroen HY Van is given a makeover and begins her travels all over the country, spreading the JoJo word on the JoJo Road Show.

2014

JoJo is voted Best Employer in the Disability Awards by long-time Downs Syndrome employee Sammy-Jo, recognizing the company’s on-going effort to work with those with learning disabilities by offering full contract employment or work placements.

2015

JoJo comes to the attention of the world’s press when worn by the British Royal Family. The Duchess of Cambridge looked amazing in the previously aptly named “Cream Princess Coat” whilst visiting the set of Downton Abbey.

Where to next..?

With the recently opened warehouse in New Jersey, the aims is to continue expanding at a steady pace without losing sight of our ideals. Putting people and the planet above profit and offering great service; JoJo designs and deliver gorgeous maternity fashion, adorable baby and children’s clothes, practical nursery products, new baby gifts and toys.

Watch our JoJo Story Video