Dragon helps fire up kids' clothing firm

DRAGONS' Den star Theo Paphitis has backed a family-run firm that was launched to help encourage more children to play outside in all weathers.

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Theo Paphitis has backed the Uddingston firm
Theo Paphitis has backed the Uddingston firm

Megan McInulty and daughter Lauren Mackintosh, a mother of two, spotted a gap in the market for quality water and wind-proof clothing for babies, toddlers and young children.

The pair, from Uddingston, South Lanarkshire, set up Rain-Shine three years ago, along with Lauren's twin sister Paula Paton, 39, and are now supplying 150 nurseries across the UK.

And the business received a major boost after Theo Paphitis singled out the firm as 'one to watch' on his website Small Business Sunday and retweeted the praise to his 40,000 followers. The Lanarkshire firm is one of only 11 businesses within central Scotland which has ever been selected.

Megan, 59, said: "We are passionate about getting children outside in all weathers. We see a lot of parents and children in play parks and the children just aren't prepared for the weather.

"They have to go home after one shot on the swings because their clothes are wet. It's crazy.

"Our customer base is probably 70% UK but we've taken orders from the Caribbean and Texas for some of our other products, such as Neoprene shoes which help prevent children slipping in swimming pool areas. Most of our sales are in England.

"We have 150 nursery customers in the UK - with 25 of these in Scotland. It's not that Scottish nurseries are buying elsewhere, they just aren't buying. Why not? We would like to work with schools but most are only allowed to take goods from government- approved suppliers."

At present the business is only distributing the clothing, but Megan says they may branch into design and production because of the knowledge they have gained on what fabrics and styles work best to protect youngsters in bad weather.

The family are enthusiastic backers of Project Wild, the UK's biggest ever campaign to reconnect children with nature and outdoor play. The campaign encourages parents to swap 30-minutes of TV watching time for an extra half an hour of wild time to increase their children's levels of physical activity.

caroline.wilson@eveningtimes.co.yuk

Families

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