A former banker has launched an international online clothing company from her kitchen table in the North West of Ireland.
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.
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
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.
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.” Some of the vast range available from Oh Hello Clothing
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.
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.”