A brand of high end, eco-friendly products, Corby Tindersticks launched a year ago, at Bubble London. The toys met a  remarkable success, and are now sold in a fair amount of cool boutiques around the planet. Founder Carly Gledhill  comments on her success…

Carly, Corby Tindersticks is growing pretty fast in a difficult market; can you analyse why ?

I have worked for ‘big name’ retailers in the past that tend to go for the safe, profitable option. Because Corby Tindersticks is much smaller and independent, I can really focus on producing bold designs and quirky products without worrying about appealing to everyone. By sticking to my own design convictions the brand naturally finds its own niche. Our intention was always to create high end, eco-friendly products and people seem to have responded really well to this.

How did it start?

Despite goofball appearances, I do have a textiles degree and recently finished a masters in children’s book illustration. Corby began to take shape during my MA where I produced handmade books that featured characters with no narrative. The characters slowly emerged from the page into 3D squishy toys. Once in 3D I could play with them in the real world and that’s how they got their characters and narrative. As far as the business goes….if I don’t sell them, they will fill up our studio and eventually crush us, it’s a good sales technique.

What are your most successful products?

Definitely the toys! Though I’m not sure if it’s the kids or parents that like them!

Did you already have a big audience/follow up when you launched at Bubble London?

SS13 was the first time I exhibited at Bubble and I had no idea what to expect. Corby joined the exhibitor list 6 weeks before the gig and hoped for the best!  A few people had heard about us online but Bubble really helped launch Corby and found us stockists from all over!

Is that your first time showing at Playtime Paris? If so how are your expectations?

Yes it is our first trip to Playtime Paris, I’m really excited as I hope the European audience will appreciate the quirkiness of the range, perhaps more than in the U.K. I have a few stockists in Europe but I don’t feel that people know us very well there yet, hopefully we will be able to reach some new Corby fans!

How is your business split between wholesale and selling through your own e-store (%)?

Wholesale is probably about 95%.  I don’t really have time to promote my online store so any sales through it are a bonus! There are loads of fantastic people out there who run shops and online stores. I prefer to sell to those guys as they are the experts and the best ambassadors for Corby.

What are the fast growing markets for you?

Australia is doing really well for us, I’m not sure how anyone down under about Corby, but they like us!

Any advice you could give to young brands who want to follow your path?

Just go for it! It’s a really exciting time for smaller brands with selling online and blogging, if you have a good product and a passion for it! The guy from Innocent smoothies (also from my home town of Huddersfield) says if you’re more than 70% sure then go for it. And I bloody love smoothies.


Find Corby Tindersticks online at Molly-Meg, Littlebig, Sisters Guild, Cissy-wears. Full list of stockists here.

Related Post : In talk with Corby Tindersticks (March 2012)