20 Years of Konfidence
The Konfidence Story so far….
Way back in the last century, the summer of 1996 to be precise, Andy and Caroline Regan took their 5 children on holiday to Cornwall. Their older two daughters, Kerry and Katie, were already strong swimmers but their three sons, Pete, Jack and Billy were only 6, 4 and 6 months respectively, weren’t.
The two older boys were full of confidence but really didn’t like the idea of arm bands. Being adventurous types this meant that they needed an eye kept on them all the time.
During the holiday they got to use wetsuits and buoyancy aids which helped to keep the kids warm and afloat? Out of this came the idea for a combination of buoyancy aid and wetsuit.
For the next two years Andy and Caroline looked at all the products that were available for kids between 1 and 6 years of age that weren’t armbands and provided good floatation for their kids. Unhappy with the choice and style available they decided to build their own.
Luckily at the time Caroline’s boss had a nephew who worked for a wetsuit company in Cornwall. So Andy took some drawings he’d made to a clothing designer, had them converted into cutting patterns and sent them to Cornwall to be prototyped.
The result was the Original Konfidence™ Jacket. The name was obvious as it was designed to give confidence to kids and parents alike and was especially useful for kids with bags of confidence but not necessarily the swimming skills to go with it! It became apparent also that kids lacking in confidence could also gain enormously from the Jacket.
20 R&D samples were made and road tested by family and friends. The feedback was positive and the test an unqualified success. So then the ultimate decision needed to be taken. Was the concept good enough to build a business around
In ‘98 Andrew gave up his job with Lloyds Bank and Caroline agreed to carry on working to pay the bills. They gave it 2 years to see if people genuinely felt the product was worthwhile. Konfidence Limited was formed and the product launched in September of that year.
The rest as they say is history. Konfidence™ has grown over the last 15 years as a direct result of the success of the Original Konfidence™ Jacket. It has helped tens of thousands of children to learn to swim, and enjoy swimming and playing in the water. It is equally good at the local swimming pool in the depths of winter, as it is on the summer vacation in the pool or by the beach. The trademark yellow back, which features on all the Original Konfidence™ Jackets, also helps the wearer to be seen from a long way away.
The Konfidence™ range of products has subsequently grown with the addition of many more useful and great looking products that provide help, safety and protection to parents and children alike.
In 2001 we launched a range of sun protective clothing in response to the needs of our customers, and it remains a core part of our portfolio today
In 2004, with the burgeoning baby swimming activity classes growing rapidly in the UK, our Babywarma™ open flat neoprene swimsuits/baby wetsuits were launched. Sales of these have grown year on year, and the Babywarma™ neoprene swimsuit sits happily alongside the Original Konfidence™ Jacket as one of our best selling products.
We now sell to countries all over the world from as far east as Japan to as far west as New Caledonia in the South Pacific, and all points in between.
We have formed really great relationships within our industry including working with swim teachers and the Swimming Teachers’ Association of Great Britain. Collaborating with them to really ensure our products are relevant and the very best they can be.
We are still a family business with three generations involved (4 if you count the little ones testing and modelling our products).
Our abiding principles are, and have always been to create great products, provide excellent customer service and to treat all our customers and partners as we would wish to be treated.