After scraping together their savings, brothers Fraser and Ali Smeaton and pal Gregor Lawson have taken the world of fancy dress by storm with Morphsuits – even Harry Styles is a fan! So where did it all start for the entrepreneurial twenty-somethings? Source’s Bethany Ewen caught up with co-owner Gregor for our Winter 2011 issue…
What inspired you to design Morphsuits?
In 2008, I had a fancy dress party where you had to dress in one colour. This guy rocked up in an all-in-one Lycra outfit he picked up while traveling in Japan. He was like a superhero or celebrity – everyone was getting photos taken with him. So we got some made and wore them to parties. Myself and my business partners, Fraser and Ali, then bought 200 of them and it all started there.
Where did the name come from?
We felt that people who wear them morphed into a more fun, outgoing version of themselves. No one can see you but you can see everyone else. With the doom and gloom of the recession over the last few years, it’s a breath of fresh air.
Did you ever think Morphsuits would become this popular?
We’d always hoped so and we knew we loved them, it was just a question of how many other people out in the world were like us – it turns out there’s a lot! The scale we’ve got to is surprising, but we’ve worked really hard.
How important is social networking for marketing Morphsuits?
Without Facebook, Morphsuits would not be the size it is today. I think you can go as far as to say that Morphsuits may not even exist. I think we’re one of the first brands that’s launched using Facebook – and that was just because we didn’t have any money!
Is it a competitive market?
There’s loads of people copying us. They cut corners and offer lower prices but the quality of the suits is horrific! We spent a huge amount of time on the design and getting it right – so you can see without being seen, can drink through them, and they keep their shape. Our returns are less than 1%, which is amazing for fancy dress.
Are you kept busy all year round?
There’s no peak as big as Halloween but stag parties and big sporting events are popular. We’ve had people running marathons in them and real nutters who use them to do bungee jumps and skydives – we had one guy flying a microlight plane, which is mental! We’ve got designs from tuxedos to Dracula to the Union Jack. They get their way into all sorts of different occasions. We’ve started wearing the tuxedo Morphsuit to formal events!
Do you have any advice for young entrepreneurs?
Most of all – back yourself. If you have an idea, go for it. It’s never been easier or cheaper to start your own business. For me, it’s the best thing I’ve ever done. Be brave and test it before you get bogged down in an idea. Being your own boss and getting every pound you make is very appealing!
Want to get in on the action? Check out Morphsuits range at www.morphsuits.co.uk.
Source Magazine, Winter 2011