Mail Boxes Etc. UK & Ireland's blog

Marrakesh Winner Announced

Businesswoman Jo Godden can’t wait to take her family to marvellous Marrakesh, courtesy of MBE and Men in Black: International

Jo Godden’s reaction to hearing that she had won a fabulous family holiday in Marrakesh, as part of Mail Boxes Etc.’s collaboration with Sony Pictures Entertainment to promote the movie Men in Black: International, says a lot about her. As a single mum, she was thrilled to think she could finally enjoy a holiday with her children, and as an entrepreneur she thought Marrakesh would make a great backdrop for some product photos while she was there.

Jo is the founder of RubyMoon, a sustainable active and swimwear brand that is also dedicated to helping women across the globe to set up and grow their businesses.  She founded RubyMoon in 2009, having worked as a specialist swimwear and lingerie designer for twenty years in the UK and the US for GapBody, M&S and Victoria’s Secret.

Jo’s business is based in Brighton – just the kind of vibrant cultural backdrop you might expect for a brand that uses fabric made from recycled plastics from the ocean in its swimwear, and insists on an ethical and transparent supply chain that ensures no-one is exploited to bring these beautiful garments to market.  

Getting it right

RubyMoon is the world’s only not-for-profit eco and ethical activewear brand.  Its premium products are designed to appeal to ethically conscious women who enjoy swimming and exercise but who also like to kick back in their activewear – so it has to look good.  “The styling is sports, yet the use of designer prints brings an elegant, sophisticated edge,” continues Jo.  “We subscribe to the ‘slow fashion’ ethos that means we take time to make the product right – right for our customers in terms of affordability and quality, but also doing the right thing is at the very core of our business.”

RubyMoon lends out 100% of its profits as small loans to empower women in eleven nations.  To date the brand has made more than 200 loans, and visitors to its website can read about some of the women it has helped.  Its circular business model sees all women benefit from RubyMoon’s gorgeous designs, sustainable focus and ethical principles.  The entire collection is made in the UK and Spain from recycled ocean plastics.  All products are vegan, produced with minimal carbon emissions and tested for durability.

Jo’s commitment to keeping a low carbon footprint means that she does not send packages in priority mail, but instead turns to her local Mail Boxes Etc. store at 91 Western Road, Brighton, for regular services that meet her clients’ needs. 

As a small business owner, Jo finds herself frequently calling on franchisee Erin Ergezer and his team for shipping and postal services.  “The business has really taken off in the past year,” she says, “and we’ve been sending out loads of packages.  Two of our main markets are Germany and Finland – they’re way ahead of us in terms of sustainability. The team at MBE Brighton have been very helpful.”  She also uses their print and copy services.  “We’re in there so often, we have got to know them quite well.

Learning curve

Jo is the first to admit that setting up your own business is a challenge.  “It was a huge learning curve – you obviously have to do everything, from getting your website and online store up and running to creating and managing your social media channels.  It can be overwhelming but it’s good to know there’s somewhere you can go for day-to-day business services.”

Erin was delighted that the first prize in MBE’s national competition was won by a customer of his.  “It’s very exciting that Jo has won this fabulous holiday. We’ve been here more than twenty years, helping the local business community, students, holiday-makers and other customers with their mail, parcels and communications materials. There are a lot of online businesses like RubyMoon based here, and we’re always on hand to help them with mail order fulfilment, postal and shipping services.”

Raising awareness

Fashion can be fickle, and it is difficult to make yourself heard in a crowded market where the big brands have multi-million pound advertising budgets.  But Jo thinks she probably has none other than Sir David Attenborough to thank for RubyMoon’s recent success.  “Finally, this year, we’ve had some publicity. There’s suddenly so much more awareness of the impact we’re all having on the environment.

Jo plans to take her two children and her partner to Marrakesh next spring.  “I’ve never really had a family holiday with the kids, because they always go to their dad in the summer and I’ve been busy focusing on the business,” she says. “The idea of going away together is very exciting.”  And like the women she helps support around the globe, Jo’s business is never far from her thoughts.  “I was thinking about the light and the wonderful colours in Marrakesh.  I might just take a few products from our spring/summer 2020 collection with me and do a photo shoot while we’re there too.” What better way of being environmentally conscious while combining business and pleasure?  The Men in Black agents, dedicated to saving the universe, would surely approve.

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