Founder and Managing Director of JoJo Maman Bébé, Laura Tenison has grown the company organically from its start-up in 1993 to become the UK‘s leading mother and baby boutique multi-channel brand.
Previously Laura ran a small fashion company before setting up a French property business based in Brittany. When she sold this, her aim was to bring the quirky nautical style home to the UK and offer practical and affordable fashion for mothers and babies. With start-up capital of just £50k and just two part time members of staff, Laura has grown the company to a gross turnover of £50m and over 700 employees. The company, now has 68 stores nationwide, and continues to expand, with trade sales to over 60 countries worldwide.
The business ethos is based on a strong code of ethical business practice and the company prides itself on its long standing employees, with the majority of the founding members still part of the team. This ethos of service to customers and value for money has permeated through the company and the brand as a business to trust.
Laura Tenison is a trustee of the company charity, Nema, based in Mozambique. Company donations make a real difference to the lives of less fortunate children, and reduce infant mortality in this extremely poor area of Africa.
Laura is a keen cyclist and is passionate about sensible environmental policies. She is adamant that it is possible to do well whilst doing good, and eschews waste in any form. She has launched a nationwide clothing recycling initiative called From a Mother to Another which encourages parents to gift outgrown clothing to those in need.
She enjoys giving inspirational and information speeches to women‘s groups, business conferences and at networking events both in the UK and internationally. She has given a speech in French on behalf of the Welsh Assembly at the Hotel du Matignon, Paris and inspirational talks at diverse venues including the British Library, London Chamber of Commerce and at the Cycle Show, Earls Court.
Laura has appeared on TV and radio including the BBC's Peter Jones Meets, Beat the Boss, The Apprentice You‘re Fired, Channel 4 News, BBC Breakfast TV and BBC2's Working Lunch, BBC Radio 4 and 5, Sky News and Bloomberg TV.