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How DJ Lady Bex went from DJ to winning UK’s online fashion store awards

Fuel4Fashion blog Skinny Chimp CEO

Rebecca Goodchild aka DJ lady Bex

Rebecca Goodchild (or DJ Lady Bex as she is known professionally) is an international DJ who successfully launched her own fitness fashion label Skinny Chimp in 2013. Today, Skinny Chimp has made the transition from a niche start-up fashion label into a successful venture. Rebecca, who has been associated with Fuel4Fashion from the early stages of Skinny Chimp’s launch, tells us about her experiences as a rank outsider and entrepreneur in fashion.

Fuel4fashion blog Skinny Chimp CEO

Rebecca Goodchild

1) What made you get into a fashion brand?

Pure accident! It once happened that I found a top I loved but it didn’t fit me very well, so with the help of Fuel4fashion I had it redesigned for the perfect fit. Everyone who saw it loved it, kept asking for one, and my fashion business was born!

I have always assumed I wasn’t very fashionable as I never followed the latest trends – I prefer to wear whatever makes me feel comfortable. Now I realize I was helping set the trend, and suddenly I’ve become a designer with my own brand.

Fuel4fashion UK troops wearing Skinny Chimp

British troops sporting Skinny Chimp vests off-duty

2) What was the inspiration behind Skinny Chimp?

I have always been into fitness and I wanted to create a brand that wasn’t so serious. There are many fitness and fashion brands around the world but they all seem so serious, focused on performance, not fun.

On a serious note, Skinny Chimp was a bit of a gamble – I wanted to grow the brand as a credible fashion brand with a twist of humor. My main objective was to make people realize fitness can be enjoyable and approachable.

DJ Lady Bex at one of the concerts3) Without a fashion background you have managed to make Skinny Chimp a success. What were the crucial challenges that you faced in the process?

EVERYTHING !! Trial and error, every step of the way. I didn’t even know there were so many different shades of black! Now I know so much more and I’m still learning. I spent over a year searching for the perfect manufacturer, getting samples, finding the right people to help me do this. I was naive when I started out, thinking I could do this alone. I’ve learned a lot along the way – every good and bad experience has its share of learning, so long as you’re willing.

4) How did you overcome these challenges?

Getting help and learning as much as possible! I was lucky to find a few great people along the way, who were patient with me and helped me get over the early setbacks, and sticking with me even when times were tough. At the end of it all, you have to go through the grind, and there’s never a substitute for hard work.

Boy band blue wearing vest from fitness fashion brand Skinny Chimp

Boy Band Blue seen sporting a Skinny Chimp vest

5) What has been the high point of the Skinny Chimp journey so far?

Seeing celebrities such as Peter Andre, Blue and Mr Universe wearing Skinny Chimp, winning best online fashion retailer 2014 in the Liverpool awards, seeing a celeb wear it on TV, magazine features and being asked to work with Dragons Den in their search to recruit a new Dragon using Skinny Chimp as the product pitch. I treasure all of them, and I know there are many more to come!

Happy customers of Skinny Chimp6) Why the name Skinny Chimp?

Everyone has an inner chimp – we all have that naughty side 🙂

Skinny – because the first vest was thin with skinny straps and chimps because they are my favorite animal – so full of fun and energy. So, Skinny Chimp! You might say the Skinny Chimp tribe is a family of strong smart animals who have fun and stay fit at the same time!

7) What are your future plans with Skinny Chimp?

A lot has been going on, and without revealing too much, let’s just say that I want to take it into the fashion industry as well as keeping it within the fitness industry. It’s a brand that can go down so many avenues. Spreading geographically is another option.

8) What advice would you like to give to the first time fashion entrepreneur?

Hold on tight. It’s a roller coaster – the downs are as often as the highs (but the highs are soooo good!). Its hard work and its 24/7 – you NEVER stop thinking.  Listen to ALL the advice you can get but don’t always take it. Follow your gut feeling and take risks. Be different and create your own success – don’t copy others. And find people who share your dream – you’ll never go wrong with them around!

Chimps showing Skinny Chimp vests with CEO Rebecca Goodchild

Supriya Ghurye is the founder and owner of Fuel4Fashion, the freelance fashion design studio for multiple product designing in apparels that caters to start-up fashion labels and growing fashion brands with a diverse portfolio of design services. She is a member of the Cherie Blair Foundation’s Women Entrepreneurship Program and has over a decade of fashion industry experience. Twitter , Instagram , Pinterest