We talked to... Zoobug founder Dr Julie Diem Le
Please tell us a little bit about yourself, where you live and about your family
I now live in a very remote part of England called the Forest of Bowland; an area of incredible beauty which so few know about. It’s a stark contrast to where we were living before in Camden. We moved because we needed to be closer to nature. I have a 4 year old daughter and 1 year old son. I trained as an eye surgeon before I launched Zoobug and my husband is also a specialist ophthalmologist. I am passionate about kids’ eye health and education.
Tell us a little bit about your brand…how did the brand come about? What inspired you?
I was looking for sunglasses for my niece Emma when she was a toddler and I couldn’t find anything that was fashionable with the quality available in adult sunglasses. I was amazed to find so many toy sunglasses which didn’t offer safe UV protection and visual clarity in the lenses. That was it! I started to look into setting up a specialist kids’ eyewear company and launched in 2006.
How did the brand name come about?
Really just by chance – we came up with the word and felt that a bug logo would be a really fun concept for kids…it all just happened and we’ve never looked back!
What is important to you when designing and producing your products?
UV protection and good high-quality frame materials. And of course the fit. We have concentrated on technical features to ensure the sunglasses fit well and don’t slide down the face.
What makes the brand special and why should we be buying it?
The combination of technical design just for kids and lovely fashion styling. We think we’ve got that balance just right. And we have been around long enough for parents to feel confident about our commitment to quality and eye health – but fashion too!
How do you juggle parenthood and your career?
By being super organised, having a supportive husband and learning when to say no!
What are you most proud of in your brand journey?
Our first award – the Silmo D’Or which is a prestigious industry award that I was presented with in Paris in 2008, and the Junior Design Award for Best Travel Product for Children in 2015. We were also the official kids’ sunglasses supplier for the Olympics in London in 2012!
Today I am very proud also of our collaboration with ORBIS, the international eye care charity.
What are you working on next?
Launching Zoobug in the US. I have a great team behind me which makes it even more exciting and fun. We are working with the major eye hospitals there who completely get quality eyewear for kids.
Where’s your favourite family destination?
Mauritius for some luxury pampering and Italy for the food and culture.
What’s your top family travel tip?
If you are travelling with kids, make sure they wear a sun hat and sunglasses for UV protection. And don’t forget the high SPF sun cream too! They will thank you when they are much older.
What are your 3 favourite things in life?
Family, food and natural beauty.
Thank you Julie!
At Sandy Toes we stock a range of Zoobug's fabulous UV protective kids' sunglasses
View our Zoobug collection