Gurgl – Growing a baby business

Beverley Walter (left), Dev Academy graduate

Beverley Walter is a recent graduate from Enspiral Dev Academy. Enspiral Dev Academy teaches the skills of junior web development through an at-home precourse module, and a 9 week intensive in-class bootcamp. Using the skills she learned on the programme, Beverley is in the process of launching Gurgl, a clothes-swap web platform for growing babies. Gurgl is in its formative stages, so we asked Beverley what her dreams were.

“Gurgl will provide a fun, easy platform for recycling your children’s wardrobes, and borrowing more. With everybody’s help, we can save perfectly good clothing from going to waste, and give it back to growing children who need them.”

Beverley is an ex-creative designer who emigrated from Britain 8 years ago. She started learning web development on Dev Academy’s programme in February. Her idea for Gurgl came out of the project-based part of the programme.

“I suggested the idea in a pitch session at EDA. We pitch for a personal project, and this is how Version One was born. Then, with encouragement from the head teacher Joshua, I started Version Two. Later I needed a pitch for the final group project, one of the other students suggested I use Gurgl again. He said “If you pitched it, I’d vote for you”. I was blown away by the fact that he wanted to work on my idea with me. Thus Version Three — the best iteration — was created, and in June it went up at www.gurgl.nz! We’re now looking for early adopters to sign up and give us feedback on the service.”

Beverley is passionate about Gurgl because it enables her to help the families around her with small children. “I was walking to EDA up Cuba Street, past all the op-shops, and it suddenly struck me that the babies around me ALL grow so fast. What if you can’t afford or don’t want to buy new mass-produced clothing every few months? What if you got gifted heaps of clothing for a newborn and now your bub is 3 months old and fits nothing? Why are there no op-shops for newborns, babies and toddlers?!”

Dev Academy showed Beverley how to build the web platform, but also helped her with her social mission.

baby business
Photography by Bob Zuur

“It’s easy to tell people about your ethics, but it is entirely different to live them and breathe them. At EDA I found a group of people who truly want to make a difference, in education, in the tech industry and in workplace culture. Without exception every person I have met who is affiliated with EDA, as staff, teacher, alumni etc. is amazing. It is one of the best things I have ever done — I’d do it again in a heartbeat.”

Beverley found a culture at EDA that suited her own goals.

“Apart from providing me with the tech knowledge to make Gurgl and whatever other projects may come, Dev Academy gave me an awesome cohort, and safe place to play, and break things, then fix them and break them again. Their unwavering support and encouragement. A network of likeminded people and the confidence to follow my heart.”

Beverley is grateful to the other students in her class who worked with her to develop the project and take it live. “The support from them and other students is really what has motivated me to keep going.”

She looks forward to the future, when Gurgl can stand on its own two feet. “I want to make life easier for new parents. I think it’s crazy to believe you can do business today without treating your customers like they are family. I’m actively seeking and collecting clothing from parents, because it gives me a chance to talk to them and ask for feedback.”

“The plan is to develop a service that parents want. I know I can build the tech, what I want is to build what they need.”

Register now for Gurgl’s clothes-swap service at http://www.gurgl.nz/.

If you dream of having the skills to make your business ideas a reality, apply today for Dev Academy. Campuses are in Auckland and Wellington, and study options are designed to suit you. Apply now: http://www.devacademy.co.nz/apply-now.