Turtle Tots

Export Action Plan Case Study: Turtle Tots

Business: Turtle Tots, Bristol. Baby and toddler swimming classes.

Our innovative and unique swimming programme begins with aqua-natal yoga for mums-to-be, and continues with specialist and progressive baby and toddler classes.

Not only does it focus on teaching babies, toddlers and young children to swim, it also promotes pre-natal and post-natal fitness and provides an excellent toning workout for mums. Of course dads are welcome too!


Caroline Sparks, director and Gabrielle Lixton, director.

Turtle Tots
Turtle Tots – Caroline Sparks, director and Gabrielle Lixton, director.

When and why did the business decide to export?

From day one, in 2011. The domestic market is quite saturated, so we have been looking to less established ones overseas.

What is the company’s export vision?

To save lives around the world. Children need to learn to swim and fewer are – or at least not as professionally as a couple of generations ago. Our plan is for export to constitute 24 per cent of sales in 2017/18.

How did you find out about Open to Export?

UKTI steered us in, via its Passport to Export programme.

How useful – and in what way – did you find the Export Action Plan?

The tool has been a great help, as it made us consider things we hadn’t factored in before, asked questions we hadn’t thought of – and allowed us to detach ourselves and view our business with fresh, objective eyes.

How has/will the plan help accelerate your export goals?

We now have a firm schedule to go into new territories, including the UAE, Australia, Canada and China – and Export Action Plan has helped us enter Dubai sooner than we had anticipated.

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