If you are looking for an Animal Onesie for Bestival 2013, here’s a little run-down of what’s popular, what’s hot and what are some of the more uncommon but awesomely fun onesies that you can get your hands on for Bestival.
Jamieson runs Onesie Zoo, which supplies animal onesies to corporate and private parties and individuals interested in the whole Kigurumi / Cosplay scene. And with the onset of the holiday season, things are busy at her home & office in middle England.
These days, the company is keeping between 40 and 45 people in costume. In non-holiday times, that number drops to around 10 or 15. Sales of animal onesies have gone through the roof since the introduction of the Kigurumi phenomenon from Japan. Nowadays you’re just as likely to see fans out in the streets in their cosy onesies at hen and stag parties and festivals as you will find curled up cosily in front of a warm fire. It’s not just bedtime wear anymore, although they are still popular as pyjamas.
While that number may not sound particularly high, the company’s gross earnings are far from measly. In this, its first year of business, Onesie Zoo has made its fair share of profit.
That figure comes without any sort of paid advertising, too – not even an ad in the Yellow Pages. All the company’s business has come from word of mouth and contacts made through social media marketing.
Generally, college students inhabit costumes, but Jamieson, 32, still suits up occasionally. While the bulk of her time is spent on the phone or behind a desk, getting out once in a while helps keep the job fun.
“I don’t get to go out as much as I would like to,” she admits. “But the entertainers that work for me are so good, I’d rather let them go.”
About 70 per cent of Onesie Zoo’s business comes from festivals and conventions. The rest is the company’s roots – private birthday parties, usually for kids. Kids’ animal onesies are growing in popularity and the adults are getting in on the act, too.
The costs for an appearance vary. Private parties range from £55 an hour to £75 an hour, depending on the show. Corporate events hover around £50 an hour, but go down if the character is needed for several hours.
The onesies are numerous – Monkeys and Tigers are the favourite at corporate parties, while the kids love Panda onesies, Bees and Lions – Dinosaurs are also very big. These days, newly added jungle animals are all the rage.
“I never would have thought that my company could do animals in such a big way,” she says. “But when someone said; ‘Could you do this?’ I thought ‘Well, a lot of my students are acting students from Unis.’ We got them together and they’re awesome.”
One of the keys to her company’s success, she says, is its focus. Rather than trying to organize a party, she just tries to be the life of it.
“I don’t do everything,” she says. “I do one thing well and that’s onesies. Every now and then I’ll throw in something else if the people that work for me have the talent. But I don’t plan. I don’t supply the food. I don’t supply the tents. . . . I do nothing but the onesies.”
Of course, Jamieson has her favourite onesies. While she won’t identify a specific one, she says she is more fond of the headed animal onesies like lions, tigers and bears than the non-headed character human variety like Alice in Wonderland or Dorothy from “The Wizard of Oz.” Disney onesies are a firm favourite, though, along with Hello Kitty and other contemporary faves.
“You can really believe in them because you can’t see their hands or their feet,” she says of her choice. “And kids just really, really believe when they see something that’s that big and that real. I think they’re just a lot more fun.”