18th November 2017
When you start a business on your own, it can feel very lonely. Naturally you have to be very self-motivated to start a company in the first place but it can be hard to keep this momentum up when you’re working in isolation.
This was certainly my experience when I started my fashion label at home. The first big moment I can recall was when I hired an employee. I still remember the feeling now, it was so exciting just to say hello to someone in the morning. Having people join you is a huge motivator and really spurs you on.
The second key moment was moving out of the home. Starting in my living room was fantastic to begin with, because I had low overheads and flexibility, but finally being able to take the printer out of the laundry basket and have somewhere to store my pieces was such a relief. Separation between home and work is important for wellbeing and makes you look and feel more professional.
A business knows when it’s time to move. Something changes and all of a sudden it’s not tenable to work from your kitchen table or garage. But until that point, I think the home is a fantastic place to start. I remember how scary it was signing a five-year lease on a commercial space. Committing to a new overhead is a tough decision and you have to strike the right balance when it comes to the space you need and your ability to scale – there’s nothing worse than sitting in an expensive, empty office.
But luckily things have moved on since I started. You don’t necessarily have to sign long leases any more. It’s much more common, and cool, to work in a co-working space which gives you increased flexibility.
“SEPARATION BETWEEN HOME AND WORK IS IMPORTANT FOR WELLBEING AND MAKES YOU LOOK AND FEEL MORE PROFESSIONAL.”
I launched my business in London. I think it’s one of the best cities in the world to start and grow a business. But the UK’s start-up story is being illustrated outside the capital too. I’m excited about how much opportunity there is now to start a business in any part of the UK. Technology has transformed the business landscape and I love the idea of brilliant creative hubs burgeoning across the country.
As I run around during London Fashion Week, it’s wonderful to have a chance to reflect on where I started and how far I’ve come. We now have 50 stores worldwide, a wholesale and franchise business. I’d encourage home businesses across the UK to keep dreaming big and striving for success – the hard work is worth it.