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.”

Anya Hindmarch, British Designer, in front of works by Thomas Ruff (left) and Anish Kapoor (right) selected by her for the Contemporary Curated exhibition and sale to be held by Sotheby's on September 20, London, UK. August 22 2016.  Tom Jamieson for The New York Times

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.

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