Helen and Olivia, you're the mother and daughter duo behind luxury sleepwear brand, The Reach London, please tell our readers about yourselves.
Olivia: Prior to founding The Reach London I worked in Finance, fora global asset management firm based in London .
Helen: I am a Commercial Lawyer and I formerly worked as a partner in a major City law firm. We both love fashion, travel and food.
You're both from very professional City backgrounds, what made you want to step away from that and start The Reach London?
Helen: We both have an entrepreneurial spirit and wanted to start our own businesses. The concept of developing our own sleepwear brand came about when we were frustrated in our search for cotton pyjamas that matched silk ones for quality and style, but without the premium price tag and dry cleaning bills. We subsequently decided to create our own luxury cotton pyjama collection.
What are some of the early challenges you encountered on your journey into entrepreneurship?
Olivia: Jointly having both financial and legal commercial backgrounds has proved invaluable in setting up the business. However, we still had to learn many new skills. It has been a huge learning curve, very hard work but also immensely enjoyable.
All your products are manufactured in a small London factory, tell us about that.
Helen: We are extremely passionate about British craftsmanship and by designing and manufacturing all our products here in Britain, not only do we help keep precious manufacturing skills alive, but we also ensure that the quality of our products is kept extremely high.
Olivia: We also have an uncompromising approach to quality so our pyjamas are produced by the most experienced British manufacturer, a small factory who has worked with top luxury brands such as Gieves & Hawkes, Burberry, Paul Smith and Victoria Beckham.
What's your favourite part of the production process?
Helen: The design process and fabric sourcing is very exciting but our favourite part has to be seeing our sleepwear boxed and ready for shipping to a customer.
Olivia, your professional background is finance, what are some of your top finance tips for budding entrepreneurs?
Olivia: At the start only employ additional people if you really need to. Startups tend initially to be cash poor so if you can do the task yourself (no matter how mundane or boring!) it is worth doing. Cash burn is one of the main causes for startups to fail so calculate how much money you need for your company to be a success.
At the moment we are raising our first seed round funding from investors. We are also looking for business mentoring.
Mothers and daughters don't always see eye to eye sometimes, how is it working together?
Helen: A lot of people ask this question. It’s going very well. We both have the same vision and we are both very receptive to critique. If we do not agree on a point we will talk it through until the issue is resolved. We are both experienced in different fields so we approach issues from different angles which we think helps achieve a good end result.
You're both at different points in your lives, how do you both measure success?
Olivia: Our goal is exactly the same - to create a Made in Britain brand that globally dominates the sleepwear and ultimately the leisurewear industry. If we achieve this businesswise then we will regard ourselves as having succeeded!
What are some of your top tips for a good night’s sleep?
Helen: I have recently written a blog on our website on the adverse impact of electronic items in our bedrooms, on the quality of our sleep, aim to make your bedroom as tranquil and restful as possible.
Because we appreciate the importance of a quality night’s sleep to function optimally in our everyday lives, we are introducing a new collection of technically designed sleepwear in 2017 which utilises a revolutionary fabric technology, clinically proven to deliver increased sleep efficiency.
Where do you see The Reach London in the next 3-5 years?
Olivia: We want to be the-go-to innovative sleepwear brand helping customers achieve a good night’s sleep
How do you celebrate a big win?
Helen: With a lovely meal at a great restaurant followed by a relaxing holiday somewhere warm.
Olivia: I must agree.