Hi Amanda, here is hoping you had a lovely summer. Please tell us a bit about yourself?
Thank you, I have had a lovely summer. A 2.5 week holiday travelling France with my two children Harvey Blade 8 years Issey Rose 6 years and my husband Jonathan. We also exibited at a trade show in NY, so a good mix of holiday and work.
A little bit about me; I am a hardworking mum of two, I love being busy with my brand Blade & Rose and I also love quality family time so my ultimate goal is the perfect work life balance.
I really like the name “Blade and Rose”, what is the inspiration behind it?
Named after my two children Harvey Blade and Issey Rose. I set the business up whilst on maternity leave with my 2nd child Issey. There was nothing on the market that was fun and playful with the emphasis on nappy bottoms, so I decided to design and source my own.
The whole process took a year so when I returned to work I took on 2 jobs. My day job and concentrated on Blade & Rose in the evenings and weekends. This was a bit of a juggling act; but I needed to be working to fund the trade shows and costs of Blade & Rose. In eight months I had managed to secure enough good stockists to leave my job and concentrated full time on my own business. I also found I could reduce the nursery times and spend more time with my babies.
Marketing is such a big aspect of business, what is your greatest tip?
Quality rather than quantity!
Your designs are gorgeous, how did you go from paper to product?
It took a lot of samples, tweaks, colour changes and research before I got to the final product.
Most brands try to go global and fail, what did you do get into countries like China, Dubai, Belgium etc?
I guess you need to get the concept right at the beginning. Which includes an original idea, something fresh, quality and loved by all. I believe this concept will work in most countries.
Congratulations on being a finalist in the Mumpreneur Award last year, what was it like receiving such a lovely honour?
Thank you very much! I am honoured and quite proud of myself...
What advice would you give to other mothers wanting to start their own business from home?
It's tough, you have to make sacrifices. I shared my home with baskets and boxes of leggings for a year, but the ultimate satisfaction is doing it for yourself and people loving your products; it's amazing.
How did you fund your first batch of leggings?
I went back to work full time to fund everything. I started small with just three designs, cut out all luxury spending such as holidays, new clothes ect. And started with just one trade show in the first year. I borrowed nothing from the bank and everything I earnt went straight back into the business.
What is the best business lesson you learnt so far?
Don't start too big, build it gradually. Unless you are in the fortunate position of outside funding.
And what is the worst?
Forecasting volumes!! I totally under estimated the quantity of Christmas Pudding Leggings we would sell. The first year we launched, I totally sold out by November.
Blade and Rose has already gone global, so where do you see the business in 3 years?
We, I say we as now my husband works with me full time. I couldn't cope on my own so he gave up his job and has been full time with Blade & Rose now for three years.
We need to spend time obviously in the UK as home is the main focus. We also need to concentrate on brand awareness globally. Both in the UK and internationally, brands have now copied our idea, so we need to stay ahead and keep innovating the products with fresh ideas.
Lots of new ideas and new additions are planned for Blade & Rose.
Click here to head on over to Blade and Rose.