Meet the founder of McIndoe Design
Hey Maddy, we actually met recently and hit it off. Your company is awesome and I'm a huge fan, why don't you tell our readers about yourself?
Yes we did! I trained as a Textile Designer a few years ago and always knew I wanted to try and run my own label, so after a few months in South America I came back to London and set up McIndoe Design. I love that continent and that’s why the designs all have a strong tropical influence. I think London is grey enough so everything is quite fun and bright.
What led you to get into the fashion industry?
I work in fashion but my background is more in textile and design, and that’s the focus of the brand, rather than the latest shapes or what’s trendy this season. I do like fashion but I’d like to think that the people who buy the clothes will keep them for more than one season, so it’s not really what I concentrate on when I’m designing.
A lot of start-ups struggle with funding, how did you get your business up and running?
I was very lucky and my family lent me some cash! I cringe when I think about some of the things I wasted money on at the start though. I’ve definitely improved at being frugal with money running a business.
Most businesses struggle within the first year or so, you're 2 1/5 years in, what's been the biggest challenge you've faced and how did you overcome it?
Getting new stockists is probably the biggest challenge. The brand is quite print-focussed which isn’t the safest bet for buyers I guess, and it’s hard to get noticed as a new designer when there’s so much out there, so I had to learn to grow a tough skin and be persistent
Your prints are bold and imaginative, where does your inspiration come from?
Anywhere really, but animals and food definitely play a large part. For SS17 I got really obsessed with Fantasia and Hercules, two Disney films I loved when I was little. My sister and I can pretty much quote Hercules word for word.
What's been your most memorable moment since launching?
There have been loads but I usually take the brand to sell at festivals in the summer and it’s really fun to walk around and see people having a great time in the clothes I sold to them in the day. Also a really funny comedian wore one of my sweatshirts with a fried egg on for Sunday Brunch last week, that was great.
What about your business keeps you up at night?
Everything! I usually have ideas just before I fall asleep and then I’ve forgotten them in the morning. I need to keep a notepad next to the bed! Being able to keep notes, so I am on track is definitely something I want to implement this year. As a small business owner, I have to do so much on my end, so there's a lot that keep me up.
You've recently launched a couple of really cool accessories, what else do you have up your sleeves?
Maybe some home accessories in this year, but just now I'm locking down the new collection and making sure it's 100%. I'm wary of launching too many product lines, as I feel like it might be a bad idea logistically, until I get more manpower.
When you're not working or designing, how do you relax and have fun?
I wish I could tell you I’ve got a super niche hobby, but unfortunately it’s probably the pub with my friends! And The Apprentice, I LOVE watching it. I find it hilarious.
Everyone measures success differently, how do you measure yours?
When I started I assumed success meant a global takeover but for now I’m happy to do the prints and let it grow organically.
What's your vision for McIndoe Design?
I’d like to be able to do more patterns and maybe do a proper kidswear range one day. I want to keep the clothes an accessible price and make things that make people happy, that’s about it!