Tell us about your work?
Half-Pint Chic is an online members club selling designer children’s clothing (0-9 years) at up to 70% RRP. It’s free to join, but only members have access to our sales.
And how did it all begin?
When I had my twins, I became marginally obsessed with online shopping. I’d always loved to shop but with two babies in tow it definitely wasn’t fun anymore! At around this time Natalie Massanet, founder of Net-A-Porter, opened the Outnet, which sells designer women’s brands at discounted prices. I thought: “Wouldn’t it be great if something like that existed for children’s clothes?” We all want our children to look beautiful but they grow so fast and they totally don’t understand the concept of keeping anything clean, so spending fortunes on their clothes, with everything else going on, just isn’t sustainable. However, if you can pick up a great brand at a bargain price – why not?!
What’s been the steepest learning curve?
Working through the logistics has been tough. We work with a new brand every week and they all operate in slightly different ways, with many of them not being set up to sell on line at all. This has meant to deliver the level of service we want to, our processes need to be exact and that nothing gets taken for granted, everything gets checked and rechecked.
When did you know ‘this is going to work’?
When we first launched our site crashed due to the volume of traffic, this made us think that potentially this was something mums would be really in to.
Has it been hard managing work/life balance?
Yes and no! I used to work full-time in advertising, which was brilliant fun but the hours were long and I had little control over my diary. Now I probably work longer but at different hours. If want to take the girls swimming or to ballet I can choose to, as long as I put the hours in elsewhere. For me, it’s more manageable because I’m much more in control of my time.
What would be your advice to others wanting to start their own ‘show’?
Firstly, talk to absolutely everyone you know who can help with either advice or contacts. You will be amazed at how generous people are with their time and how much of a head start it will give you.
Secondly, if you need clients, the bank or customers to buy into your idea before you get going, make it feel as real as possible. It really is worth spending some money up front so that you have something tangible to present to others. It might be a prototype, a brand identity or even just a presentation - but let them see your vision.