The lovely Claire from INDIACOCO.COM is on the blog today to tell you all about her fab new business! Read all about her below and then check out her gorgeous website!
Hi Claire; Tell us about yourself & your business…
I spent many years working in senior marketing roles for some of the UK’s leading retailers, Argos, Ocado, Sainsburys and most recently Mamas & Papas – it was an exciting career, but after my daughters India and Coco arrived I started to think seriously about starting my own business.
India and Coco were the inspiration – I struggled to find great quality children’s clothes for them, underpinned by fantastic customer service, and I knew other mums did too. I decided it was time to put my knowledge of the retail industry to better use, and IndiaCoco was born in May 2012!
Our range is truly special – we’ve hand picked the very best of British childrenswear design talent, offering great quality, stylish clothes for children aged 0-8. Original styling is important to us too – a lot of mums are fed up with superheroes for boys and Disney princesses for girls, so we’ve selected clothes that offer something a little different, with lots of bold colours and quirky prints. My retail experience allows me to work closely with our brands to offer our customer great choice, value and outstanding customer service.
What do you love about working for yourself?
I think juggling is a way of life for any working mum – my last job was Marketing Director for Mamas & Papas, and whilst it was an exciting brand, it was five years of long hours and lots of travelling. When India arrived in July 2011 and Coco started school, I realised that what I really wanted was to fit my career around my family, rather than the other way round – I wanted flexibility and balance. I still work incredibly long hours, but I pick Coco up from school every day and never miss sports day – having more quality time as a family means so much. My husband Lee has been hugely supportive too – we work together as a team, and always try to stay organised and keep our priorities in order!
After spending so many years working for big retailers, it has been so refreshing and inspiring to leave corporate life and explore a better way – one that gives customers what they really want, in a way that is simple, effective and fun! After dreaming about it for so long, the most rewarding aspect is actually doing it, especially with the knowledge that Coco and India will grow up knowing that they inspired me every step of the way.
Is there anything you do not like about working for yourself?
No – but you must learn to be disciplined, as it is very hard to switch off. Weekends are all about catching up with friends and family and spending time together as a family – it’s so important for us. Coco and India are growing up so quickly so we always seem to be taking them to parties, ballet and swimming. They have a very busy social life already
Is there anything you would go back and do differently if you could?
Never look back – always look forward. This is just the beginning for IndiaCoco and every day brings new reasons to feel inspired and excited about our future. To be the brand we want to be, we depend on our partners and our customers to spread the word and help us grow, We are always asking for customer feedback – to tell us what we are doing right, so we can do more of it, and what we could do better, so we can…well, do it better.
What advice would you give to a Mum considering starting her own business?
With every new adventure, there is a time for talking and dreaming and a time for making things happen. You need a clear vision and do your customer research so you can really understand your customers and be very clear on our own brand values and customer proposition. Running your own business is certainly not for the faint hearted so be prepared for the hard work, long hours and huge amount of effort required. You also need bucket loads of passion, drive, focus, determination and you must be resilient! Go for it and Good luck!
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