Michelle from Keungzai is on the blog this morning to tell you about her business; she is also offering you 10% discount and free standard UK post & packaging if you quote ‘MummyLoves’ at the checkout – Code is valid until 20th July 2012 🙂
Who are you?
My name’s Michelle! Hi 🙂
What do you do?
I run my own online maternity boutique, www.keungzai.com, which also stocks my own label brand Keungzai. As a start-up business, I do pretty much the bulk of the work from designing, to branding, to blogging, buying, merchandising, book-keeping, marketing..! The own label brand Keungzai is a new label designed to be worn by fashion-forward women, moms and moms-to-be. It accommodates for bumps as well as no bumps, versatile, chic and contemporary.
When did you establish your business?
I established the business last year (2011). It launched online in March 2012.
What made you start your own business?
When I was pregnant with my little boy, I felt very frustrated by the lack of choice and stylish maternity clothes. I didn’t want to sacrifice my style aesthetic for a more frilly/flowery look – there was little clothing on the market serving the more contemporary, fashion-forward customer who appreciates quality and luxury at affordable prices. I was inspired to use my own creative and buying skills for my own label.
What do you love about working for yourself?
I have creative freedom and set my own brand values rather than adhering to someone else’s brand values. This is my own creation and my passion – that’s what drives me and my ambition. Being able to work whatever hours I want to work around my family.
Is there anything you do not like about working for yourself?
Working in a small start-up is a hard slog and certainly not an easy task. Doing all the tasks from marketing to buying to graphic design to designing is appealing but also a negative as it stretches and stretches your time! However, it does mean that all your own hard work is rewarded when people compliment and purchase their favourite items. Flexible hours mean working into the night to accommodate my family!
Is there anything you would go back and do differently if you could?
I would have kept the offering more limited on the website. I gave myself a lot of extra work by being slightly over-ambitious in stocking both brands and own-branded stock. I absolutely ADORE the brands I have available on the site and they really compliment the offering to our customer, but in hindsight, I would have loved more time and efforts into defining my own brand. I am holding back on branded stock going forward to develop my own branded collection as there is quite a high demand from the press and public.
What advice would you give to a Mum considering starting her own business?
Research, research, research. Let family and friends help you. Gain expertise and advice from as many people as possible pre-start. Get in touch with a trusted business mentor ASAP.