We asked Isobel Ridley, founder of womenswear brand Lavender Hill Clothing 10 questions about her business.
Tell us about your brand in two sentences?
Beautiful basics for every woman’s wardrobe. Made in the UK out of the softest and most sustainable fabrics available.
Where do you sell your products?
We sell directly through our website and attend consumer shows around the UK.
What inspired you to start a fashion business?
I saw a gap in the market for good quality flattering basics at accessible prices.
What was your background before starting your business?
Before founding LHC I worked at Burberry, I worked in their sourcing, ecommerce and corporate merchandising departments.
What’s the most rewarding aspect of running a business?
The most rewarding aspect of running this business is when a customer calls up or leaves a review on our website saying how much they love the product. It’s always a reminder of why I started the business
What is the most difficult aspect of running a business?
For me, the most difficult aspect of the business is aligning all the different areas, when you are small you tend to do a lot of different roles, so you might be talking to a customer one minute and then making projections for the year ahead next.
What question do you get asked the most?
Friends and work acquaintances frequently ask - What does a work day look like? – I find that a lot of people are interested in how I structure my working day and finding out what motivates me.
Customers tend to ask me what size should they buy even when on the telephone…
How many hours a week do your work?
This really varies with what is going on. If I am attending consumer shows, it tends to be 7 days week with very long hours. But during quieter times I normally work between 9-6. However saying that when you run an online consumer business you always have to be connected whether it is posting on social media or talking to customers around the world on instant messenger.
How do you relax away from work?
I love being outdoors so I tend to walk my dogs and cook up a feast in the kitchen when I’m not working!
What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned?
On a personal front: Look after yourself, your health and wellbeing is the most important thing. I slipped two discs in my back and kept breaking my feet last year, it was my body telling me to slow down.
On the business front: Cash is king – always keep and eye on your cashflow.