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How to create a children's fashion brand - with Claire Grant - OriOrso
Episode 1364th November 2022 • Bring Your Product Idea to Life • Vicki Weinberg
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Today I'm speaking with Claire Grant from OriOrso. OriOrso is a colorful unisex baby brand created to make parents lives easier for clever design without compromising on style.

The hero product is the jogger socks, so printed jogging bottoms with non-slip socks attached into the hem to keep socks on all day long. And any of you who have babies or have had babies will know how difficult that can be. So I had a really fascinating conversation with Claire about creating a fashion brand from scratch. I found it really interesting hearing about the steps involved in creating a fashion product, which is quite different from other products in that there were so many unknowns when you get started in terms of fabric, sizing, washing instructions etc.

And Claire talked us through all of that in lots of details. So if you are looking to start a fashion brand, I think this is a must listen episode. Claire also shares some great tips about how she has marketed her brand, and her experiences working with Not On The High Street

Listen in to hear Claire share:

  • An introduction to herself and her business (01:38)
  • What inspired her to create her own product (02:12)
  • How she decided what to create as her first product (03:57)
  • Researching the market and seeing what else was available (06:13)
  • Testing her idea with friends, family and in Facebook groups (10:10)
  • Learning how to create her product including tech packs and garment technologists (12:09)
  • Designing her fabric prints (14:36)
  • Making her designs print ready (16:01)
  • Learning about the safety requirements for baby clothes (17:56)
  • Looking for a manufacturer (19:43)
  • Pivoting to work with a seamstress, and the advantages (24:14)
  • Starting with a small production run (29:59)
  • Scaling later on to use a manufacturer (32:48)
  • Launching her product and selling on Shopify (36:17)
  • Marketing, what has worked for her and what hasn’t (37:04)
  • Considering PR (45:45)
  • The next stage, getting stocked in stores and selling wholesale (48:15)
  • Selling at pop ups (49:56)
  • Her experience with Not On The High Street, and the support that is now available (52:27)
  • His number one piece of advice for other product creators (59:22)

USEFUL RESOURCES:

OriOrso Website

OriOrso Facebook

OriOrso Instagram

OriOrso Pinterest

OriOrso TikTok

Fashion Feed Facebook Group

Not On The High Street

LET’S CONNECT

Join my free Facebook group for product makers and creators

Find me on Instagram

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Transcripts

Vicki Weinberg:

Welcome to the Bring Your Product Ideas to Life podcast, practical

Vicki Weinberg:

advice and inspiration to help you create and sell your own physical products.

Vicki Weinberg:

Here's your host, Vicki Weinberg.

Vicki Weinberg:

Hi.

Vicki Weinberg:

So today I'm speaking with Claire Grant from OriOrso.

Vicki Weinberg:

OriOrso is a colorful unisex baby brand created to make parents

Vicki Weinberg:

lives easier for clever design without compromising on style.

Vicki Weinberg:

The hero product is the jogger socks, so printed jogging bottoms with

Vicki Weinberg:

non-slip socks attached into the hem to keep socks on all day long.

Vicki Weinberg:

And any of you who have babies or have had babies will know

Vicki Weinberg:

how difficult that can be.

Vicki Weinberg:

So I had a really fascinating conversation with Claire.

Vicki Weinberg:

She's the first guest, um, that we've had on today who's created

Vicki Weinberg:

a fashion brand from scratch.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, we have talked about fashion in previous episodes, I found it really

Vicki Weinberg:

interesting hearing about the steps involved in creating a fashion product,

Vicki Weinberg:

which is quite different from other products in that of course there

Vicki Weinberg:

were so many unknowns when you get started in terms of sorts of fabrics

Vicki Weinberg:

and um, putting things together and sizing and all kinds of things.

Vicki Weinberg:

And Claire um, very currently talked us through all of that in loads of details.

Vicki Weinberg:

So if you are looking to start a fashion brand, I think this

Vicki Weinberg:

is a must listen episode.

Vicki Weinberg:

And even if you're not, I really think you will take something away from

Vicki Weinberg:

this because it is super interesting.

Vicki Weinberg:

So I would now love to introduce you to Claire.

Vicki Weinberg:

So, hi Claire.

Vicki Weinberg:

Thank you so much for being here.

Claire Grant:

Hi Vicky.

Claire Grant:

Thank you for having me.

Claire Grant:

I'm very excited to be on the podcast and I'm excited to talk to you.

Vicki Weinberg:

So can you, we please start, if you give an introduction to

Vicki Weinberg:

yourself, your business and what you sell.

Claire Grant:

Yes, I can.

Claire Grant:

So my name's Claire.

Claire Grant:

I'm a mom of one and soon to be two from Edinburgh in Scotland.

Claire Grant:

I started OriOrso as a brand two years ago when I was on maternity

Claire Grant:

leave with my daughter Orianna.

Claire Grant:

Um, so OriOrso sells colorful unisex baby wear, uh, designed

Claire Grant:

to make parents lives easier.

Claire Grant:

And I think our hero product is our jogger socks, which are cozy,

Claire Grant:

comfy, jogging bottoms with non-slip socks attached into the hem.

Claire Grant:

So toddlers can't pull them off, and to save parents time

Claire Grant:

and hassle in their day to day.

Vicki Weinberg:

That's amazing.

Vicki Weinberg:

Thank you.

Vicki Weinberg:

So I've got so many questions.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, where should I start?

Vicki Weinberg:

How about what inspired you to start obvious?

Vicki Weinberg:

So was it linked to becoming a parent?

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, tell me about that.

Claire Grant:

Yeah, I think.

Claire Grant:

Becoming a mom definitely was a trigger point.

Claire Grant:

I've always wanted to start my own business and it's always been

Claire Grant:

something like in the back of my mind.

Claire Grant:

I love hearing about other businesses.

Claire Grant:

Um, becoming a mom was, uh, a point where I had a bit more head space.

Claire Grant:

I think you become so busy as a mom, but you also have a huge

Claire Grant:

amount of time to think whether it's rocking your baby at night or it's

Claire Grant:

going out for walks with the pram.

Claire Grant:

Um, and I was feeling also slightly brain dead , like a lot of think a lot

Claire Grant:

of moms do, where you're, you're just constantly like doing the day to day

Claire Grant:

routine without actually have that feeling that you've got much, um, other purpose.

Claire Grant:

So I started listening to podcasts.

Claire Grant:

I'd always been interested in podcasts, but, um, becoming a mom, like definitely

Claire Grant:

started listening to more and kinda started listening to ones about how

Claire Grant:

other businesses starts and, um, how I could start my own business.

Claire Grant:

And I'd say the other thing I, I used to do is I had this little notebook.

Claire Grant:

That I used to keep beside when I was feeding, and I would just always be

Claire Grant:

making lists of product ideas, um, about stuff that was like happening

Claire Grant:

to me and like things that I thought I could solve with the product.

Claire Grant:

Um, so yeah, I'd definitely say that becoming a mom was a trigger point in

Claire Grant:

starting the business and it, it gave me the time and the space to do so.

Vicki Weinberg:

Amazing.

Vicki Weinberg:

Thank you.

Vicki Weinberg:

And when you were talking, I was thinking, this is so relatable because

Vicki Weinberg:

your story and mine is so similar.

Vicki Weinberg:

I started my first products business when my daughter was six months old for

Vicki Weinberg:

so many of the reasons that you'd said.

Vicki Weinberg:

And it was also looking, listening to podcasts was what got me and

Vicki Weinberg:

thinking, oh, actually I could do that.

Vicki Weinberg:

So it's so interesting.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, so you had lots of product ideas, which, what was your first product?

Vicki Weinberg:

And tell us how that came about.

Claire Grant:

Yeah, so it wasn't actually ASO . Um, I, I started with that long

Claire Grant:

list of ideas of things I could do.

Claire Grant:

Um, the one that I kind of started with, uh, the process of developing a product

Claire Grant:

or brand was, was actually mum boxes.

Claire Grant:

Um, It was around the idea of like a care box for a mom that had a slight

Claire Grant:

point of difference that was like focused on the kind of the fourth

Claire Grant:

trimester and there's lots of lovely brands out there, and I wanted to

Claire Grant:

do something kinda similar to that.

Claire Grant:

Um, but actually after doing the kind of research phase on that, I realized

Claire Grant:

how much I loved developing products.

Claire Grant:

So I should have mentioned at the beginning my, but my background

Claire Grant:

is in product development, but more in the kind of food space.

Claire Grant:

So, um, Mum Boxees was a, a good idea, but there was no development of the product.

Claire Grant:

It would just be like packaging and then selling.

Claire Grant:

Um, so OriOrso, um, came like that, that was a second idea jogger socks

Claire Grant:

was the idea because my daughter was just constantly taking her socks off.

Claire Grant:

I could not feel life of me, keep them on.

Claire Grant:

And I was constantly chasing around the house and she had cold

Claire Grant:

toes all the time, and I thought there had to be a better way.

Claire Grant:

Um, and that's kind of how the idea was formed.

Vicki Weinberg:

That's amazing.

Vicki Weinberg:

Thank you.

Vicki Weinberg:

And isn't it funny how like, it's often it's the thing that's causing you,

Vicki Weinberg:

I don't wanna say stress, but stress or hassle or like the thing that's a

Vicki Weinberg:

problem is actually the thing that often we just manage to solve with products.

Claire Grant:

Exactly, exactly.

Claire Grant:

Yeah.

Claire Grant:

It was just like, surely there must be a better way.

Claire Grant:

Um, and that was kind of the first part of developing the brand was looking

Claire Grant:

at alternatives out there of like, how do other moms keep baby socks on?

Claire Grant:

And there was, there is another product on the market that, that

Claire Grant:

does that, and I, I bought that and she managed to get that off too.

Claire Grant:

And I was like, That's not working.

Claire Grant:

So we need, we need to, to do something else.

Claire Grant:

And that's how it came up with the first, uh, concept idea.

Vicki Weinberg:

So if you don't mind, could you talk us through the

Vicki Weinberg:

process of coming up with the concept to actually developing the products?

Vicki Weinberg:

And I know that's a, that's a big question so we can certainly break

Vicki Weinberg:

it down, but where, how did you get started from, okay, this is an idea to

Vicki Weinberg:

actually having something you could sell.

Claire Grant:

Yeah.

Claire Grant:

Yeah.

Claire Grant:

So it, that is a big question.

Claire Grant:

I had to think about it before, and I've, I've broken it down to, to five

Claire Grant:

phases and I'm definitely still in, in the fifth phase at the moment.

Claire Grant:

Um, so research being the first product development in the manufacturing, building

Claire Grant:

a brand, and then marketing and selling.

Claire Grant:

Um, so I just kind of talk to the first one, which is the research phase.

Claire Grant:

I think, like I mentioned, I had the, um, the, the beauty of having a bit of

Claire Grant:

time on my hands and I was on my phone a lot, so I was able to get really stuck

Claire Grant:

in with the, the market research aspect.

Claire Grant:

And that was, I kinda started, uh, through Facebook groups and, um, Instagram, which

Claire Grant:

are, are great sources of knowledge on, um, what parents are looking for, what

Claire Grant:

products are already on the market.

Claire Grant:

Um, just trying to get like a real understanding of the, the baby and

Claire Grant:

parenting markets and joining as many groups as possible, as well as

Claire Grant:

like, How to start business groups.

Claire Grant:

So, um, joined all of them and you can use a search function in, in Facebook

Claire Grant:

groups and that was amazing at the beginning when I was like really

Claire Grant:

trying to target what my product was, was gonna be filling the need for and

Claire Grant:

seeing if people were looking for that.

Claire Grant:

And certainly I found that many moms were talking about keeping their children's

Claire Grant:

socks on and there was a lot of kind of ideas of how you should do it, and no one

Claire Grant:

really had a, a product that did that.

Claire Grant:

So that was a, a point where I thought, okay, maybe I'm onto something here.

Claire Grant:

Um, also like looking at competitors, similar brands and other products

Claire Grant:

on the market that maybe are not direct competitors, but have like

Claire Grant:

a similar story to you and working at like how they've developed and

Claire Grant:

how they market their product.

Claire Grant:

Um, and then additionally, like really understanding who my target market were.

Claire Grant:

So for me it was, it was parents with a problem who are, who are

Claire Grant:

in that like pain point of like, how do you keep the socks on?

Claire Grant:

And I'm spending so long looking for them every day.

Claire Grant:

I'm constantly losing them.

Claire Grant:

So like they were a big target market as well as people looking for gifts.

Claire Grant:

So I'd say my product is very kinda gift worthy.

Claire Grant:

Cause it might not be something that a parent realizes they need

Claire Grant:

when they have a, have a child.

Claire Grant:

Um, and if, if they're given it as a gift, um, I would hope that

Claire Grant:

it was something that they would say, Wow, that's, that's amazing.

Claire Grant:

Like, I'm gonna use that loads.

Claire Grant:

Um, so they were the two kind of target markets for me where the, the parents with

Claire Grant:

the problem as well as the gifting area.

Claire Grant:

So that was kind of the first phase, like the, the research and like

Claire Grant:

really making sure I understood the market and also the market trends like

Claire Grant:

keywords and buzzwords, um, and kind of creating what I wanted my brand to be.

Claire Grant:

So I wanted it to make parents' lives easier and I really

Claire Grant:

wanted to be fun, colorful.

Claire Grant:

And I spent three years in Australia just before I had my daughter.

Claire Grant:

And they have some really beautiful, colorful, abstract brands that I don't

Claire Grant:

see on the market here, um, whether they're not on the market here and

Claire Grant:

the products are a bit different.

Claire Grant:

And I really wanted to kind of bring some of that colorful

Claire Grant:

inspiration into my product.

Claire Grant:

So that's, um, the other angle as well as the making parent's lives easier.

Vicki Weinberg:

Oh, thank you for that.

Vicki Weinberg:

I was about, I was going to ask about the design, cause obviously how the

Vicki Weinberg:

product works is one thing, but yeah, there is the sort of, how it looks is

Vicki Weinberg:

another because, and I guess they're of, I dunno if they're equal importance,

Vicki Weinberg:

but they're both certainly important when it comes to the ageable product.

Claire Grant:

Definitely.

Claire Grant:

I'd say the color aspect, um, for me, I really wanted, I love color myself.

Claire Grant:

Um, and I feel like it really brings like sunshine into your day.

Claire Grant:

And when you're a parent who's tired and is pouring with rain and you're

Claire Grant:

just stuck at home, like putting colorful clothes on your kids like

Claire Grant:

has such an effect on mood is like, I think they call it dopamine dressing.

Claire Grant:

Like, wear color and you will, you'll bring like sunshine.

Claire Grant:

So that was one of my other focuses as well as the, the

Claire Grant:

functionality of the product.

Vicki Weinberg:

That's brilliant.

Vicki Weinberg:

Thank you.

Vicki Weinberg:

And doing your research.

Vicki Weinberg:

I'm really curious, did you at any point, and maybe you didn't this early

Vicki Weinberg:

on, but did you at any point sort of test out your ideas on people,

Vicki Weinberg:

um, in terms of the actual products?

Vicki Weinberg:

And if, if so, at what stage did you feel comfortable to say, Okay, this is my idea?

Claire Grant:

Yeah, I should have mentioned, I actually did

Claire Grant:

some surveys quite early on.

Claire Grant:

Well, I did two rounds.

Claire Grant:

So firstly it was just kinda looking more at the market, the clothing

Claire Grant:

market as a whole, and like what kind of things people were buying

Claire Grant:

and how much they were spending.

Claire Grant:

And then I, I was a bit more specific in my kind of concept

Claire Grant:

to see whether people liked it.

Claire Grant:

Um, I did the, the surveys.

Claire Grant:

I started with friends and family, and then I put them actually into

Claire Grant:

some of those Facebook groups I've mentioned with lots of parents.

Claire Grant:

So, so many with thousands and thousands of parents.

Claire Grant:

UK and worldwide.

Claire Grant:

And I just said like, If anyone's got five minutes, would you mind filling this in?

Claire Grant:

And I didn't think I'd get a huge response cause I wasn't like offering anything up.

Claire Grant:

But I did, I got a really good response on them and that kind of

Claire Grant:

gave me the confidence in the concept.

Claire Grant:

Um, as well as I kind of turned to my, my home ec sewing classes and, and

Claire Grant:

made and attached some socks into my daughter's trousers, um, just at home

Claire Grant:

and shared that with some friends and they were all like, That's amazing idea.

Claire Grant:

Like you should go for it.

Claire Grant:

Um, so yeah, I did a bit of testing, um, I would say probably

Claire Grant:

in the first three to four months.

Claire Grant:

And then I thought that you just gotta give it a try and then

Claire Grant:

see what happens from there.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah, absolutely.

Vicki Weinberg:

And I think it's really brave as well to share your idea.

Vicki Weinberg:

And the reason I asked is I know that there were, there were different

Vicki Weinberg:

I thoughts out there aren't there about whether you should share your

Vicki Weinberg:

idea, how soon you share your idea.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, personally I think it is a good idea because you don't know if it's

Vicki Weinberg:

a good idea when it's just your idea.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah.

Vicki Weinberg:

So it sounds like what you did was really sensible.

Vicki Weinberg:

And so once you'd, um, you know, you were pretty confident that the concept

Vicki Weinberg:

was going to work, what happened?

Claire Grant:

Yeah, so like I said, I've developed products before, so I was kind

Claire Grant:

of aware of like the stages you had to take, but actually developing a clothing

Claire Grant:

product was, was very different to, to food products I'd developed in the past.

Claire Grant:

But I tried to look at it in like a similar light, and so I realized

Claire Grant:

that it was, it was food product.

Claire Grant:

I'd need to come up with a recipe and for a clothing product.

Claire Grant:

Effectively had to do the same.

Claire Grant:

And I learned that that was called a tech pack, which is effectively

Claire Grant:

step by step of how to make the product and all the ingredients

Claire Grant:

that, um, you would need to make it.

Claire Grant:

So that was kind of my analogy in my head, like, right, okay, I need to

Claire Grant:

create the recipe for this product.

Claire Grant:

Um, and I found that in order to do that I needed a garment technologist,

Claire Grant:

cuz I didn't have the, the experience or the knowledge to be able to do that.

Claire Grant:

Um, so I found the garment technologist online.

Claire Grant:

I think I interviewed maybe four different ones and found one that seemed to

Claire Grant:

really get my product and like the idea.

Claire Grant:

And, um, she created the first tech pack, which is, uh, like the, the dimensions of

Claire Grant:

the product, how it looks and materials and things like where your labels

Claire Grant:

are gonna be, um, things like that.

Claire Grant:

So that was my first step and that felt like quite a big achievement and getting

Claire Grant:

, getting to something that looked like what I was, uh, thinking of in, in reality,

Claire Grant:

it's very far from where I am now.

Claire Grant:

Like it has progressed and, and developed, but that was a starting point.

Claire Grant:

At the same time, I spent a lot of time looking for material manufacturers

Claire Grant:

cuz I wasn't sure how I wanted.

Claire Grant:

Material to be like, how, what material I wanted and how it was gonna look,

Claire Grant:

um, and the kind of material sourcing.

Claire Grant:

So that kind of product development phase was a lot of like discovery

Claire Grant:

and working out, like in the clothing industry, how it works with

Claire Grant:

manufacturers and um, how much they do and how much you need to do yourself.

Claire Grant:

Cuz there's lots of kind of different types of manufacturers.

Claire Grant:

You can do ones that you basically buy everything and give it to them

Claire Grant:

and then they put it together.

Claire Grant:

Or you can work with someone who will develop everything for you

Claire Grant:

and give you a finished product.

Claire Grant:

There's quite a difference, um, in their price and how they work.

Claire Grant:

So that was a whole kind of learning phase again.

Claire Grant:

Um, and it was, it was a, it was a good one, . Um, it probably took me

Claire Grant:

two or three months that I, I was doing that phase whilst also looking

Claire Grant:

for manufacturers and building the brand all at the same time.

Claire Grant:

And I should also mention the print design, uh, which was a big part.

Claire Grant:

So originally I had to plan to, um, get someone in to help me design the prints.

Claire Grant:

I had kind of a bit of an idea of what I wanted them to look like,

Claire Grant:

the abstract, bright colors, but I had no experience in print design.

Claire Grant:

And I, I didn't think of myself as being that creative.

Claire Grant:

Um, but it was actually my sister who has a lot more experience.

Claire Grant:

She's worked in fashion before, and she said, Why don't you just have

Claire Grant:

a go at like, putting some things together, playing with some colors,

Claire Grant:

and then you can go from there.

Claire Grant:

And I love the process, so I, I watched a lot of YouTube videos on

Claire Grant:

how you could create prints yourself.

Claire Grant:

Um, and in the end, all five prints are in my range.

Claire Grant:

I've created myself.

Claire Grant:

Um, so that was quite, uh, a learning process, but I just, I, I found it such

Claire Grant:

like a methodical, um, and creative way of like doing something when you're

Claire Grant:

tired, but you still wanted to, to get to do something with your hands.

Claire Grant:

So like sitting at night.

Claire Grant:

Um, and watching TV and just like creating the prints.

Claire Grant:

Um, and then I found, uh, a print designer online who was able to

Claire Grant:

then kind of digitize them for me.

Claire Grant:

So like, I wasn't sure if I was to go to a print manufacturer, if they would

Claire Grant:

actually be able to print what I'd made.

Claire Grant:

Uh, so I found her and she was able to get them to the right, uh, kind of ratio and

Claire Grant:

file format so that they were print ready

Vicki Weinberg:

thank you.

Vicki Weinberg:

Well, there's, that is a lot . It sounds like you were really busy.

Vicki Weinberg:

I'm, I've got a few questions.

Vicki Weinberg:

My first one is, um, and I'm sorry if this is a really daft question, but,

Vicki Weinberg:

so are the designs printed onto fabric or are they woven into the fabric?

Vicki Weinberg:

And I know that might be a really daft question, but I honestly don't know.

Claire Grant:

No, no, that's a good question.

Claire Grant:

And it's another, that was a whole other learning is like how the

Claire Grant:

actual, uh, fabrics are printed.

Claire Grant:

Cause you've got so many different options.

Claire Grant:

Um, so mine are what's called digital printing, um, the, which is

Claire Grant:

a more modern version of printing and it allows you to do smaller.

Claire Grant:

Uh, quantities.

Claire Grant:

And so it's kind of printed on demand and you can do anything

Claire Grant:

from like a 20 centimeter square right up to meter, the meters.

Claire Grant:

Whereas if you go for a more traditional method, it's, it's very

Claire Grant:

intensive, um, in the actual, uh, procedure, uh, like the process.

Claire Grant:

So you, you need to do a lot bigger runs.

Claire Grant:

Um, and that was not something that I was wanting to do up upfront.

Claire Grant:

So, uh, straight away I'd said for starting out I needed to go digital

Claire Grant:

printing, um, which has some downsides, but I've, I've found a really good

Claire Grant:

printer who I use in Poland to, I went through like lots of different

Claire Grant:

ones to, to test out the, the getting the right color in the right kind

Claire Grant:

of, um, longevity of the prints.

Claire Grant:

And I'm happy with the one I've.

Claire Grant:

That's really good.

Vicki Weinberg:

And so do you have to source the fabric and

Vicki Weinberg:

then send it to get printed?

Vicki Weinberg:

Is that how it works?

Claire Grant:

Um, you can do that and that, that's what I was kinda

Claire Grant:

looking at in that second phase of development that I would be buying my

Claire Grant:

own material and then finding a printer.

Claire Grant:

But what I've, what I've actually got now is, uh, a company that do both.

Claire Grant:

So they, they source all the material and you can choose which one that you want

Claire Grant:

printed and you just provide your designs.

Vicki Weinberg:

Oh, that's fantastic.

Vicki Weinberg:

And like that, yeah.

Vicki Weinberg:

Must make things easier as well.

Claire Grant:

Definitely.

Vicki Weinberg:

And then before we move on, if that's okay, one more

Vicki Weinberg:

question about the tech packs.

Vicki Weinberg:

I'm just, I'm just curious again because I dunno much about the clothing industry.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah.

Vicki Weinberg:

So does the, um, specialist that you work with when it comes to tech

Vicki Weinberg:

pack, are they able to guide you in terms of what materials might work,

Vicki Weinberg:

um, where you'd put washing labels, you know, all those key things.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, is part of their role to help you figure that out?

Vicki Weinberg:

Because I'm guessing that you might have some ideas, but they've

Vicki Weinberg:

obviously got so much more experience.

Vicki Weinberg:

Does that help their role?

Claire Grant:

Um, it, I think it really depends on, on who you go with, but they,

Claire Grant:

I certainly at the beginning was leaning on my tech pack designer to kind of tell

Claire Grant:

me what she knew and like she was the one that kinda guided me on what was needed.

Claire Grant:

Originally I had a draw string at the waist and I quickly learned that

Claire Grant:

there was a lot of safety regulations around that with younger children.

Claire Grant:

And in the end, I've not actually got one on the product cause I didn't think it

Claire Grant:

was needed, but she was able to tell me things like that as well as, like you say,

Claire Grant:

the, the need for the wash care labels and then where your size labels need to be.

Claire Grant:

Um, so yeah, I would say depending on who you get, then they can help you

Claire Grant:

and find all this information out.

Claire Grant:

Equally you, you can find out online.

Claire Grant:

It's just a bit more work.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah.

Vicki Weinberg:

Thank you.

Vicki Weinberg:

So I guess it, I guess then it's quite important to interview as

Vicki Weinberg:

you did, interview a couple of people and find someone who's able

Vicki Weinberg:

to do what you need from them.

Vicki Weinberg:

Cuz I guess everyone will have different, you know, some people I guess will know

Vicki Weinberg:

exactly what they need and just need someone to put the pack together while

Vicki Weinberg:

others might need a bit more insight, I guess is the right word into it.

Claire Grant:

Yeah, exactly.

Claire Grant:

That's right.

Vicki Weinberg:

Thank you.

Vicki Weinberg:

So let's move on to the next, if that's okay, Claire?

Claire Grant:

Yep.

Vicki Weinberg:

So what happened next?

Claire Grant:

Oh, sorry, I thought you were next phase of questions.

Claire Grant:

Uh, so the next phase after product development, uh, would be

Claire Grant:

the manufacturing phase, which is probably the, the most challenging.

Claire Grant:

It's all a bit of an unknown and uh, when you're on your own,

Claire Grant:

it can quite often feeling like you're shouting into a black hole.

Claire Grant:

Um, and it's an area that I was probably more experienced with cuz

Claire Grant:

I've dealt with a lot of manufacturers in, in previous roles where I was

Claire Grant:

taking products that were developed and saying, Can you manufacture this?

Claire Grant:

But I usually had a big brand behind me.

Claire Grant:

I mean, that was really nice and you, and you already had a relationship

Claire Grant:

there, but when you're on your own and you're just cold emailing or cold

Claire Grant:

calling people and and saying, Hey, can you help me manufacture my product?

Claire Grant:

Then it's a lot more difficult to kind of get that conversation started.

Claire Grant:

Uh, so yeah, the manufacturing phase was, was a big one and I spent a lot of time

Claire Grant:

looking for manufacturers and there's so many different places you can find them

Claire Grant:

simply through Google, which has its, um, plus sides and downsides cause you

Claire Grant:

tend to get the big, big ones on there.

Claire Grant:

Um, I found that actually looking through hashtags on LinkedIn and

Claire Grant:

Instagram, Was able to kind of source a lot of manufacturers that way.

Claire Grant:

Uh, some brands post a list of their manufacturers on their website, which can

Claire Grant:

be quite helpful to kinda get some leads.

Claire Grant:

And then of course, back on the Facebook group.

Claire Grant:

So, um, there's one Facebook group I'm part of called the Fashion Feed,

Claire Grant:

which is been an amazing help and a lot of people share manufacturing

Claire Grant:

manufacturers' information on there.

Claire Grant:

So yeah, that was, that was kind of a big learning.

Claire Grant:

I was, at the beginning, I was looking at manufacturers in every country there.

Claire Grant:

It wasn't like it needs to be UK made, it needs, needs to be made here.

Claire Grant:

I was very open to like it being made anywhere.

Claire Grant:

Um, and Poland, Sorry, not Poland.

Claire Grant:

Portugal was mentioned by a lot of people as being a big, um, place

Claire Grant:

for, for kids who are manufacturers.

Claire Grant:

Um, but what I found is, I would get so far was one, and then it, they would

Claire Grant:

stop responding or the MOQs wouldn't work, or there was just something

Claire Grant:

every time, like it was a hurdle.

Claire Grant:

So you kept feeling like you were getting somewhere and then it would be like, Oh.

Claire Grant:

Back to the drawing board, need to find someone else.

Claire Grant:

Um, and I think at that point I realized that I wasn't actually

Claire Grant:

ready for manufacturing.

Claire Grant:

And I, this is something that I'd heard in other podcasts, that to be

Claire Grant:

ready to manufacture, you need to, you need to have samples made, you need

Claire Grant:

to have your tech pack like nailed.

Claire Grant:

And I think at some point I realized actually I've got a tech pack, but

Claire Grant:

I've, I've never had samples made.

Claire Grant:

And I was hoping that I could find a manufacturer that might be able to do

Claire Grant:

that for me or at least assist me with.

Claire Grant:

But I think I was looking for a needle in the haystack at that point.

Claire Grant:

And I thought, Okay, I need to find a different way, um, that's maybe a bit

Claire Grant:

slower and um, maybe a bit more expensive, but it's gonna allow me to test.

Claire Grant:

And that's when I started looking to the seamstress rather than the manufacturer.

Vicki Weinberg:

That really makes sense.

Vicki Weinberg:

And I think finding manufacturers is really, Yeah, it's,

Vicki Weinberg:

it's, it's lots of things.

Vicki Weinberg:

It's hard.

Vicki Weinberg:

It's hard work.

Vicki Weinberg:

It's definitely hard work.

Vicki Weinberg:

I really like what you said about how you use Instagram looking for supplies

Vicki Weinberg:

actually, cuz that's, I guess something that people may not automatically think

Vicki Weinberg:

of is going on LinkedIn or, or going on Instagram or, or anywhere else.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah, I think Google is somewhere people go and obviously they were sourcing sites.

Vicki Weinberg:

I think that's really smart as well to broaden your search because I

Vicki Weinberg:

think you do need to be, in order to find a good manufacturer, you need

Vicki Weinberg:

to be contacting as many as possible.

Vicki Weinberg:

Like you can't just pick up the phone and phone five people

Vicki Weinberg:

and hope for the best can you.

Claire Grant:

It's no, absolutely not.

Claire Grant:

And, and yeah, you do need to kind of be creative.

Claire Grant:

And, and the other one I should have said was TikTok.

Claire Grant:

So a lot of these big factories are actually on TikTok now, which

Claire Grant:

you maybe wouldn't have thought about at the beginning, but like

Claire Grant:

on when, I didn't think about at the beginning of starting my brand.

Claire Grant:

But, um, they're doing marketing just as much as we are marketing.

Claire Grant:

They're wanting more clients, so they're using things like TikTok and

Claire Grant:

Instagram to market their factories.

Vicki Weinberg:

That's really, that's something else that

Vicki Weinberg:

I wouldn't have thought of.

Vicki Weinberg:

I guess things are moving on so, so quickly, aren't they?

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, yeah.

Vicki Weinberg:

I mean, TikTok isn't something that I use, but it makes total sense actually

Vicki Weinberg:

that factories, you know, would be looking as you say, looking for more clients.

Claire Grant:

Yeah, definitely.

Vicki Weinberg:

And so at that's stage, had you decided then you were going to get

Vicki Weinberg:

someone, like you mentioned to seamstress to make up a small batch rather than

Vicki Weinberg:

sort of doing large scale manufacturing?

Claire Grant:

Yeah, that's, at that point I.

Claire Grant:

Stopped and I kind of reassess where I was at.

Claire Grant:

Cause I think I was getting so caught up in the fact that I

Claire Grant:

couldn't find a manufacturer and that it was never gonna work.

Claire Grant:

That I hadn't realized that it was, it was actually cuz I wasn't ready and the

Claire Grant:

product wasn't ready for a manufacturer.

Claire Grant:

So I then set up about looking for a seamstress and I was really lucky.

Claire Grant:

I managed to find a seamstress quite local to me in Edinburgh.

Claire Grant:

So she's just 30 minutes away.

Claire Grant:

Um, and went and, and met with her and she was exactly what I was looking for.

Claire Grant:

So she helped me take the tech, the original tech pack and actually

Claire Grant:

turn it into samples, which is something like looking back, I'm

Claire Grant:

like, how, how had I not done that?

Claire Grant:

How did I think that I could just jump from a tech pack, which is all theoretical

Claire Grant:

measurements, straight to manufacture.

Claire Grant:

And the seamstress was able to actually create the product

Claire Grant:

that was on my tech pack.

Claire Grant:

And you have like, Sizes in the middle of your sizes.

Claire Grant:

So I've got five sizes.

Claire Grant:

We chose the midpoint and she made a sample of that and I was able to

Claire Grant:

test that on my daughter and make tweaks on it, make size tweaks.

Claire Grant:

Um, and we went through a few process, a few different iterations

Claire Grant:

of, of sizes before I was happy.

Claire Grant:

And then, um, I found a pattern grader.

Claire Grant:

So another, uh, person I didn't know I need needed was a pattern grader who takes

Claire Grant:

that one size and makes sure that the sizes up and down from that are accurate.

Claire Grant:

Um, and between the pattern cut, the seamstresses was a bit of a kind of

Claire Grant:

back and forward of getting the, the samples made, making small tweaks

Claire Grant:

on each one, and then the pattern grader would regrade the, the patterns

Claire Grant:

that you use to make the product.

Claire Grant:

So that was a whole process, which I'd.

Claire Grant:

I just didn't realize I needed to do and I'm so glad I did cuz it made sure that

Claire Grant:

we got the, the right fit for the product.

Claire Grant:

Um, and then it, it also was able to happen quite quickly cuz I was local

Claire Grant:

so I could go meet with her and we can make the changes there and then,

Claire Grant:

um, and she was also able to help me create the first actual products.

Claire Grant:

So when you do the sampling, you do it in a a, a material

Claire Grant:

that's not your final, final, um, printed material just due to cost.

Claire Grant:

But then when we were happy with all the sizing, she was

Claire Grant:

then able to make a full range.

Claire Grant:

And that was amazing cause it was like actually seeing your product in real life,

Claire Grant:

not just on, on digitized, on screen.

Claire Grant:

So, yeah, definitely having a seamstress was amazing and I still use her now.

Claire Grant:

So for my, my sweatshirts and my dribble boobs, um, I do

Claire Grant:

them in smaller quantities, so she still makes them for me.

Claire Grant:

And it just allows you to kinda test and learn and make changes rather

Claire Grant:

than going to manufacture where you have a huge number of upfront costs

Claire Grant:

with everything you need to buy.

Claire Grant:

Um, and then the risk that you take on from that.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah, that's amazing.

Vicki Weinberg:

And I think you, first of all, I think you're so right that it makes total sense

Vicki Weinberg:

to do a small batch initially rather than, as you say, order potentially

Vicki Weinberg:

hundreds and then find out that actually that, you know, they're hard to sell.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, but also it makes so much sense what you were saying about working with

Vicki Weinberg:

the seamstress, just to work out the sizes, because that was a question I

Vicki Weinberg:

had that you've, you've answered now, Thank you for that, which was, how on

Vicki Weinberg:

earth do you know, like how big something needs to be to fit a six month fold

Vicki Weinberg:

or a 12 month old or, or whatever.

Vicki Weinberg:

It's.

Vicki Weinberg:

It must be an absolute minefield.

Vicki Weinberg:

So I think that sounds like a really worthwhile price.

Vicki Weinberg:

I guess it must have added time to what you were doing, but it

Vicki Weinberg:

sounds like it was so worthwhile.

Claire Grant:

Yeah, definitely.

Claire Grant:

Um, I, I, yeah, naively thought you could just go straight into

Claire Grant:

manufacturing and the theoretical sides is that the tech pack had would

Claire Grant:

be accurate, but they are, they're so different from, from where I am now.

Claire Grant:

And actually I made quite a few design changes to the original tech pack as well.

Claire Grant:

So like the, the cut of the trouser is different and uh, the waistband

Claire Grant:

width and all these little things that you don't realize when you're just

Claire Grant:

seeing it as a picture on the screen.

Claire Grant:

And then when you actually see the product and you put it on someone, it's

Claire Grant:

like, okay, these things need to change.

Claire Grant:

Um, So, yeah, probably something obvious to many people, I think.

Claire Grant:

But at the time I, I did not realize the importance of it.

Vicki Weinberg:

And to be honest, it's only obvious when, you know,

Vicki Weinberg:

isn't it Like in hindsight it might be obvious, but at the time I, I

Vicki Weinberg:

don't, there's so much that just isn't obvious because we, we just don't know.

Claire Grant:

Yeah, exactly.

Vicki Weinberg:

So never gives yourself a hard time for not knowing things because

Vicki Weinberg:

I think we all end by not knowing things.

Vicki Weinberg:

So did you do, um, a lot of testing with the samples then?

Vicki Weinberg:

Cause that must have been a good opportunity as well to actually

Vicki Weinberg:

get them on babies and check.

Vicki Weinberg:

Didn't pull down or, Yeah,

Claire Grant:

Yeah.

Claire Grant:

No, I did.

Claire Grant:

I did.

Claire Grant:

Uh, so actually giving them to people with, of all different sizes.

Claire Grant:

So it was mainly just based on my daughter at the beginning, purely

Claire Grant:

cuz I had her to hand to try them on.

Claire Grant:

Um, but once I was able to get the full range of sizes, I, I was looking for

Claire Grant:

friends and family who had babies in different age categories to try them out.

Claire Grant:

Um, and also to kind of generate my in first images of the product,

Claire Grant:

like on different children.

Claire Grant:

So, um, yet going, again, going a seamstress enabled that.

Claire Grant:

Cause I think if you go straight to manufacture, then you don't always

Claire Grant:

get all the, the samples up front or at least you have to pay quite

Claire Grant:

a lot of money to get samples done.

Claire Grant:

Whereas the seamstress, it's, it's kind of a different arrangement.

Claire Grant:

So you, you actually have samples.

Claire Grant:

You can get photography done, um, and do your testing as.

Vicki Weinberg:

That's amazing.

Vicki Weinberg:

And I guess that all gives you up ready to start selling.

Claire Grant:

Definitely.

Claire Grant:

Yeah.

Claire Grant:

So it was, it was a different, Originally I'd planned to get the

Claire Grant:

manufacturer and have a big product launch and have all these products

Claire Grant:

to sell and it completely flipped.

Claire Grant:

I completely changed my tact and decided, no, I was gonna do this slowly

Claire Grant:

and I was gonna try and do it, um, in a way that I could learn at each step.

Claire Grant:

And, and that's what the seamstress enabled me to do.

Claire Grant:

So she made my first production run and then that this, the subsequent two

Claire Grant:

production runs after that were through the seamstress and I started, I think it

Claire Grant:

was like maybe 30 units at the beginning.

Claire Grant:

And that was amazing.

Claire Grant:

Like it was actual product they could sell, but it wasn't, I

Claire Grant:

wasn't having to buy so much.

Claire Grant:

I was gonna be sitting on all the stock with only having, I think

Claire Grant:

I had like two or 300 followers on Instagram when I launched.

Claire Grant:

Um, so I, I knew, and, um, I'd heard it again in podcasts that you should never

Claire Grant:

have more stock than your followers.

Claire Grant:

Um, which is a good learning and something that I tried to

Claire Grant:

sit by at the, at the beginning.

Claire Grant:

So, uh, that's how I started and it was allowed me to launch quick, quickly.

Claire Grant:

Another thing with manufacturers is you have quite a long lead

Claire Grant:

time as well as the upfront costs.

Claire Grant:

Uh, whereas with the seamstress, I was able to, to get something that

Claire Grant:

I could actually launch into the market and then get feedback on.

Claire Grant:

And if there was, there wasn't many changes to, to be made.

Claire Grant:

But if there had been, then I, I was able to do that before

Claire Grant:

the next launch of products.

Claire Grant:

So it was very much small scale at the beginning.

Vicki Weinberg:

That really makes sense.

Vicki Weinberg:

And I guess as well, if, and it sounds like you did so much testing, this wasn't

Vicki Weinberg:

going to be the case, but let's say for example, you did find out there was an

Vicki Weinberg:

issue on a certain size or something.

Vicki Weinberg:

I guess it would've been with 10 units maybe rather than hundreds.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, cuz what I mean, What I guess no one wants to do is order a lot of

Vicki Weinberg:

something and then find out that actually there's something that's not quite right

Vicki Weinberg:

because either that stock you can't sell or you get all kinds of issues.

Vicki Weinberg:

But it sounds like because it was a small batch, had anything not been quite right,

Vicki Weinberg:

you would've had the opportunity to change that without it having a massive impact.

Claire Grant:

Yeah.

Vicki Weinberg:

Like financial or otherwise.

Claire Grant:

Yeah.

Claire Grant:

And there, there was actually, you mentioned that on one of the smallest

Claire Grant:

sizes, the waistband, um, elastic skate or the, the width of the

Claire Grant:

waistband meant that it was too tight.

Claire Grant:

And that's something that we were able to pick up, but right on that first batch

Claire Grant:

and I think maybe only three or four, uh, units were affected, and then for the

Claire Grant:

next batch we were able to increase it.

Claire Grant:

And it's just like, right, that's sorted with, with minimal impact to,

Claire Grant:

um, to the range, which was great.

Vicki Weinberg:

That makes so much sense.

Vicki Weinberg:

And before we talk a little bit more about the launch, what I'm also

Vicki Weinberg:

interested in is, I know that you've mentioned that your jogger socks now,

Vicki Weinberg:

um, you've moved from a small batch production to a larger manufacturer.

Vicki Weinberg:

So how, how did that come about and how does that work now,

Vicki Weinberg:

if you don't mind sharing?

Claire Grant:

No, yeah, of course.

Claire Grant:

Uh, so that's been more of a recent thing.

Claire Grant:

So I just had the, the first batch of product delivered

Claire Grant:

last month, so all fairly new.

Claire Grant:

Uh, and that's after I'd done the first three batches with my seamstress.

Claire Grant:

I kind of got to a point was like, right, I need to grow.

Claire Grant:

If I want to grow this, the seamstress is, is great, but there's, there's

Claire Grant:

not mar, there's no margin in it or very little margin in it.

Claire Grant:

Um, when.

Claire Grant:

When your costs are high, um, going to manufacture will reduce

Claire Grant:

your costs as well as being able to get a lot of stock at once.

Claire Grant:

Um, so I, I knew I had to take the step at some point.

Claire Grant:

Um, so I went back to my long, long, long list of manufacturers that I'd

Claire Grant:

reached out, um, in the, the first year and just started contacting them again.

Claire Grant:

And by that point I was a bit more clued up on what I needed and where

Claire Grant:

I was at, and I was very confident.

Claire Grant:

I already had the product developed and I, I knew how, um, I needed to work

Claire Grant:

with the manufacturer to get them made.

Claire Grant:

So I also had the fabric, I should have said.

Claire Grant:

Um, so I, I was relying less on the manufacturer.

Claire Grant:

I was just looking for someone to put them together.

Claire Grant:

And it was actually one of those follow up emails that, that, um, gave the

Claire Grant:

manufacturer that I've end up going with.

Claire Grant:

Uh, they're in, in the uk which again, at the outset, I didn't ever

Claire Grant:

think it was gonna be possible to find a UK manufacturer based on on

Claire Grant:

cost, but I have, and it's amazing.

Claire Grant:

I'm so happy to be making in the UK cuz as well as all the issues with

Claire Grant:

Brexit and shipping and, uh, so many, um, problems that you have with bring

Claire Grant:

in stock into the, into the country.

Claire Grant:

It's, uh, it's an amazing company.

Claire Grant:

They're baby, baby wear specific.

Claire Grant:

Uh, they're owned by women.

Claire Grant:

It's, they do relatively small scale, the small batches.

Claire Grant:

And they were able to like really help me with that transition

Claire Grant:

from seamstress to manufacturers.

Claire Grant:

So they've got so much experience and like, I feel like I've hit a gold, um,

Claire Grant:

gold dust with like actually finding them.

Claire Grant:

So they made it really easy for me to transition and they were able to kind

Claire Grant:

of point me in the right direction for getting more labels made, getting my

Claire Grant:

care labels, made my brand labels, um, and kind of handhold in that process as

Claire Grant:

well as the kind of, I knew they already.

Claire Grant:

Baby wear for lots of brands.

Claire Grant:

So I knew that they were at the, the standard that I needed and they also

Claire Grant:

had the safety measures in place to make sure that the product was, was compliant.

Vicki Weinberg:

That sounds amazing.

Vicki Weinberg:

And what are differences are, it sounds like you were in a completely

Vicki Weinberg:

different space when you contacted them because as you said, you'd

Vicki Weinberg:

done the small batches, you'd done lots of testing, you knew exactly

Vicki Weinberg:

where you were and what you needed.

Vicki Weinberg:

That must have made a difference in how you sort of reached

Vicki Weinberg:

out to, to manufacturers.

Claire Grant:

Definitely.

Claire Grant:

I think I was, I was more ready when they came back and originally they'd said

Claire Grant:

that they were at capacity for the year and they weren't taking any new clients.

Claire Grant:

And I think I was potentially a little bit relieved cuz I, I realized

Claire Grant:

that maybe if they had said yes, can you manufacture next week, then

Claire Grant:

I wouldn't have known what to do.

Claire Grant:

Whereas this time when they said, Yeah, we, we have.

Claire Grant:

Coming up then I was able to say, Right, okay, like, book

Claire Grant:

me in, I'll be ready for it.

Claire Grant:

So yeah, it, it was a definite, um, it was probably like eight or nine months,

Claire Grant:

the time difference of speaking to them.

Claire Grant:

But in that timeframe I learned so much, um, about what was actually required.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah, it sounds like it was definitely time well spent.

Claire Grant:

Yes, definitely.

Claire Grant:

Mm-hmm.

Claire Grant:

. Vicki Weinberg: So, um, so let's talk

Claire Grant:

So I guess we were up to the point at which you were sort of launching your,

Claire Grant:

your products with the smaller batches.

Claire Grant:

Mm.

Claire Grant:

Yeah, so I launched December, 2021.

Claire Grant:

Uh, so 10 months now.

Claire Grant:

It, it definitely feels like a lot longer than that.

Claire Grant:

But, um, that's when the website went live.

Claire Grant:

So I created a, a Shopify site and, um, and, and did a, a product launch that way.

Claire Grant:

Managed to sell through fairly quickly.

Claire Grant:

And then, um, did another, uh, small drop after that and just

Claire Grant:

tried to, it, it became, it was like a change in what I was doing.

Claire Grant:

So you're going from very, like, focused on the manufacturing, the product, and

Claire Grant:

then you get the product and it's like, Right, okay, how do you sell this?

Claire Grant:

Like, how do you market this?

Claire Grant:

And that was an, an area that I don't have a huge amount of

Claire Grant:

experience or I didn't have a huge amount of experience and before I

Claire Grant:

never actually worked in marketing.

Claire Grant:

Um, but I again enjoyed the process of finding out, and there's so many.

Claire Grant:

Podcasts, I can mentioned podcasts the way through this that you can listen

Claire Grant:

to on specific areas of marketing.

Claire Grant:

So I, I tried to like focus in on different things I could be doing and

Claire Grant:

there's so many different ways to market.

Claire Grant:

Um, but that was another, another reason I wanted to go to a manufacturer

Claire Grant:

cuz I felt that although I was, I had some stock, I was constantly

Claire Grant:

becoming outta stock online on not all, but some of the sizes, uh, went

Claire Grant:

really quickly and some of the prints.

Claire Grant:

And I felt like sometimes my marketing was getting a bit lost

Claire Grant:

because you're driving people to your site and then there's no stock.

Claire Grant:

And you're wondering are they not buying because there's, there's

Claire Grant:

not, they've not got the right size or print or are they not buying

Claire Grant:

cause they don't like the product.

Claire Grant:

And that was another point I was like, I think I need to, to go to a manufacturer

Claire Grant:

cuz I need to get more scalability as well as having the, the kind of

Claire Grant:

margin in order to do wholesale and, um, and other marketing activities as

Claire Grant:

well as, um, as the selling aspect.

Claire Grant:

And I would also say the influencers.

Claire Grant:

Uh, so I really wanted to be able to gift influencers, which the big way

Claire Grant:

to grow your business, but when you've only got a certain amount of stock, you

Claire Grant:

don't wanna then be giving it away to influencers and then driving traffic

Claire Grant:

and your, your websites out of stock.

Claire Grant:

So all of those things were, were big reasons for me from moving to

Claire Grant:

the seamstress, to the manufacturer.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah, I can definitely see the challenge there because I guess

Vicki Weinberg:

you're putting so much work in, but then if there's nothing touch yourself,

Vicki Weinberg:

you'd see the return at the end of it.

Vicki Weinberg:

going in circles, I assume.

Claire Grant:

Yeah.

Claire Grant:

Going in circles and never sure why you're not seeing the constant sales.

Claire Grant:

Uh, so I, I realized that I had to take the, the next step at some point to,

Claire Grant:

to go from small scale to, I mean, I wouldn't say I'm large scale now, but

Claire Grant:

I've got a lot more product to, to play with now than I did with the seamstress.

Vicki Weinberg:

And you say, you mentioned, and you're quite right, that

Vicki Weinberg:

there's so many different things you can do in terms of marketing your products.

Vicki Weinberg:

What have been some of the things that have worked for.

Claire Grant:

Um, I'm still learning, to be honest, uh, in that area.

Claire Grant:

And I think there's, there's so many different things and the more you

Claire Grant:

kind of read, the more it does become a little bit overwhelming sometimes.

Claire Grant:

So I'm trying to focus on a few key areas.

Claire Grant:

So Instagram was always where I started.

Claire Grant:

I think for many businesses during covid, Instagram was the place that

Claire Grant:

everyone was, and everyone was shopping and finding new brands, so it felt

Claire Grant:

naturally the right place to start.

Claire Grant:

But I'd say over time I'm maybe spending a bit more time on TikTok

Claire Grant:

and, um, using Pinterest as well.

Claire Grant:

Uh, so they, Pinterest has a bit of a, a longer term strategy behind it,

Claire Grant:

so you don't always see sales straight away, but I, I do see traffic to my

Claire Grant:

website through my Pinterest posts.

Claire Grant:

Um, and TikTok is, Yeah, is . I'm still trying to work that one out.

Claire Grant:

I'm posting and trying to.

Claire Grant:

Get followers.

Claire Grant:

And I, I definitely see, I'm seeing views on my videos, whether that's translating

Claire Grant:

into sales, I would say, I'm not sure at the moment, but what I'm reading and

Claire Grant:

what I'm listening to, um, it, it takes a bit of a, it's a longer term strategy.

Claire Grant:

You don't always see instant results from it.

Claire Grant:

Um, also email marketing, which is a big one.

Claire Grant:

Um, it talked about a lot.

Claire Grant:

What, So getting people onto your, your newsletter.

Claire Grant:

I do monthly email out about product hack, Sorry, not product

Claire Grant:

hack about parenting hacks.

Claire Grant:

So it's not marketing specific, it's more to do with parenting.

Claire Grant:

And I also recommend podcasts in it.

Claire Grant:

So I use that to try and engage with my audience.

Claire Grant:

And, um, I've done some giveaways to try and get more people onto my email list.

Claire Grant:

And again, I'm, it's early days, I think it's working.

Claire Grant:

I have seen a few sales off the back of emails, so that gives me a sign that.

Claire Grant:

It's just kind of being front of mind to people.

Claire Grant:

Cuz I certainly find myself that I might see a product online that I like, but

Claire Grant:

I'm not, I don't need it right now.

Claire Grant:

Or maybe it's a gift, but I don't have anyone to buy for it now.

Claire Grant:

And I used to save things in Instagram, um, and I go back to them,

Claire Grant:

but I am more and more realizing that e marketing also works for me.

Claire Grant:

So, although I used to think, Oh, I don't like getting emails, and they're really

Claire Grant:

annoying, I also realize how often I find myself on a website because I've got an

Claire Grant:

email and that quite often links to sales.

Claire Grant:

So I'm trying to use that thought process and not send so many marketing

Claire Grant:

emails that I'm annoying people, but just like occasional marketing

Claire Grant:

orca or my monthly, um, hack email.

Claire Grant:

Just so that you're front of mind.

Claire Grant:

So when they're, they do have a gift to buy or, um, they're having a problem

Claire Grant:

with keeping their socks on, that you're the brand that they think of first.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah, that makes sense.

Vicki Weinberg:

And I think also that lots of um, lots of sort of expectant moms start looking

Vicki Weinberg:

around for baby products as well.

Vicki Weinberg:

I mean, I certainly did, but you don't necessarily buy it

Vicki Weinberg:

because you don't need it then.

Vicki Weinberg:

But you are very receptive to finding out what products out

Vicki Weinberg:

there and what you might need.

Vicki Weinberg:

But it might be a good, I dunno, anywhere up to a year before that actually

Vicki Weinberg:

is a product that you need to buy.

Vicki Weinberg:

So I guess it makes sense that not everyone who sees your marketing is

Vicki Weinberg:

gonna be in a position to buy right then.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah, absolutely.

Vicki Weinberg:

And also think it makes sense what you say about figuring out what works, because I

Vicki Weinberg:

guess if you've been in business now for 10 months, that it's quite a long time.

Vicki Weinberg:

But it also isn't, I think it takes a while, doesn't it, to figure.

Vicki Weinberg:

What works, what doesn't work, Give things a good go before

Vicki Weinberg:

realizing they don't work for you.

Vicki Weinberg:

I think marketing is just, and it changes so much as well, like how

Vicki Weinberg:

people shop and where they shop.

Claire Grant:

So yeah, it's, it's like, it's a whole art form and I think even

Claire Grant:

within marketing there's just so many different ways, like ways you can do it.

Claire Grant:

Um, and like you said, we've been going for 10 months, but a lot of like,

Claire Grant:

it's only been a a month, just over a month since I've had all the stock.

Claire Grant:

So that's when I've really been able to, I guess, dial up my marketing a bit more.

Claire Grant:

I've been looking at doing some Facebook ads, although I'm still a bit nervous

Claire Grant:

about that cause it just feels like quite a scary thing to embark on.

Claire Grant:

You need to, you need to explore all avenues.

Claire Grant:

Um, and, and just influencers as well.

Claire Grant:

So I had some, some nice recommendations over the weekend,

Claire Grant:

which I hadn't asked for.

Claire Grant:

So on two different influencer sites.

Claire Grant:

Um, one who had close to half a million followers had recommended

Claire Grant:

my product on her stories.

Claire Grant:

And I saw a huge uptake in, um, people on my website and followers.

Claire Grant:

And it was like, Wow, that's amazing.

Claire Grant:

I, I, I probably would've spent, I dunno, 50 to a hundred pounds on

Claire Grant:

Facebook ads maybe to get the same result as just someone organically

Claire Grant:

finding your brand and recommending it.

Claire Grant:

So, um, that, that wasn't marketing that I'd seek out, but it, it definitely,

Vicki Weinberg:

That is amazing.

Vicki Weinberg:

And had you sent those influences products or had they just brought

Vicki Weinberg:

them and decided to share them?

Claire Grant:

No, neither of them had the product.

Claire Grant:

They had just heard about them.

Claire Grant:

Oh, and coming to Autumn Winter when babies are taking their

Claire Grant:

socks off and everyone's worried about their heating bills.

Claire Grant:

Um, it seems like perfect time for my products to be talked

Claire Grant:

about when moms are saying, How do you keep your baby socks on?

Claire Grant:

And I think both influencers have been recommended them somewhere,

Claire Grant:

I dunno, via their stories or or other, and they've posted them.

Claire Grant:

Um, and then subsequently I've reached out to both to say thank you and I, I'm

Claire Grant:

hoping to send them both product to try.

Claire Grant:

So it's, yeah, it's all about kind of building that relationship and

Claire Grant:

then, um, nurturing it from there.

Claire Grant:

Cuz I think as well.

Claire Grant:

Influencers particularly, it's hard to, to get that engagement at the beginning.

Claire Grant:

They get, I'm sure they get so many people reaching out to them and actually

Claire Grant:

having a product that they need and they want and they want to promote for you.

Claire Grant:

Um, it's quite hard to find.

Claire Grant:

So I was, I've felt very lucky this weekend that to have kind of

Claire Grant:

fallen into my lot, which is great.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yep.

Vicki Weinberg:

That's amazing.

Vicki Weinberg:

And especially as you hadn't had to reach out to them.

Vicki Weinberg:

Cause I know lots of businesses do sort of influence outreach or post things

Vicki Weinberg:

out and hope to get features, but the fact that they found you and, and talks

Vicki Weinberg:

about you is just incredible, isn't it?

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah.

Vicki Weinberg:

Great.

Vicki Weinberg:

You mentioned just then the time of year it's coming into autumn and people are

Vicki Weinberg:

worried about heating and saying hold.

Vicki Weinberg:

Do you have any sort of PR or anything of plans around that?

Vicki Weinberg:

Cause that seems like such a, I know, pivotal, pivotal time of year.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, I'm trying, I would say on the pr it's another area that I

Vicki Weinberg:

had no experience in whatsoever.

Vicki Weinberg:

And it, it feels like just, uh, And, and I've said that about marketing too, but it

Vicki Weinberg:

feels like an endless, um, loop you can go into about reaching out to, to potential,

Vicki Weinberg:

um, publishers or, um, journalists who could talk about your story.

Claire Grant:

So yeah, I've been reaching out to them.

Claire Grant:

I've not heard back on any free pr moment at the moment.

Claire Grant:

I'm getting a lot of feedback that yes, we will feature your product, but you

Claire Grant:

have to pay for it, which is good and bad cuz you get is that I would see

Claire Grant:

that more as advertising than, than pr.

Claire Grant:

Um, and I, I'm doing a bit of that.

Claire Grant:

So I've got a feature going out in a magazine next month,

Claire Grant:

so it'd be interesting to see how, how much I get from that.

Claire Grant:

Um, but until you kind of start then it's, yeah, it's a hard one to know

Claire Grant:

what the right publication, not the what the right publications, but like

Claire Grant:

what the right, um, focus is like where you should be, um, putting your money.

Vicki Weinberg:

Definitely.

Vicki Weinberg:

And something I'm else, I'm definitely picking up on as we talking is there's

Vicki Weinberg:

so much, isn't there as a business owner that you just don't know whatever

Vicki Weinberg:

your background is, Um, there's always gonna be something that you don't

Vicki Weinberg:

have experience in that you're just gonna have to figure out as you go.

Claire Grant:

Exactly, yeah.

Claire Grant:

And components.

Claire Grant:

Yeah.

Claire Grant:

And PR definitely seems to be another long term game that um, you pitch now,

Claire Grant:

but it might not be the right time cuz that journalist you pitch to maybe has

Claire Grant:

nothing on their, on their, um, on their range of needing a product like yours.

Claire Grant:

But it doesn't mean to say that they don't need it further down the line.

Claire Grant:

So it's about reaching out and then following up, um, and kind of

Claire Grant:

just, there's an element of luck, but I think it's always just making

Claire Grant:

sure you're front of mind as well.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah, I think you're right and I think a lot of it is

Vicki Weinberg:

just being consistent and same as we were talking about with lots of

Vicki Weinberg:

elements of marketing, isn't it?

Vicki Weinberg:

It's just keeping going and.

Vicki Weinberg:

You know, having faith that it will pay off, but it's not always, you

Vicki Weinberg:

know, you don't always do something this week and see the sales next week.

Vicki Weinberg:

It could be months down the line before you actually see

Vicki Weinberg:

an impact of what you're doing.

Claire Grant:

Exactly.

Claire Grant:

Yeah.

Claire Grant:

So

Vicki Weinberg:

I, I'm, I'll be honest, I've stopped counting.

Vicki Weinberg:

Have we got one more, um, stage that you wanted to talk?

Claire Grant:

Um, hi.

Claire Grant:

I think that's all of them.

Claire Grant:

I think I'm very much in the kinda marketing and selling phase at the moment.

Claire Grant:

And when we've spoken through the different kinds of marketing that

Claire Grant:

I've tried, the, the selling, I guess would be the last one.

Claire Grant:

So, uh, the website has been up until now the main place that I sell my product, but

Claire Grant:

I'm now looking to expand that and to, to have other points of sale, which I think

Claire Grant:

is really important for any business.

Claire Grant:

Cause as much as you can drive website to your traffic, sorry, drive traffic

Claire Grant:

to your website, it's always gonna be easier if someone's already on another

Claire Grant:

website, um, to find your product.

Claire Grant:

So I'm looking to do some wholesale on online retail and also really hopeful to

Claire Grant:

get into some smaller retailers in the UK There's so many amazing gift shops

Claire Grant:

and baby shops, but again, that's a whole new area I'm learning about and it's,

Claire Grant:

Someone said on a podcast recently that in order to get into a retailer, they

Claire Grant:

have to either be expanding or another brand or product has to come off shelf

Claire Grant:

to get your shelf, your product on there.

Claire Grant:

And that was a really kind of big learning for me cuz I felt like with

Claire Grant:

all the retailers I was reaching out to that they just weren't interested

Claire Grant:

or they didn't like product.

Claire Grant:

But I think it comes back to right place, right time, and they need to

Claire Grant:

actually be needing a product like yours.

Claire Grant:

Um, and some retailers I've spoken to said we've, we've still got

Claire Grant:

so much stock from last year cuz we didn't have a good Christmas.

Claire Grant:

So we're not looking to take anyone out now, but it doesn't mean in the future.

Claire Grant:

Like, we can't, um, we can't talk, bring in your brand.

Claire Grant:

So yeah, retail's been one, um, as well.

Claire Grant:

And, and the online retailers, um, through wholesale and then also

Claire Grant:

looking to do some more kind of popups in, in real life events.

Claire Grant:

So I've done two up until now, very different popups.

Claire Grant:

So one being, uh, it was like a kid's messy play festival and

Claire Grant:

it was actually the first time that they'd done the festival.

Claire Grant:

So it was.

Claire Grant:

A bit of an unknown how it was gonna go, but it was, it was really, really

Claire Grant:

good because it allowed me to see how to set up my stand and how I would take

Claire Grant:

payment and how to talk to customers.

Claire Grant:

Um, so that was the first time I'd actually sold to people face to face.

Claire Grant:

Um, and since then I've done another popup in Edinburgh in the city center,

Claire Grant:

which is completely different clientele cause it was mainly like tourists

Claire Grant:

and people out doing their shopping.

Claire Grant:

Um, but both have been great and I've had, um, good sales on both days that like more

Claire Grant:

sales than I would get through my website.

Claire Grant:

So every life that's definitely an area I want to do more of the popups

Claire Grant:

cuz you've got the marketing element as well as the, um, and the sales

Claire Grant:

element on the same at the same time.

Claire Grant:

So yeah, I'd say selling is probably the last bit and um, a real focus now.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah.

Vicki Weinberg:

And it sounds like you've done loads already and I could definitely

Vicki Weinberg:

see what you mean about why, you know, why you develop popups.

Vicki Weinberg:

Cause I think that while everything is increasingly moving online, people still

Vicki Weinberg:

really like to shop in person, don't they?

Vicki Weinberg:

And actually pick things up and touch them and talk to people and Yeah,

Vicki Weinberg:

definitely what we shop online for the convenience, I think particularly if it's

Vicki Weinberg:

kind of more like an impulse purchase.

Vicki Weinberg:

It's, when I say impulse, I mean something you maybe didn't know you needed,

Vicki Weinberg:

I didn't know you were looking for.

Vicki Weinberg:

I think we've all probably had that experience of.

Vicki Weinberg:

Seeing something in, you know, a market or a popup and just thinking,

Vicki Weinberg:

Oh gosh, I actually really need this and I didn't know it existed.

Claire Grant:

Exactly, yeah.

Vicki Weinberg:

And there's something really nice about being able to speak

Vicki Weinberg:

to the person behind business as well.

Claire Grant:

Yeah, definitely.

Claire Grant:

I find that on both events and the first one being, uh, a lot of

Claire Grant:

parents and other brand owners, so other kind of popup stalls.

Claire Grant:

And that was good for me finding out what other popups are right

Claire Grant:

there or where they'd had success.

Claire Grant:

Um, and yeah, just getting used to, to talking to people again.

Claire Grant:

Cause I feel with Covid and also starting a, a brand, it is, it is

Claire Grant:

kind of a very solo process and you're, you're very much just alone

Claire Grant:

with your laptop, um, or your phone.

Claire Grant:

And there isn't always a huge amount of interaction with people.

Claire Grant:

So actually getting out into doing in real life events, um, you definitely

Claire Grant:

get some of that back, which is.

Claire Grant:

It is really good.

Vicki Weinberg:

And you were talking a bit about online, other

Vicki Weinberg:

online marketplaces and mm-hmm.

Vicki Weinberg:

, um, I know that recently you've got on Not On The High Street.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yes right?

Claire Grant:

Yes.

Claire Grant:

Yep.

Vicki Weinberg:

I'd love to talk a bit about that.

Vicki Weinberg:

Cause I think that's huge.

Vicki Weinberg:

I know it's not an easy thing to do.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, so would you mind talking a little bit about that?

Vicki Weinberg:

Maybe if you're, if you're comfortable to just a little bit about the process as

Vicki Weinberg:

well, because, um, I know years ago when I looked into this, it was quite difficult.

Vicki Weinberg:

I'm sure it's not any easier.

Vicki Weinberg:

So it'd be great to know a little bit about what's involves, um, how

Vicki Weinberg:

you found it so far, if that's okay.

Claire Grant:

Yes.

Claire Grant:

Uh, yeah.

Claire Grant:

So that the, Not On The High Street was another one of selling platforms or

Claire Grant:

selling areas I was looking at and I felt like they were a good fit in terms of.

Claire Grant:

They're brands, so things that are not on the high street and they're a bit

Claire Grant:

more innovative and a bit more creative where, but they're not fully handmade.

Claire Grant:

So I'd say someone like Etsy being more of like, you're handmade.

Claire Grant:

I know they're not always handmade, but, um, I thought Not On The High

Claire Grant:

Street was like a better fit for us and it was also a good fit in terms

Claire Grant:

of the, their, their target audience.

Claire Grant:

So people are quite often looking for gifts on there.

Claire Grant:

And I'd say that we're, like I said before, we're, we're a

Claire Grant:

very kinda gift worthy product, so that's why I chose them.

Claire Grant:

My sister also has her own business and she has been on there for

Claire Grant:

a couple of years and had, had really good success with them.

Claire Grant:

So she was the one that said, I think you should apply.

Claire Grant:

Um, and, and that's what it is actually.

Claire Grant:

You, you, you do just apply at the beginning and they review your website and

Claire Grant:

the, they ask you a few questions about your business and they, they came back

Claire Grant:

and said that, that you've been accepted.

Claire Grant:

Um, you've got a.

Claire Grant:

200 pound joining fee, which you pay to kind of create your storefront

Claire Grant:

and to to get your backend system.

Claire Grant:

Um, and then from there it's a bit like creating a website,

Claire Grant:

but not quite as complex.

Claire Grant:

But you have similar fields that you need to fill in.

Claire Grant:

So you need to do your product listings and you need to create

Claire Grant:

your kind of about you page and, um, all your terms and conditions.

Claire Grant:

But I would say that they really hold your hand through the whole process

Claire Grant:

and they, they've got a lot of resource on their website about like how you

Claire Grant:

should, um, optimize your pages and, um, what works and what doesn't.

Claire Grant:

And they also review your pages before.

Claire Grant:

Site goes live.

Claire Grant:

And so they, they came back to me and said that you need to change that image or you,

Claire Grant:

we'd suggest you change this bit of text.

Claire Grant:

So that's really nice, like having that feedback.

Claire Grant:

Um, and they've also got a really good, I think it's called a, a CMR system and

Claire Grant:

they've got that acronym wrong, but it's like they're, they're back in management

Claire Grant:

system so you can go in and manage your stock and manage your lead times.

Claire Grant:

And that's all very new, I believe.

Claire Grant:

Like it's, um, they've changed it in the last couple of years.

Claire Grant:

Um, and they also do some great events and they have like a lot of.

Claire Grant:

Resource that is, is free to anyone who's on their website.

Claire Grant:

So like they've got a two day workshop, uh, this week called Unlock Your Growth,

Claire Grant:

and it's like loads of talks and um, and face to face meetings to, to learn

Claire Grant:

about how to make your website run better, how to sell more products, how

Claire Grant:

to get ready for Christmas, all these kind of things that I think's amazing.

Claire Grant:

So you're, you're paying to be on the site and to sell product,

Claire Grant:

but you're also getting a, a good network of people, um, and a support

Claire Grant:

through, through being on there.

Vicki Weinberg:

It sounds like the support's brilliant actually, and

Vicki Weinberg:

I think this is all, um, for what I can gather anyway, fairly new, um,

Vicki Weinberg:

it sounds like they definitely do are doing a lot to support sellers.

Claire Grant:

Yeah, so as well, they've just had a, a brand refresh as well.

Claire Grant:

Sorry, Vicky interrupted you though.

Claire Grant:

They, they've just completely redone their branding and I think as part

Claire Grant:

of that, they did a, a huge piece of research into their customer and they

Claire Grant:

realized that their customer was slightly different to what they thought it was.

Claire Grant:

And they shared all that marketing research with their storefronts.

Claire Grant:

Um, and that also was really helpful in making, uh, in how you kind of set

Claire Grant:

up your pages to target that audience.

Claire Grant:

Um, so yeah, overall so far it's been a good experience

Claire Grant:

with Not On The High Street.

Vicki Weinberg:

That's really interesting.

Vicki Weinberg:

And as well as paying 200 pounds to get sort of on them and set up.

Vicki Weinberg:

Are there ongoing fees or anything?

Vicki Weinberg:

I hope you don't mind me asking.

Vicki Weinberg:

I'm just trying to get a sense.

Claire Grant:

No, no.

Claire Grant:

Um, yeah, so they take a commission of each sale.

Claire Grant:

Um, it's approximately 25%.

Claire Grant:

Uh, so not as high as if you were going into, uh, A retail store, but it's,

Claire Grant:

it's, it's considerable, um, margin.

Claire Grant:

So you, you do need to have margin in your product be able to, to go on there.

Claire Grant:

Um, but with that, you get the, uh, their pool of, uh, their target audience.

Claire Grant:

They, they also quite often do marketing emails and they'll

Claire Grant:

include new brands in there.

Claire Grant:

So you could think like how much you would spend on putting a kind of add out

Claire Grant:

to the, the number of customers that Not On The High Street has, like you do get

Claire Grant:

wins, um, from, from being on the site.

Vicki Weinberg:

The support does sound brilliant.

Vicki Weinberg:

Cause I guess bottom line is it is in their interests for you to sell well.

Claire Grant:

Definitely.

Claire Grant:

Yeah.

Claire Grant:

And I think it also gives you brand credibility, um, to, cuz naturally

Claire Grant:

if someone hears about your brand or they see it on Instagram, yes they're

Claire Grant:

gonna have a look at your website.

Claire Grant:

But um, I find that also people Google you and if they see that you're on a

Claire Grant:

number of different places, for me in a way then it makes me think of brands more

Claire Grant:

credible cuz they've got lots of points of sale rather than just their website.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah, . And, and particularly Not On The High Street

Vicki Weinberg:

because not everyone can sell there.

Vicki Weinberg:

Whether it's lots of platforms like Amazon and Etsy, pretty much any business can

Vicki Weinberg:

get set up there in a couple of days and start selling, but Not On The High Street.

Vicki Weinberg:

Doesn't accept every everyone who applies.

Vicki Weinberg:

So I think that's quite nice as well because it's almost saying, Okay,

Vicki Weinberg:

somebody else has vetted this company and the products and they've decided.

Vicki Weinberg:

it's worthy of a place on here.

Vicki Weinberg:

So I think there was a little bit of prestige about being on those.

Vicki Weinberg:

You might not wanna say that , but I think there is because not, I mean,

Vicki Weinberg:

when I had my baby brand years go, I remember I applied to get on the

Vicki Weinberg:

highest street and didn't get on there and they gave us lovely feedback.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, but I know it's not a case of anyone who wants an

Vicki Weinberg:

account, it's going to get one.

Vicki Weinberg:

They are particular about who they choose, which I think is, is really

Vicki Weinberg:

good for the sellers to end up on there.

Claire Grant:

Yeah, definitely.

Claire Grant:

No, that, that, I I didn't realize it was as hard as, as that maybe because

Claire Grant:

it was accepted quite quickly, but, um, it's, yeah, so far it's been good.

Claire Grant:

We've been, I've been on there for a month.

Claire Grant:

Um, so yeah, we'll see how it goes, uh, coming up to Christmas.

Vicki Weinberg:

Well, thank you.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah.

Vicki Weinberg:

And I'm willing to keep me posted how you, how you do.

Vicki Weinberg:

I think it's probably a great, um, place to be in the lead up for Christmas.

Vicki Weinberg:

Cause I imagine lots of people be going there for their gifts.

Claire Grant:

Definitely.

Vicki Weinberg:

So I've got one more question before we finish Claire.

Vicki Weinberg:

Cause I'm gonna be really mindful of your time.

Vicki Weinberg:

You shared so much with us.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, you said this might be a tricky question, but what would

Vicki Weinberg:

your number one piece of advice be for other product creators?

Vicki Weinberg:

If I can hold you to one.

Claire Grant:

.Um, I think it would be, don't be afraid

Claire Grant:

to try everything yourself.

Claire Grant:

Um, I, from the outset was very set that I wanted to do every step

Claire Grant:

along the way and learn about what it took to actually create a brand.

Claire Grant:

And I think there's some amazing experts out there.

Claire Grant:

And certainly in time I might outsource more of what I do, but I've learned a

Claire Grant:

huge amount from actually having to do the marketing, the sales, the branding.

Claire Grant:

Um, I've done every step along the way and I think that has

Claire Grant:

definitely, um, held me in.

Claire Grant:

Good stead and allowed me to make sure the brands exactly as I want it.

Claire Grant:

I think sometimes when you use experts too soon, um, or you're out.

Claire Grant:

Things like your branding, then it is very expensive.

Claire Grant:

So it's, it's an upfront cost, but it's not always authentic

Claire Grant:

to what you wanted it to be.

Claire Grant:

Um, and so yeah, that would be my thing is don't be afraid to, to try everything

Claire Grant:

yourself might take a bit longer, but I think it definitely pays off in the end.

Vicki Weinberg:

That makes sense.

Vicki Weinberg:

Thank you.

Vicki Weinberg:

And I think as well, because I'll be honest, I'm, I am personally a fan of

Vicki Weinberg:

outsourcing, but I'm also with you that it's good to start everything yourself.

Vicki Weinberg:

Cause then when you do outsource, you know exactly what you need

Vicki Weinberg:

and what you're looking for.

Claire Grant:

Exactly.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, cause I think every part of my business that I've

Vicki Weinberg:

outsourced, I previously did do myself.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, because yeah, I think otherwise you're in a position where you

Vicki Weinberg:

don't, you don't really know what it is that you are exactly.

Vicki Weinberg:

Need someone else to do.

Vicki Weinberg:

It's much better if you've sort of given it a go.

Vicki Weinberg:

And then yeah, you, you're much clearer on what it is you you're looking for.

Vicki Weinberg:

So it's, so that makes total sense.

Claire Grant:

I think sometimes for some things I've, I've started doing

Claire Grant:

myself and realized that, umm, I'm useless at it and I will outsource

Claire Grant:

at some point when I, when I can.

Claire Grant:

But I wouldn't have known that if I hadn't actually given a try.

Vicki Weinberg:

And I think the other side of that is you also

Vicki Weinberg:

don't know what you're going to be good at until you try it yourself.

Claire Grant:

Exactly.

Claire Grant:

Like my print designs at right the back of the beginning.

Claire Grant:

So I had never intended to create all the, the prints for my jogger socks.

Claire Grant:

But, um, here we are with, with that two years on and I don't know whether

Claire Grant:

I'll do the future ones either cuz um, it probably did take me a lot longer

Claire Grant:

to do them than it would've done if I'd gone to a print expert straight away.

Claire Grant:

But again, I've understood the process and I think it would allow me to

Claire Grant:

work a lot better with someone in the future to, to create them on my behalf.

Vicki Weinberg:

Absolutely.

Vicki Weinberg:

Well thank you so much for that cla for everything that you shared.

Claire Grant:

Thank you very much for having me.

Claire Grant:

It was lovely to be on my first podcast after being such a fan of

Claire Grant:

podcasts for, for so many years.

Vicki Weinberg:

Oh, you're so welcome.

Vicki Weinberg:

Thank you so much for listening right to the end of this episode.

Vicki Weinberg:

Do remember that you can get the full back catalog and lots of free resources

Vicki Weinberg:

on my website, vicky weinberg.com.

Vicki Weinberg:

Please do remember to rate and review this episode if you've enjoyed it,

Vicki Weinberg:

and also share it with a friend who you think might find it useful.