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Getting ready to launch your first product - with Louise Almond
Episode 8712th November 2021 • Bring Your Product Ideas to Life • Vicki Weinberg
00:00:00 00:44:58

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Louise Almond is the founder of Amelia Anne Ltd, a brand designing fashionable, discreet and comfortable breastfeeding wear so that you can feed with confidence in any situation.

Amelia Anne is currently in pre-launch, with Louise planning to release her first collection of 3 items in 2022. 

EPISODE NOTES

**Please remember to rate and review the podcast - it really helps others to find it.**

Today on the podcast I'm talking to Louise Almond, who is in the prelaunch stage of launching her brand Amelia Anne, fashionable, discreet, and comfortable breastfeeding wear so that you can feed with confidence in any situation.

Louise is a mother of two and a full-time teacher of Design and Technology who previously worked in the fashion industry. Louise developed her innovative products from a need she had herself, to be able to breastfeed in public and not bear more than she wanted, keep her tummy and back warm in winter, and not cover up her child while she fed.

I thought it would be really interesting to talk to someone at the beginning of their journey, to learn about the design process, the research that has gone into developing her clothes, and the challenges Louise has faced along the way. Louise is really honest about the fact it has taken a long time to get to the point of pre-launch, and I think you’re really going to enjoy this conversation.

Listen in to hear Louise share:

  • An introduction to herself and her new business (01:52)
  • Dealing with worries about what competitors are doing (10:44)
  • Researching her product and getting feedback (13:50)
  • Her launch timeline (14:43)
  • The steps from having the idea to getting garments made and ready to sell (18:30)
  • How the garments are made (25:29)
  • Adapting to different body shapes and sizes (29:55)
  • The remaining tasks on the to-do list before launch (33:06)
  • Building up pre-awareness (34:23)
  • Unexpected challenges of setting up your own products business  (37:11)
  • Her number one piece of advice for other product creators (42:03)

USEFUL RESOURCES:

Amelia Anne 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 have a really interesting conversation for you.

Vicki Weinberg:

We have Louise Almond from Amelia Anne.

Vicki Weinberg:

So Louise hasn't actually launched her products yet.

Vicki Weinberg:

And I thought it was a really good opportunity to speak to someone who

Vicki Weinberg:

is still in the midst of creating and getting ready for launch.

Vicki Weinberg:

I thought it was a really good opportunity to talk to somebody who's right at

Vicki Weinberg:

the beginning, like literally, you know, right at the very start of it.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, I'm also hoping that the Louise's story will really inspire you.

Vicki Weinberg:

If you have your own idea for product you want to create, and perhaps it's been on

Vicki Weinberg:

the back burner for a while, perhaps it's taken longer than you thought it would, or

Vicki Weinberg:

perhaps you haven't even gotten started.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, Louise is really honest about the fact that.

Vicki Weinberg:

You know, it's taken her a long time to get to the point she is now.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, although, you know, I'm a fan of research and I have to say, I

Vicki Weinberg:

love the amount of research she did.

Vicki Weinberg:

She's going to talk to you all about what she's done so far.

Vicki Weinberg:

And Louise creates breastfeeding wear to provide mothers, to be this confidence, to

Vicki Weinberg:

be able to feed in any situation at all.

Vicki Weinberg:

So her products are really innovative, they're new she's designed them herself.

Vicki Weinberg:

And she's going to talk to you about the design process and everything.

Vicki Weinberg:

We went into that, all the research she did, and, um, hopefully not long

Vicki Weinberg:

after this episode goes live, her products will be available, um, to

Vicki Weinberg:

buy as well, which is super exciting.

Vicki Weinberg:

I think you're going to really enjoy this conversation with Louise about I'm

Vicki Weinberg:

so excited to introduce you all to her.

Vicki Weinberg:

So hi Louise.

Vicki Weinberg:

Thank you so much for being here.

Louise Almond:

Thank you, Vicky.

Louise Almond:

Very happy to be here.

Vicki Weinberg:

I'm really excited to talk to you.

Vicki Weinberg:

So if you could please start by giving us an introduction to you, to your

Vicki Weinberg:

business and in the products that you're just in the process of launching.

Louise Almond:

Okay.

Louise Almond:

Um, so my brand name is Amelia Anne and it's taken from my daughter and, um,

Louise Almond:

I'm a full time teacher currently at the moment, I'm teaching design technology

Louise Almond:

with a fashion industry background.

Louise Almond:

And when I had my first child Amelia, um, I was all fingers and thumbs

Louise Almond:

and didn't know what to expect.

Louise Almond:

With my breastfeeding journey, actually more of that.

Louise Almond:

Um, and that's what inspired my brand idea, which was to come

Louise Almond:

up with, um, clothing that one.

Louise Almond:

I didn't feel like I was, um, all in a tizz of how to feed, um, I'm

Louise Almond:

used to being around my family.

Louise Almond:

I don't live locally to my family.

Louise Almond:

I'm kind of the one that got away, came to London.

Louise Almond:

And, um, so when they came to visit me, um, I would literally sit on the sofa

Louise Almond:

in a, just a loose dressing gown and just feed, um, uh, Amelia on demand.

Louise Almond:

And, uh, I think it made a few of my family members a bit bashful around that,

Louise Almond:

being the youngest daughter as well.

Louise Almond:

And, um, the second to have a baby within the family.

Louise Almond:

And I just wanted something that I liked getting out about and going on walks.

Louise Almond:

So I really wanted to be comfortable and I found I wasn't comfortable and people

Louise Almond:

would stare and then, um, make comments about covering up and things like that.

Louise Almond:

And I wasn't fully exposed.

Louise Almond:

So it means I would never just be, you know, walk around bare breasted in public,

Louise Almond:

but it was just the moments I was caught out like my daughter as well, and being

Louise Almond:

a new mum she used to really scream, um, when she was hungry and it's so loud.

Louise Almond:

And I think being a new mum, I've just like, oh my goodness.

Louise Almond:

And I felt like I can't walk the 15 minutes to get home and have her wait.

Louise Almond:

Like I just had to respond there.

Louise Almond:

And then, and that would be in the middle of the park or wherever I was.

Louise Almond:

And so, um, yeah, I really wanted to create something

Louise Almond:

that I was comfortable with.

Louise Almond:

I found a lot of, um, clothes that I had, uh, were maternity.

Louise Almond:

Um, so there were dual maternity nursing, but I also lost weight

Louise Almond:

really quickly after having Amelia.

Louise Almond:

And, um, so nothing actually fitted me and I'm quite a petite frame as it is.

Louise Almond:

And so everything just swamped me.

Louise Almond:

And I just felt, um, when I was feeding her in my dual nursing maternity,

Louise Almond:

where you kind of had to lift up the flap, um, and I found like her face was

Louise Almond:

completely covered with all the material.

Louise Almond:

So I couldn't see her.

Louise Almond:

And I really struggled with.

Louise Almond:

Um, perfect latch and, um, became very sore.

Louise Almond:

Um, I'm really kind of struggled through that and would persevere with a bad latch

Louise Almond:

and because it out of fear of not getting it right again, second time and, and

Louise Almond:

having this screaming baby, and, and just this kind of sense of panic, I suppose.

Louise Almond:

And so, um, I really wanted to get over that hurdle and have something

Louise Almond:

more comfortable and I was toying with ideas and using my fashion background.

Louise Almond:

And then, um, I had my second child, um, literally 17 months later, um,

Louise Almond:

to they're quite close in age group.

Louise Almond:

Um, and it was from there that I was able to start, um, pattern

Louise Almond:

cutting and produce ideas.

Louise Almond:

So yeah, it came from the need of having something that fitted my body

Louise Almond:

type, um, and, um, being in a situation where I felt more comfortable and

Louise Almond:

confident, but also that I can just.

Louise Almond:

Tend to my children's needs and I wanted to carry on the breastfeeding journey.

Louise Almond:

Um, and yeah, and just really nurture them the best way possible.

Louise Almond:

Um, so yeah, so it was just kind of, it kind of was born from

Louise Almond:

there and then just thinking about ideas and how to go about that.

Louise Almond:

Um, so I spent a lot of evenings just sketching, um, and obviously always

Louise Almond:

when I was on maternity leave, I was able to kind of collaborate with some

Louise Almond:

friends and talk to people about it.

Louise Almond:

And I.

Louise Almond:

Um, I used to take them to baby sensory classes and things like that

Louise Almond:

since speak to other mothers and, and find out like they're there.

Louise Almond:

Stories and how they find things and just found that there was a real strength in

Louise Almond:

that people wanted, um, better options.

Louise Almond:

Um, they didn't want to wear the horizontal stripes anymore, that all

Louise Almond:

the maternity clothes seems to be, um, have, uh, and they weren't, they

Louise Almond:

were looking for something different and that was more flattering.

Louise Almond:

People had different ideas or different, lots of different experiences as

Louise Almond:

well around, um, breastfeeding in public and some very positive.

Louise Almond:

It was not all negative.

Louise Almond:

Um, which was great.

Louise Almond:

And there's, there's much more positivity around breastfeeding in public now,

Louise Almond:

and a lot more awareness to it.

Louise Almond:

So, yeah, I really wanted to cater for that kind of time.

Louise Almond:

And I wanted to feed my children for as long as I possibly could and read a lot

Louise Almond:

of research into the benefits of that.

Louise Almond:

And so for me to be able to do that, my maternity clothes were not going

Louise Almond:

to survive me another season or a year down the line, or even two years later.

Louise Almond:

Cause I knew my, my, um, my body type changed so much as well.

Louise Almond:

So yeah, it was really come from that or what.

Louise Almond:

That I personally need.

Louise Almond:

And then from that and talking to other people, um, I realize that actually

Louise Almond:

it's this a bigger, um, kind of market.

Louise Almond:

Um, and I've always loved the idea of eventually having my own business and

Louise Almond:

being able to change the time where they're working in education is great.

Louise Almond:

Um, it's not the nine, nine to three that people think it is.

Louise Almond:

And so I wanted to really yeah, I would love to be able to do the

Louise Almond:

school drop offs, my own children.

Louise Almond:

Um, but I can't at the current moment, um, because of my, my job.

Louise Almond:

Um, I, I need to be in school before the children arrive.

Louise Almond:

Uh, so, um, I'd love to kind of be around for my children more around

Louise Almond:

their schooling, but also have that creative outlet that I love so much.

Louise Almond:

Um, as part of my job that kind of continue it into my own business.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah.

Vicki Weinberg:

Thank you.

Vicki Weinberg:

Thank you.

Vicki Weinberg:

Thank you.

Vicki Weinberg:

Thank you for all of that.

Vicki Weinberg:

And how old are your girls now?

Vicki Weinberg:

If you don't mind me asking.

Louise Almond:

That's okay.

Louise Almond:

Um, so Amelia is now five and Sam is just turned four.

Louise Almond:

So it's been a real slow burner, um, in trying to get something off the ground.

Louise Almond:

Part of that just due to my own time commitments around, um, having a

Louise Almond:

full-on family, um, and full time job and trying to do this around that.

Vicki Weinberg:

Of course.

Vicki Weinberg:

I mean, yeah, the main, I think a full-time job.

Vicki Weinberg:

And having children, they're both kind of full-time thing as it is, and then

Vicki Weinberg:

trying to do like something else on top.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah.

Vicki Weinberg:

You know, do not give yourself a hard time at all for how long it's taken.

Vicki Weinberg:

Cause I think that, um, things do take time and of course

Vicki Weinberg:

it's never going to the moment.

Vicki Weinberg:

It can't be the, you know, the priority because you have so many other priorities.

Vicki Weinberg:

And I can really resonate with so much of what you said as well.

Vicki Weinberg:

Cause I had very similar experiences with feeding clothes, um, because I

Vicki Weinberg:

too was quite small and uh, but my maternity clothes one didn't really

Vicki Weinberg:

fit me after having my children, but also I just was sick of wearing them.

Vicki Weinberg:

I felt like, you know, I didn't want to spend a lot of money when I was pregnant.

Vicki Weinberg:

So I, I had these maternity clothes, that I felt like I wore the same

Vicki Weinberg:

things over and over and over and after having them, you know, say.

Vicki Weinberg:

You know, my old wardrobe wasn't quite right.

Vicki Weinberg:

It's, you know, for things like feeding, but then I didn't want

Vicki Weinberg:

to be buying clothes for feeding so I can definitely resonate.

Vicki Weinberg:

And I mean, luckily my feeding journey was, you know, I never had comments about

Vicki Weinberg:

feeding in public or anything like that.

Vicki Weinberg:

And I think it's really so unfortunate that you did.

Vicki Weinberg:

And I think as you say that, I think hopefully that is getting better for

Vicki Weinberg:

people, but regardless of what other people think you need to feel comfortable,

Vicki Weinberg:

don't you, that's the main thing.

Vicki Weinberg:

So.

Vicki Weinberg:

You know, you, even if you're somewhere where you feel, you know, and people

Vicki Weinberg:

aren't looking at you, you still need to feel that, you know what I'm trying

Vicki Weinberg:

to say, even if you're feeling in your own home, you need to feel comfortable.

Vicki Weinberg:

And whether that's comfortable with your body, you're comfortable, you know,

Vicki Weinberg:

because you haven't got your top lifted up and your back's getting cold or whatever.

Louise Almond:

Absolutely.

Louise Almond:

Yeah know, my dad's lovely bless him and he was very supportive, but I

Louise Almond:

could see, he would blush you know, that's sitting in my own front room.

Louise Almond:

Um, but it's just, you know, you can't just keep going the hiding off in your own

Louise Almond:

house into a bedroom to go to each child.

Louise Almond:

I just felt like I want to be part of this family and be together and not miss out

Louise Almond:

on a conversation or a topic, um, to just, you know, spending those 40 minutes and.

Louise Almond:

Yeah.

Louise Almond:

Every however often, um, throughout the day, I just felt like I, I, you know, I, I

Louise Almond:

wanted it to be able to be in the moment.

Louise Almond:

And enjoy that, uh, with, with both my children and yeah, the feedback I

Louise Almond:

get now, when I speak to breastfeeding moms, particularly there's much more

Louise Almond:

awareness and campaigning towards it.

Louise Almond:

Um, and there are a lot more brands out there available.

Louise Almond:

Um, and at first that used to give me the fear of death and kind of give me

Louise Almond:

the heart palpitations when I'm at work.

Louise Almond:

And someone would send me a link of, oh, this has just come out.

Louise Almond:

And I'd be like oh no but then they will, they've got all something different to

Louise Almond:

offer and what I'm hoping mine, my range, um, will offer it is also the you can wear

Louise Almond:

them, even if you're not breastfeeding.

Louise Almond:

So I'm hoping that you know, that even if you finished your journey,

Louise Almond:

that people will still use them and still enjoy wearing them.

Louise Almond:

I won't have that kind of feeling that about the maternity clothes that you just

Louise Almond:

want them gone don't want them anymore.

Vicki Weinberg:

And I think it doesn't really matter how many maternity brands.

Vicki Weinberg:

You know, there are, because if you think about clothing brands in general

Vicki Weinberg:

and how many there are, it's not like everyone's shops in Next or whatever.

Vicki Weinberg:

You know, people shop in a whole spectrum of shops.

Vicki Weinberg:

Like one individual probably shops in lots different shops.

Vicki Weinberg:

And then we think of all the what I'm trying to say is that

Vicki Weinberg:

they were going to be clothes.

Vicki Weinberg:

Your clothes are going to suit some people and not others.

Vicki Weinberg:

And I think that, you know, I think that sort of thing, you probably can't

Vicki Weinberg:

have too many cause people like options, especially when it comes to clothes.

Vicki Weinberg:

Cause everyone's personal style is different and their body's different.

Vicki Weinberg:

What they're looking for is different.

Vicki Weinberg:

So yeah, I definitely agree.

Vicki Weinberg:

That's nothing to worry about.

Louise Almond:

I've had to learn, which is good.

Louise Almond:

I feel much more settled with that now.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah.

Vicki Weinberg:

I think as long as you know, what your clothes, who your clothes are for

Vicki Weinberg:

and what they're about and what your USP is, I think that's all you need.

Vicki Weinberg:

And then the right customers.

Vicki Weinberg:

You know, will come, will come to you.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, yeah.

Vicki Weinberg:

And then, so I'd love to talk a bit more about what you've done, but

Vicki Weinberg:

before we, before we do, I have to just say, when you were talking about

Vicki Weinberg:

sort of hiding away when feeding, I suddenly have flashbacks with my first

Vicki Weinberg:

child, that's exactly what I did.

Vicki Weinberg:

I felt so uncomfortable that we'd have guests round to see the baby and they

Vicki Weinberg:

wouldn't see me or the baby because we'd be upstairs feeding for an hour.

Vicki Weinberg:

And, um, yeah, I didn't do that with my second child with my first

Vicki Weinberg:

I did so I can definitely resonate.

Vicki Weinberg:

I don't even know why in hindsight, it's not even that long ago, but it

Vicki Weinberg:

seems like a long time ago and I'm, I'm not sure why I did that, but clearly,

Vicki Weinberg:

you know, something wasn't working.

Vicki Weinberg:

Cause I definitely didn't feel comfortable even on my own sofa.

Vicki Weinberg:

If anyone other than, my husband happens to be in the house.

Louise Almond:

Um, it is such a hard one.

Louise Almond:

To get your head round, isn't it as well.

Louise Almond:

Um, but there'll be moments when I think I did.

Louise Almond:

I think we had lots of family and they were diff, uh, that was my

Louise Almond:

more, my other side, my family.

Louise Almond:

And I think I just took myself up.

Louise Almond:

I fell asleep.

Louise Almond:

So that was it.

Louise Almond:

I was gone for the rest of the afternoon I missed miss seeing everybody.

Louise Almond:

Cause we, we just fell asleep, lying on the bed breastfeed.

Louise Almond:

And of course my husband was too.

Louise Almond:

He just didn't wake us.

Louise Almond:

He didn't didn't dare wake us.

Louise Almond:

So, but, um, yeah, it's really hard.

Louise Almond:

I think that.

Louise Almond:

I think it's important as well, that, that people are aware of

Louise Almond:

that and that behaviors can change.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah.

Vicki Weinberg:

And I think it's great that you're still talking to so many breastfeeding

Vicki Weinberg:

moms now, as well as to kind of find out how people are feeling and what

Vicki Weinberg:

they're looking for, because I think that really will help you have products

Vicki Weinberg:

that people really truly want and needs.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, so I think it's fantastic that not only are you doing that four or five years

Vicki Weinberg:

ago, but you're still doing that now.

Louise Almond:

Yes.

Louise Almond:

I'd have a very close.

Louise Almond:

NCT group that I joined with my first born and we're all still very close and we've

Louise Almond:

all gone through our second rounds of having babies at different times as well.

Louise Almond:

So I do check in with them a lot and get their opinions and how they are doing.

Louise Almond:

And quite a few of them have moved as well outside of London.

Louise Almond:

So it's time to see, you know, did they get a different response

Louise Almond:

to where they're living now?

Louise Almond:

When say for it's, it's really important to me.

Louise Almond:

I think it's important for the growth of the brand.

Vicki Weinberg:

Absolutely.

Vicki Weinberg:

And so, so whereby are you, um, now we're things

Louise Almond:

right so, um, I have currently just finished

Louise Almond:

making about, um, 30 camisole tops.

Louise Almond:

I've just got one style, but they're in two different fabrics.

Louise Almond:

Um, so, um, initially the plan was to launch early summer.

Louise Almond:

Um, but then, um, my.

Louise Almond:

Very small manufacturer unit got, unfortunately, got hit with COVID to

Louise Almond:

say literally it was a knock on effect on every seamstress that was there.

Louise Almond:

So they just closed for the, almost the entire summer.

Louise Almond:

So then the, the, the dream of launching, um, a summer piece, uh, did not happen.

Louise Almond:

Um, and then I was hoping then I would launch more kind of end of August,

Louise Almond:

early September when they opened up.

Louise Almond:

But, um, the start of my school term has just been its very heavy

Louise Almond:

and busy, um, with the changes of how, how we operate, um, with the

Louise Almond:

lifting of rules around COVID as well.

Louise Almond:

So that's kind of put me a little bit on the backfoot.

Louise Almond:

So, um, the camisoles, obviously an excellent layering piece.

Louise Almond:

So whether I will launch, I will probably be launching more

Louise Almond:

likely in the new year now.

Louise Almond:

Um, but I do have a few back orders for the pieces I've created.

Louise Almond:

So.

Louise Almond:

We'll fulfill those, but in terms of like promotion, I probably

Louise Almond:

won't be putting myself too much out there this time of the year.

Louise Almond:

I just decided, I just don't think I'd be able to realistically keep up

Louise Almond:

with any kind of, um, comments now.

Louise Almond:

I wouldn't want to let anyone down either.

Louise Almond:

So, um, I'm gay working, I think, towards more of a new year launch.

Louise Almond:

And I've also got two other designs, which I know work and fit.

Louise Almond:

Um, they just need makings.

Louise Almond:

So I will probably put those into production.

Louise Almond:

So then I can launch a three piece collection.

Louise Almond:

In the new year, but I have some made up already, which is good.

Vicki Weinberg:

That is good.

Vicki Weinberg:

And I think that's a good point about the timing as well, because we are

Vicki Weinberg:

getting into that point of view where really, really say, and it's all going

Vicki Weinberg:

to be about Christmas gifting and, and I'm not, that's not to say that your

Vicki Weinberg:

products aren't suitable for gifting.

Vicki Weinberg:

You know, then they are, but then I guess, as a teacher, as though you're

Vicki Weinberg:

coming up to the end of term and yeah, it sounds like putting things back until

Vicki Weinberg:

I know there's probably never a quiet time for teachers, but I think, I think

Vicki Weinberg:

not launching at the busiest time of the year when everyone's focus is on other

Vicki Weinberg:

things, it does sound really sensible.

Vicki Weinberg:

And there's no point putting yourself under unnecessary pressure, particularly

Vicki Weinberg:

as your products aren't seasonal.

Vicki Weinberg:

I mean, I know they're clothing.

Vicki Weinberg:

People think of camisoles may be for summer, but like you say, plenty of

Vicki Weinberg:

people wear them for layering anyway.

Vicki Weinberg:

So I think you're totally right.

Vicki Weinberg:

Not to put a, you know, not to set an imaginery deadline in your head when you

Vicki Weinberg:

have to have them out, because actually it really, it really doesn't matter.

Vicki Weinberg:

They're going to sell year around aren't they?

Louise Almond:

Yes.

Louise Almond:

And I'd rather get it right as well.

Louise Almond:

Like I have been struggling with the website build.

Louise Almond:

I'm just trying to get the testing of it to run smooth.

Louise Almond:

And so I, I wouldn't want to launch something that was not

Louise Almond:

working or functional or people found got frustrated, over.

Louise Almond:

Cause because predominantly it's going to be mums, that will order.

Louise Almond:

And you know, if they're managing children and are breastfeeding or

Louise Almond:

the babies, I don't want to give them a headache or the frustration over

Louise Almond:

trying to just order something that's meant to make their lives easier.

Louise Almond:

So, so it's making sure that that's really working.

Vicki Weinberg:

Absolutely.

Vicki Weinberg:

Although what I will say on the other side of that is make sure

Vicki Weinberg:

it's working, but don't wait for everything to be perfect because

Vicki Weinberg:

that is our, that is something I see.

Vicki Weinberg:

Sometimes that people say, oh, well, I'm going to wait until

Vicki Weinberg:

everything's absolutely perfect.

Vicki Weinberg:

And to be really honest, but everything probably won't be really perfect.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, because things just aren't are they, so don't let that hold you back.

Louise Almond:

That's very good advice.

Louise Almond:

Thank you.

Vicki Weinberg:

So let's go backwards a little bit.

Vicki Weinberg:

If you don't mind Louiseand talk about the steps you took from coming

Vicki Weinberg:

up with your initial idea to having some garments already made and some

Vicki Weinberg:

others ready to go into production.

Vicki Weinberg:

What are the things that you, that you did?.

Louise Almond:

Yeah.

Louise Almond:

So, um, initially I did a lot of the work myself, so I kind of got some fabric,

Louise Almond:

I did lots of sketching and drawing.

Louise Almond:

And after speaking to lots of women and running some small focus groups

Louise Almond:

with, um, new emerging mums and using my baby classes and things like

Louise Almond:

that to talk to people, um, and then from that, Just drawing up ideas.

Louise Almond:

I shared some of the actual sketches with people that I was speaking

Louise Almond:

to to get, get feedback on as well and the type of mechanism.

Louise Almond:

Cause there's a lot of zips.

Louise Almond:

There's a lot of like still left up kind of flaps.

Louise Almond:

And I, I didn't want to do any of those.

Louise Almond:

So I wanted to kind of engineer something a little bit more, um,

Louise Almond:

in keeping with the seam lines and actually the contours of your body.

Louise Almond:

So you didn't feel like you had to lift and expose.

Louise Almond:

I just wanted something that just naturally made it easy.

Louise Almond:

So I worked on the mechanism quite a lot, and then I, uh, initially pattern

Louise Almond:

cut it and made some samples myself.

Louise Almond:

Um, I have that background, so that helps them because I teach design technology.

Louise Almond:

I know how to sew as well, and I use all the different materials.

Louise Almond:

So, um, that, that bit made it easier for me in terms of, um, some of the materials,

Louise Almond:

selections, and sourcing, and then.

Louise Almond:

Oh, also just being, uh, a new mum and then returning back to

Louise Almond:

work, it, it got harder for me to kind of just navigate these ideas.

Louise Almond:

And so then I found, I went to a few trade events, local trade

Louise Almond:

events, um, that were kind of, um, showcasing kind of pattern cutters

Louise Almond:

and manufacturers and fabric sourcing.

Louise Almond:

And so I went to those and found, um, a local pattern cutter, a

Louise Almond:

small team that dealt with pattern cutting and, uh, Your pre-production

Louise Almond:

samples and small run production.

Louise Almond:

And from there, I was able to take my samples along and kind of discuss

Louise Almond:

the ideas and further develop it.

Louise Almond:

Um, which was great actually, because they did a lot more with

Louise Almond:

it than I think I could have done a lot quicker any way than for me.

Louise Almond:

So, yeah.

Louise Almond:

So I had a lovely pattern cutter who created the final draft really

Louise Almond:

based on what I'd already started.

Louise Almond:

And it was quite a funny moment.

Louise Almond:

Um, my, my seam line is basically it's called a princessing, which goes on the

Louise Almond:

mid shoulder down, but I've curved it.

Louise Almond:

And so it's kind of a line in line with your, your bust and comes out to the side.

Louise Almond:

So you can feed one handed and it's literally with the flick of the thumb,

Louise Almond:

you can basically access, um, the nipple to feed and you don't expose

Louise Almond:

the whole breast like you don't have to completely take, take anything out.

Louise Almond:

You can actually just expose enough to, to latch.

Louise Almond:

Um, and then, then you don't have lots of, folded fabric over the baby space.

Louise Almond:

You can see exactly what your baby and how they're feeding.

Louise Almond:

So the first time I tried it, um, it didn't quite work.

Louise Almond:

There's still too much fabric.

Louise Almond:

And then we tried it with the pattern cutter and I don't know if you've

Louise Almond:

ever been around horses or particular race horses, and they put the

Louise Almond:

blinkers on the sides of their eyes.

Louise Almond:

They can't see to the side of them.

Louise Almond:

And it was in fact, put this top on and these bits of material

Louise Almond:

that flashed out like blinkers.

Louise Almond:

And I was like, oh, that's not quite the look we were going for.

Louise Almond:

And it was just quite a funny moment of all the trial and

Louise Almond:

errors when you put it on.

Louise Almond:

And you think that, yeah, that didn't work.

Louise Almond:

Um, so it was quite funny all the different kinds of experiments.

Louise Almond:

And so we got, once we found that the perfect fit, it was then really easy to

Louise Almond:

apply that to all the other ideas I had.

Louise Almond:

Um, so I've got, um, a three-quarter length sleeve top the camisole

Louise Almond:

you mentioned and a dress the mechanism is the same throughout.

Louise Almond:

Um, and it, um, with the dress, I've worked all with like a four way stretch

Louise Almond:

jersey, so, but quite flattering jersey.

Louise Almond:

So I've tried to find fabrics that also have a slight dappling

Louise Almond:

or a mile to them or rib.

Louise Almond:

So then if you get a breastmilk stain on it, it doesn't show, um, they also feel

Louise Almond:

a little bit more luxurious than just a flat, like a cotton t-shirt with jacket.

Louise Almond:

There's that there's a texture within the material.

Louise Almond:

So.

Louise Almond:

Did a lot of research and fabric sourcing.

Louise Almond:

And that was actually one of the biggest hurdles for me to get over in

Louise Almond:

like with, um, Covid 19, because so many suppliers closed their factories.

Louise Almond:

The mills that I went to visit all of a sudden changed their MOQ.

Louise Almond:

So from a new startup where they were said, I could buy.

Louise Almond:

Um, either the ends of their roles or they would give me, they wouldn't

Louise Almond:

add on a couple of hundred meters say to an existing order that they

Louise Almond:

had, they no longer were doing.

Louise Almond:

So I had to buy like the entire roll, which, and they produced

Louise Almond:

them in 500 metre rolls.

Louise Almond:

So the price point is just went from manageable to just unreachable.

Louise Almond:

So it was.

Louise Almond:

So, although I had a fantastic design with sampled them, they fitted, well, I

Louise Almond:

tried, I sent them out to a lot of friends that I knew were either had, um, babies

Louise Almond:

or newborns, or even like a year old.

Louise Almond:

And I knew they were still feeding.

Louise Almond:

I'd give them my samples.

Louise Almond:

Like, can you just wear it, wash it, wear it, wash it and

Louise Almond:

keep it for a couple of weeks.

Louise Almond:

And then just give me your feedback.

Louise Almond:

And from that, I was made able to make alterations, um, to the design.

Louise Almond:

And, um, and obviously that helped me choose the right fabrics as

Louise Almond:

well, to what washed really well and dry into dry and also, um,

Louise Almond:

any staining and things like that.

Louise Almond:

Um, so yeah, but the fabrics was my real nemesis, um, because I just, uh, a very

Louise Almond:

long time just couldn't get any, um, I I'd find some, it'll be just 10 meters

Louise Almond:

and it will 10 meters doesn't go very far.

Louise Almond:

And obviously if you want to repeat that fabric, there's no

Louise Almond:

guarantee you can repeat it.

Louise Almond:

So yeah, that that's been, the biggest hurdle is trying to find

Louise Almond:

the right fabric and enough of it.

Louise Almond:

But also if I didn't find enough of it, what could I work, replace it with.

Louise Almond:

And is that going to be available or is it going to be as close to, or is it,

Louise Almond:

is it going to be that I can just create a business of really lovely remnant

Louise Almond:

fabrics, but that, it just means that once they're sold, they're gone and

Louise Almond:

it's, you're onto the new kind of fabric.

Louise Almond:

So yeah, that's, that's something I'm still having to

Louise Almond:

work out a little bit as well.

Vicki Weinberg:

Oh, thank you for explaining all of that.

Vicki Weinberg:

And yet that sounds really, really challenging and yeah, I guess, like you

Vicki Weinberg:

said, Going from my wrangles of going for the short runs and the limited edition

Vicki Weinberg:

let's call it or something that, you know, you can keep replicating that.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah.

Vicki Weinberg:

But it has to be really tough.

Vicki Weinberg:

And then once you have the fabric, do you, so the pattern cutters, you

Vicki Weinberg:

mentioned, are they the people that actually, cause you have to excuse me

Vicki Weinberg:

Louise I know very little about textiles.

Vicki Weinberg:

Are they the people that then actually make the finished garments

Vicki Weinberg:

or does somebody else do that?.

Louise Almond:

No.

Louise Almond:

So, um, it's all based on price point.

Louise Almond:

So I had had to kind of look after the pennies of it really.

Louise Almond:

Cause initially, um, just funding this myself, until it turns

Louise Almond:

into something that's public.

Louise Almond:

Um, and, um, so yeah, so the, um, pattern cutter can do your pre production sample.

Louise Almond:

So if I then wanted to send that on to a man, a bigger manufacturer, then

Louise Almond:

I would have that with the kind of.

Louise Almond:

Tech pack, which kind of explains all the mechanics, the workings and the lay plan.

Louise Almond:

If they were to cut multiple of them and to scale them up to size, I used

Louise Almond:

a different company to grade that single pattern so that the top could be

Louise Almond:

then available from size eight to 16.

Louise Almond:

So they grade the kind of paper pattern for you.

Louise Almond:

And then it's all cutouts on their machines and this lovely card.

Louise Almond:

So you have that menu would send that to your kind of.

Louise Almond:

Machinists to then.

Louise Almond:

So, um, I've chosen a local, um, manufacturing deal with small

Louise Almond:

run production and they work.

Louise Almond:

They're lovely.

Louise Almond:

And I'm actually really local to where I live and they've been fantastic,

Louise Almond:

but because they're small, um, it means you get the knock on effects

Louise Almond:

that if they, they suffer with illness or anything like that, then it is

Louise Almond:

knocked, but they work with them, new designers for kind of London,

Louise Almond:

fashion weeks and things like that.

Louise Almond:

So they're really highly skilled.

Louise Almond:

Um, so yeah, they I've used them because they are local to me and it means I can

Louise Almond:

get there in time after work, rather than having to travel across the other

Louise Almond:

side of London or to a different county.

Louise Almond:

Um, so it's made that simpler for me.

Louise Almond:

I think in the long run, I will probably have to outsource and go a

Louise Almond:

bit further afield or go to a bigger manufacturer so that they could perhaps.

Louise Almond:

Manufacturer on demand.

Louise Almond:

So once I get close to kind of needing to restock that they would be able to

Louise Almond:

just continue the makes at the moment.

Louise Almond:

If I continued working the way I was, they would probably be a long delay

Louise Almond:

between each batch of production.

Louise Almond:

Um, so for, for me at this point, it works nicely and they're all priced per piece.

Louise Almond:

So it can be expensive to initially start.

Louise Almond:

But once you get, um, over like the 50 mark, the prices

Louise Almond:

do decrease by quite a bit.

Louise Almond:

Yeah.

Louise Almond:

It's a lot to put in initially.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah, I think it definitely makes sense.

Vicki Weinberg:

Say starting somewhere small and local um, because that can be a really hard

Vicki Weinberg:

thing first of all that when you're dealing with bigger manufacturers,

Vicki Weinberg:

they might want you towards a hundreds or in some cases, even thousands.

Vicki Weinberg:

And that's really scary and often just not feasible.

Vicki Weinberg:

It's nice that you've helped the local relationship as well.

Vicki Weinberg:

So you can actually pop in there and see people and see progress.

Louise Almond:

Yeah.

Louise Almond:

And what I actually, and, and it wasn't necessarily an intention, but what I quite

Louise Almond:

like is everybody that's been involved that I have outsourced it's all women.

Louise Almond:

It's not quite like that, that it's all women, um, involved in my

Louise Almond:

production of, of what we're doing.

Louise Almond:

And at the end goal is, is to support women in that new journey.

Louise Almond:

So it feels quite nice to have made these connections with, or the people

Louise Almond:

that I've worked with and all been very accommodating and, um, very

Louise Almond:

lovely about what I'm producing.

Louise Almond:

And it's going to be a real confidence boost that, you know, I'm still

Louise Almond:

producing something of need as well.

Vicki Weinberg:

Thank you, we've covered a lot but I don't want to sort of skim over

Vicki Weinberg:

this I did want to actually say I'm so impressed by the amount of research you've

Vicki Weinberg:

been doing when you were talking about how you've been, first of all, talking

Vicki Weinberg:

to people, but then sending people actual products and getting them to wear them.

Vicki Weinberg:

And what I mean, this is all the sort of thing I recommend people

Vicki Weinberg:

do, and I just, I'm blown away by the amount that you've done.

Vicki Weinberg:

I think that's fantastic.

Vicki Weinberg:

And I do think that your products, will reflect the amount you've put in, because

Vicki Weinberg:

I think putting all that work in upfront makes a huge, huge difference because you

Vicki Weinberg:

know what people like and don't like, and how they need to work on people's bodies.

Vicki Weinberg:

And yeah, I just think that's fantastic.

Vicki Weinberg:

So I just wanted to recognize that because I didn't want to just go, you know,

Vicki Weinberg:

bypass it because it's really impressed.

Louise Almond:

Thank you.

Louise Almond:

Thank you.

Louise Almond:

I think I've been fortunate in a sense, I think with all the setbacks it's given me

Louise Almond:

the time also to really reflect on what it was that I was trying to do as well.

Louise Almond:

Um, and just fortunate as well, that lots of people having babies quite

Louise Almond:

close to me as well, I could use them, but, um, no, it has really helped.

Louise Almond:

Um, even just to the, the issue of, um, and because I'm petite and I made

Louise Almond:

everything on me initially, and I was the, kind of like the fit model

Louise Almond:

when I used to go and see my pattern cutter and used to take my, you know,

Louise Almond:

it was my, my son at the time, my youngest, and it was good because I

Louise Almond:

could sit there and feed and see if it actually worked whilst I was actually

Louise Almond:

having a fitting, um, which was great.

Louise Almond:

To the point where, because I'm petite, I tried to keep it as standard size as

Louise Almond:

possible, rather than fitting to me.

Louise Almond:

Cause I know I am quite narrow in the shoulder and things.

Louise Almond:

Um, but then when I did start putting the camisole on different people, I realized

Louise Almond:

that actually the strap position was still a little bit too inwards on broader.

Louise Almond:

Um, you know, people say like my sister-in-law had

Louise Almond:

a baby and she's not broad.

Louise Almond:

Like it's not overly broad.

Louise Almond:

It's still, um, you know, look at her physique.

Louise Almond:

She does a lot for yoga and stuff, but it still felt like the neckline

Louise Almond:

was still too narrow for her.

Louise Almond:

So, um, so then I kind of tried it on a few other people as well,

Louise Almond:

um, and, and had made the decision to move the strap out a bit.

Louise Almond:

So then the neckline became a bit wider.

Louise Almond:

Um, but even when I then put it back on it fits fine.

Louise Almond:

It doesn't, it doesn't alter it too drastically for me

Louise Almond:

that actually it fits better.

Louise Almond:

See it by habit by doing that, it's made, made sure that these things are all right.

Vicki Weinberg:

I think that's brilliant.

Vicki Weinberg:

And thank you for explaining about the grading as well, because I, another

Vicki Weinberg:

question I had was how do you get it to work on different sized bodies.

Vicki Weinberg:

So I think that thank you for explaining that as well, because as you say,

Vicki Weinberg:

when you, you're making your patterns originally, you have to probably stick to

Vicki Weinberg:

one size of the person who's trying it.

Vicki Weinberg:

So, yeah, it's really interesting to know how you size up and down as well.

Louise Almond:

I mean, I'm quite big chested as well.

Louise Almond:

I'm generally a double D cup.

Louise Almond:

So, um, I, know a lot of when you're pregnant as well and feeding initially

Louise Almond:

go quite, uh, can go to quite a big cup.

Louise Almond:

Um, so that is something that I still may have to adjust later on

Louise Almond:

for the, to, to know that the curve shape in my seam line is right.

Louise Almond:

So that the position, when you wearing it, it's more on the outer side of your

Louise Almond:

breast rather than on the inner side.

Louise Almond:

So I think I would probably still need.

Louise Almond:

I'll probably end up getting some feedback on that at some point, but then

Louise Almond:

that's something I can adjust within the design quite easily and react to.

Louise Almond:

So, um, it will be interesting once it starts going to a broader

Louise Almond:

range of sizes to get that.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah, and I think it's really good to know that as well.

Vicki Weinberg:

And, um, as I was saying about before to sort of not to wait until

Vicki Weinberg:

that's absolutely right, but to say, okay, this is good enough.

Vicki Weinberg:

And knowing that you can make changes as you go along for your

Vicki Weinberg:

next batch in the following batch.

Vicki Weinberg:

And it's actually exciting, isn't it?

Vicki Weinberg:

That you can constantly be tweaking and improving.

Louise Almond:

Yes.

Louise Almond:

Because then you can add things to the design or change it

Louise Almond:

slightly and yes it's nice.

Louise Almond:

It gives it flexibility and gives you more design options moving forward.

Vicki Weinberg:

So you're not too far off launch now, really?

Vicki Weinberg:

Because we were recording this at the beginning of November.

Vicki Weinberg:

So what's um, so what's sort of next on your list of things to tackle?

Louise Almond:

Um, well I think because, um, initially I had

Louise Almond:

a different type of fabric.

Louise Almond:

Well, it's not too different, but a different style of fabric that I

Louise Almond:

initially did my first photo shoot with.

Louise Almond:

So I think, um, what I need to do is do a new photo shoot with the new fabrics.

Louise Almond:

Um, just so they showcase correctly, um, for the website, I still

Louise Almond:

need to complete my website.

Louise Almond:

Um, And I initially, as I've gone with Wix, because I used to actually

Louise Almond:

make, um, leather handbags a long time ago and I've used Wix in the past.

Louise Almond:

I thought I went with what I knew.

Louise Almond:

Um, but actually I've never done an e-commerce website before, so that

Louise Almond:

I'm still learning the how to get that all completely functioning.

Louise Almond:

So yeah, I need to work on that.

Louise Almond:

Um, And I think get some more photography done.

Louise Almond:

And now, um, I know that hopefully I'll be launching a three piece collection.

Louise Almond:

It's just making the, um, the dress and the top, maybe in a few other colorways of

Louise Almond:

what I will be happy to have available so I can show them off to their best as well.

Vicki Weinberg:

Oh, that's really exciting.

Vicki Weinberg:

And I've seen you on Instagram as well, and I'll link to your

Vicki Weinberg:

Instagram in the show notes.

Vicki Weinberg:

Everyone can go over and take a look.

Louise Almond:

Yeah.

Louise Almond:

Yes.

Louise Almond:

Thank you.

Louise Almond:

I mean that, that's also another.

Louise Almond:

It's something I've had to learn.

Louise Almond:

Uh, I mean, I don't class myself as that old really, but I didn't

Louise Almond:

grow up with, uh, Instagram.

Louise Almond:

Um, I think, you know, learning Facebook and things like that

Louise Almond:

when I was younger and I love Pinterest, uh, things like that.

Louise Almond:

Um, but yeah, Instagram, something I've had to learn.

Louise Almond:

I, that does change quite often the algorithms and how that functions

Louise Almond:

so I'm having to try and to keep up.

Louise Almond:

Um, has been quite the challenge.

Louise Almond:

Um, but yeah, I do enjoy it and that it's quite a nice platform for me

Louise Almond:

because I can showcase my family as well.

Louise Almond:

It's quite nice.

Louise Almond:

It's nice to look back on my Instagram account from this first kind of

Louise Almond:

posts, because you can see the journey and how far things have come along.

Louise Almond:

'cause sometimes I sit, sit here and give myself the guilt that

Louise Almond:

it's either still sitting in a box then it's, it's not out in public.

Louise Almond:

And I have to remind myself that a lot of work has already gone into

Louise Almond:

this and, um, it will be great.

Louise Almond:

And, um, I'm hoping that lots of people will enjoy it and

Louise Almond:

I've enjoyed the journey.

Louise Almond:

Um, even though it's been quite hard at times, but yeah,

Louise Almond:

the Instagram is quite nice.

Louise Almond:

Cause it's got the visuals and there are some images of the top already

Louise Almond:

on there, but the fabric's ever so slightly different than what's on, on

Louise Almond:

the Instagram at the moment, but it's not, it's not too big a difference.

Vicki Weinberg:

And I think it's very nice just coming back to the

Vicki Weinberg:

journey as well, to document that.

Vicki Weinberg:

So for you, as you say, but also for everyone who's following

Vicki Weinberg:

along and know, waiting for your products to be available, to buy.

Vicki Weinberg:

Cause I'm sure there are people who are eagerly, you know,

Vicki Weinberg:

thinking where can I buy them?

Vicki Weinberg:

Have you started having any inquiries?

Louise Almond:

Um, I haven't had anyone to say.

Louise Almond:

The followers I have are young moms or expecting moms, which is quite

Louise Almond:

nice, um, that, you know, and it's a very small following at the moment.

Louise Almond:

It's very humble, very humble beginnings.

Louise Almond:

Um, but it's nice to know that there are people that have looked, um, and engaged

Louise Almond:

with what I'm posting or related to what I have said, uh, which is really nice.

Louise Almond:

But yeah.

Louise Almond:

Um, I know, um, my, my sister-in-law is a real advocate for my brand.

Louise Almond:

She she's, she wears everything I've sent her, uh, daily, um, and has

Louise Almond:

had compliments on, on what she has and when she's put a post on, um,

Louise Almond:

she's had lots of comments about it.

Louise Almond:

So, um, there is lots of positivity.

Vicki Weinberg:

I'm sure.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah, I'm sure there is.

Vicki Weinberg:

And of course, you know, everyone starts out with a really small following as well.

Vicki Weinberg:

Cause you had, that's where we, you know, we will, we'll start with no following

Vicki Weinberg:

and that's completely normal, but I think it is, it's amazing that the people

Vicki Weinberg:

that are following you now, they all seeing the journey you're going through.

Vicki Weinberg:

And um, yeah, I think there'll be some real excitement when

Vicki Weinberg:

your products are available.

Louise Almond:

Yes.

Louise Almond:

Yeah.

Louise Almond:

Fingers crossed.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, just a few final questions before we wrap

Vicki Weinberg:

up if that was okay, Louise.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, so are there any other sort of challenges that you faced in the past,

Vicki Weinberg:

you know, in the past few months or years or anything that in particular

Vicki Weinberg:

you think, you know, if you were doing this again, you'd want to be aware of.

Louise Almond:

Um, it's probably the nitty gritty stuff that you don't think about.

Louise Almond:

I mean, the designing and the trying on and working out your

Louise Almond:

ideas is, is the fun part.

Louise Almond:

Um, sometimes it can be a bit hard, but it's the fun part.

Louise Almond:

So it's, it's the admin side that I've had to learn, um, forming the

Louise Almond:

company or with company's house and then keeping up, even though it's

Louise Almond:

not a functioning company remembering to do things like the tax returns.

Louise Almond:

It kind of the formal elements and the language around that is it's very hard.

Louise Almond:

It's not something I would come across necessarily before.

Louise Almond:

So I had to do a lot of make, uh, know formal checks, um, because I haven't

Louise Almond:

launched, I haven't gotten accountants.

Louise Almond:

It's just, I was doing everything myself and just remembering to

Louise Almond:

pencil those in my calendar, um, and how to fill in those forms.

Louise Almond:

Not initially easy.

Louise Almond:

Um, and it's like, like I said, the language is very different to any kind

Louise Almond:

of business or schemes of work that I've written for school and things like

Louise Almond:

that stayed very different so that they were, they took me longer than expected.

Louise Almond:

Um, and I'm sure, um, there's lots of things that I will need to.

Louise Almond:

Kind of learn in terms of like stock leveling and how you monitor that

Louise Almond:

and the sales and things like that.

Louise Almond:

So, yeah, it's the nitty gritty bits that, that, that, that you don't

Louise Almond:

hear or see at the forefront of the business, which are the harder parts.

Louise Almond:

And that do take quite a lot of time.

Louise Almond:

So organization, um, is key.

Louise Almond:

I think when I, yeah, it's definitely key for something I

Louise Almond:

need to think about and beyond.

Vicki Weinberg:

And you're right.

Vicki Weinberg:

There's always so much to learn much of it you don't even know that

Vicki Weinberg:

you need to learn because you just don't know what you don't know.

Vicki Weinberg:

So, yeah, but that's, that's great advice.

Vicki Weinberg:

Thank you.

Vicki Weinberg:

And I think that would be really comforting for people to know who are

Vicki Weinberg:

listening and possibly in exactly the same boat of just not realizing all of

Vicki Weinberg:

the additional things you need to do other than getting your product ready.

Vicki Weinberg:

Because as you say that exciting.

Louise Almond:

Yes, but then one thing too, you mentioned when I have, um,

Louise Almond:

when I've used Company's House and I needed to do things like a tax return

Louise Almond:

or, or kind of, um, audit, you also have to kind of forget what the word, what

Louise Almond:

they call it, but you have to audit it and make sure that your accounts are

Louise Almond:

in the right place and that you are actually still running under the name.

Louise Almond:

And so you have to file lots of them things.

Louise Almond:

And you have to just budget that in, because initially I didn't expect to have

Louise Almond:

to pay a fee to say yes, I'm still here.

Louise Almond:

I'm still running.

Louise Almond:

Um, and, but actually they're very helpful, um, with their support.

Louise Almond:

So I literally just would respond to a message going I'm

Louise Almond:

not really sure how I go here.

Louise Almond:

This is what I, I know I need to have in place.

Louise Almond:

Is this the right thing?

Louise Almond:

And, and most of the time they have responded pretty quickly and then

Louise Almond:

have forwarded me to the rightperson, um, and then offered support.

Louise Almond:

So for example, my tax return I needed to make it dormant because I'm not

Louise Almond:

selling yet or making any money.

Louise Almond:

So I, um, they were very good.

Louise Almond:

And, and down with that, yes, I had to pay for it, but it just took the

Louise Almond:

pressure off me having to fill in forms that I didn't necessarily understand.

Louise Almond:

And they did it in within 24 hours and it w it was very comforting

Louise Almond:

and it, although, you know, it was a cost that I wasn't expecting it.

Louise Almond:

It was a worthwhile cost because I would pretty certain that I would

Louise Almond:

have filled in something wrong.

Louise Almond:

And then would've probably had to pay for something again, later on.

Louise Almond:

And so, um, I think just use using the advice and just not

Louise Almond:

being shy to ask a silly question.

Louise Almond:

Yeah.

Louise Almond:

Yeah, it has helped because it's, it's, it's got me a bit further and I'm muddled.

Vicki Weinberg:

I think that's great advice.

Vicki Weinberg:

I think asking for help is always good, and that's really interesting to know

Vicki Weinberg:

that about Company's House as well, because I think I completely see it as

Vicki Weinberg:

it's definitely a fear of, well, if I get this wrong will I get fine, I go to

Vicki Weinberg:

prison, you know, am I being compliant?

Vicki Weinberg:

There's a lot of worry that it's good to know that they're really helpful.

Vicki Weinberg:

I haven't actually had to deal with them.

Vicki Weinberg:

As it, in that sense.

Vicki Weinberg:

So I think that must be really reassuring to know that you can just send a

Vicki Weinberg:

message or presumably phone someone and get the help that you need and stuff

Vicki Weinberg:

like that would be so useful to know.

Louise Almond:

Yes, because the language is very formal and it's not

Louise Almond:

necessarily language you would read.

Louise Almond:

If you work and have a contract, your contracts are written in such a way.

Louise Almond:

But, but I think with Company's House, when you've registered, where the company

Louise Almond:

is, it's completely different terminology.

Louise Almond:

So, yeah, it is helpful just to seek that advice.

Vicki Weinberg:

Oh, thank you.

Vicki Weinberg:

That is really good to know.

Vicki Weinberg:

And so the final question always, which is one that I ask.

Vicki Weinberg:

Absolutely everyone.

Vicki Weinberg:

And you might be a bit stumped on this because you've shared so much

Vicki Weinberg:

already is what would your number one piece of advice be for other people

Vicki Weinberg:

looking to create and launch a product?

Louise Almond:

I think just have, have a really good plan, understand your

Louise Almond:

customer, understand what it is you're trying to achieve, because it can be very,

Louise Almond:

you can get a bit design fixated, I think.

Louise Almond:

And I've seen a lot of other people do it and I've seen my students do it,

Louise Almond:

but you know, you have this great idea and you just, you're a bit blinkered

Louise Almond:

actually knowing how it's going to work.

Louise Almond:

Is there growth in it?

Louise Almond:

Can it, can the idea be adjusted?

Louise Almond:

Um, can you add pieces to it?

Louise Almond:

Um, so for me yeah, I think for me it was just, I had to really

Louise Almond:

make sure I understood what it was that I was trying to achieve.

Louise Almond:

I had an idea, but if I'm going to make a business work,

Louise Almond:

what do I really need to know?

Louise Almond:

And what would make it successful?

Louise Almond:

So it's kind of almost forgetting your idea in a way.

Louise Almond:

Um, so to know that you're actually willing to change your

Louise Almond:

ideas to suit what is needed.

Louise Almond:

Um, so avoid design fixation.

Vicki Weinberg:

That's brilliant feedback.

Vicki Weinberg:

Thank you.

Vicki Weinberg:

And as I said earlier, you've done that.

Vicki Weinberg:

So, so well with the amount of feedback that you've got from people, because

Vicki Weinberg:

it can be really tempting to think that you've got all the answers and

Vicki Weinberg:

that you know exactly what your product should look like or be, or do it's.

Vicki Weinberg:

It's so easy to, to, to think about that and go down that rabbit hole,

Vicki Weinberg:

particularly if it's a product, um, that you yourself need.

Vicki Weinberg:

So I think it's really great.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah.

Vicki Weinberg:

They didn't go down that route.

Vicki Weinberg:

Cause I mean, this was something that you needed at the time.

Vicki Weinberg:

The whole idea came from a need that you had personally.

Vicki Weinberg:

So I think it's really good that you were able to keep that wider

Vicki Weinberg:

perspective and realize that it wasn't just something for you.

Vicki Weinberg:

It was something that you going to be selling to lots of other people.

Vicki Weinberg:

So I think it's brilliant that you did that and that's fantastic advice.

Louise Almond:

Thank you.

Vicki Weinberg:

Well, thank you so much for all that you've shared today.

Vicki Weinberg:

I really love talking to you and I think, um, yeah, it's been so interesting.

Vicki Weinberg:

Best of luck when you launch, do you tell me when you launch so that I

Vicki Weinberg:

can share it all out again because, um, yeah, I think everyone will be

Vicki Weinberg:

really excited to see your products.

Louise Almond:

Oh, thank you.

Louise Almond:

It's been nice to speak at aloud kind of reaffirms the journey as well.

Louise Almond:

And that, that kind of strive to I've really been excited about it.

Louise Almond:

Thanks very much.

Vicki Weinberg:

Thank you so much for listening all the way

Vicki Weinberg:

to the end of this episode.

Vicki Weinberg:

If you enjoyed it, please do leave me a review that really helps

Vicki Weinberg:

other people to find this podcast.

Vicki Weinberg:

Make sure you subscribe so you don't miss any future episodes and

Vicki Weinberg:

do tell your friends about it too.

Vicki Weinberg:

If you think that they also might enjoy it You can find me at Vicki

Vicki Weinberg:

weinberg.com, there you'll find links to all of my social channels.

Vicki Weinberg:

You'll find lots more information.

Vicki Weinberg:

All of the past podcast episodes and lots of free resources too.

Vicki Weinberg:

So again, that's Vicki weinberg.com.

Vicki Weinberg:

Take care, have a good week and see you next time.