How 1 Girl Started a Clothing Business With Her BFFs
Growing up, every girl had her squad of loyal besties by her side, but how many can say they grew up to own a business together?
Well, Chloe, co-owner of Mama’s Boutique can. Her squad all had a eye for dope pieces, and with the help of one friend’s mom, their company was born. The brand is based in London, but has created buzz worldwide. The fact that Chloe is only 23 makes it that much more motivational, and in our Q+A we learn how she did it.
How did Mama’s Boutique come about and why did you pick the name?
MB came around real organically, I mean…We (myself, Leah, Hope, and Libby)…used to go raving all the time when we were younger and it got to the point where the high street just weren’t fulfilling our style needs. Hope and Libby’s mom Susan has always been a designer/seamstress since we were kids, so she would make our little outfits to go out in. On my 20th birthday we designed my dress, I wore it out and I posted it on Instagram and girls started messaging/DM-ing me asking where they could buy it and then a girl ordered via email, we were so shocked!
At that time, Instagram wasn’t as big as it is now for fashion so we made an account, took pictures of other styles we had designed previously on our landing wall, borrowed my friends camera and started posting. From there, it just escalated really quickly and here we are now. I feel like it was just written in our paths, we’ve been friends since before we were double digits, we all love fashion, we love business and Hope and Lib’s mom just happened to be a designer/seamstress.
The name came around really simply. Everything Mama’s Boutique at the time was being done in the house, and it is Hope and Libs’ mom’s house, so we just said we were going to call it Mama’s Boutique.
How did you take a Bristol city based company and make it internationally known?
I think it’s definitely down to our designs. We don’t just have one style, as there are a few of us, all the designs are inspired differently. Lib’s style is very different and quirky, Leah is very simple and slick, Hope is edgy, but safe and I’m very sassy, sexy, and daring. There’s a style for everyone and I think this is what has grabbed our customer’s attention worldwide.
When you decided to start your company, what was your biggest fear and how did you overcome it?
Well, it was never our intent to start a business. Myself (and the girls’) biggest fear was not knowing how to operate a business and making mistakes, as none of us came from a business background. As time went on we learned on the job and we also learned that you’ll always make mistakes, but just plan until you can’t plan anymore so the “mistakes” aren’t costly. We definitely learned that the hard way.
What tips do you have for young women entrepreneurs?
Firstly, I would say to teach yourselves to be strong minded. I feel that any business is going to have its tough times, you just have to be tougher. It may take you longer than someone else you know pursuing their dreams, but if it’s something you love, let that same passion drive you, it’ll take you where you need to go.
Secondly, network. Talk to other female entrepreneurs, even if they are in a different industry than you. It can be so helpful and you may just learn something that takes you to the next level as well as create friendships. I’ve met so many amazing people through MB.
Lastly, do your research, educate yourself in your field, you can never know enough, ask for help. I mean, I’m always reading up on successful entrepreneurs, marketing techniques, and all the other bits I dabble in, and every day I become more confident in my work.
Do you have any upcoming projects you’re working on that you’d like to share?
We are working on a collection collaboration which is really exciting and also expanding our more day to day wear, we want to see women rocking MB in the day as well as the night. I mean, who doesn’t want to look fly in the day too?
What’s something about you that many people don’t know?
Not so much now, but for so long I held back on things I wanted to do, say, or show because it made me anxious thinking, “what will people think?” Over time, my “f*ck it” mentality kicked in and since then I’ve told myself to f*ck the fear and do it anyway, and I’ve been doing exactly that. So, to anyone reading this that has felt or is feeling a similar way, whatever it is you’re holding out on, just do it, you’ll thank yourself so much later down the line.
What do you want your supporters to take from this interview?
If you’re reading this and you have a dream, I want you to go and chase it and make it reality. I am nowhere near where I want to be, but I am on the way. I still have sleepless nights about my career and I know on social media it’s so easy to get caught up in other people’s lives, but I also want you to know that this shit isn’t easy, a lot goes on behind the scenes and at some point everyone wants to give up. But did you really come this far just to come this far? I didn’t, and neither did you.