Sometimes you get a hunch about something and you just have to do it to see if it works; so I started Under The Cloth in 2017 from my kitchen table on a hunch and a shoestring. I didn't know anything about producing a collection, except I'd been a fashion student in the mid 1980's and that I wanted to try and create a sleepwear range which would blur the lines between day and evening.
So I've spent a year working out how to start a small brand and bring it to life. What I've learned is that skills are transferrable and that women of a certain age, which I am, have a huge wealth of experience, having often raised families whilst managing a household and holding down a job. As a small business start up, you need those skills; one day you are sorting out the best postal options, the next you are talking to the manufacturer about the position of your garment labels all whilst trying to source more fabrics and work out how Instagram works and what is an algorithm.
So here I am, a year later after with a little shop of sleepwear. It's been a brilliant year of collaboration and that's been the bit I've really enjoyed. It's not dissimilar to working in interiors on a building site which I've done for many years; everyone has their particular area of knowledge and it takes a team to build a house. Likewise, it took a few skilled people to help get me to this point and you can meet a couple them in collaborations.
I see this business as one big collaboration between me, the skilled tradespeople I work with and the customer. I'm all ears and I want to encourage community. I don't pretend to know it all and I'm certain this little business has a lot to learn but I'm really looking forward to the journey and to seeing where it leads.