Beth Bourrelly – fashion designer

I’m Beth Bourrelly, founder of redurchin.

redurchin

I have three children – Maya 11, Theo 9 and Zachy 5 – who gave me lots of requests and input when I first started designing our range of childrenswear.

We are based in Greenwich in London, but I grew up in Cornwall and still spend a lot of time there and in France where my husband’s family live.

Your job title:

Designer & Founding Partner – redurchin

What did you do before:

I’m an architect by profession.  I worked for the practice that designed the London Eye and more recently I designed the home of the practice owners.  I spent time in Bangkok and London.

What made you go into your new chosen career? Was there a eureka moment or is it something you have always wanted to do?

It was always in the back of my mind to work for myself and design my own products.

What did you want to do when you were a child?

A ballerina, then a doctor (slightly different) and then an architect.

What you needed to do to change career:

A very supportive husband, lots of guts and energy!

Any qualifications gained:  No

What was involved with study (Was it on the job/evening):

The whole thing is a huge learning curve.  I had to learn to do it all, including programming our website.  It’s only now that we are beginning to use experts.

Is your new career what you imagined it would be?:

It’s hard, particularly because we started during a recession (but they say that if that doesn’t kill you it makes you stronger when you come out the other side).  Having the flexibility to work around my kids is lovely and what I wanted.

Can you tell us an average day:

I drop my children at school in the morning, go to the studio and spend time designing, sending out orders, doing the business paperwork, talking to trade customers and researching new prospects.  I usually leave in the nick of time to pick up the children and spend some time with them.  I help with any homework and listen to how their day’s been.  In the summer we often go to the lido for a swim.  Once they are tucked up in bed I generally fit in another two or three hours work.

Does it offer a good work/life balance?:

Perfect if you are happy to work in the evenings and have your mind constantly active.

How does your new role work with child care?:

Having my own business gives me the flexibility to be able to work without needing any major childcare.

What is the hardest thing about your new career?:

Fashion businesses need a lot of investment to bring out new collections, which is why we are currently getting ’investor ready’.

What is the favourite part of your role:

Designing new ranges and taking orders!

How long have you been doing your new role?:

Two and a half to three years.

What advice would you have for others thinking about embarking on the same career?:

Start with some capital.  Be proactive; don’t wait for the business to come to you.

Are there any changes to your finances that you would like to share?: 

Starting a fashion brand certainly involves a drop in salary but you are investing in something for your future.

Is it hard to set up a business working for yourself?:

No

Did you have any business support in the beginning?:

My partner brought her marketing skills into the business after I’d designed a prototype range which I was selling locally.

Was there a risk involved in changing career?: (Either financially or from leaving your old job)

The whole thing is a massive risk, which is what pushes you forward.

Is there anything you know now that you wish you had known before embarking on this chosen career?

I wish I’d known that you don’t have to carry huge amounts of stock.  We were terrified of running out of things, but selling out is a good thing and means you can introduce something new.

Do you have any other comments you would like to make?:

You never have the Sunday blues when you work for yourself.

 Would you be interested in offering advice to anyone thinking of doing the same things?

Of course, lots of people in the industry have been so kind to me and generous with their advice.

 

Beth has offered Mojomum followers a 20% discount off your next redurchin purchase with the discount code 20YNP

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