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Pioneer of the Week: Caught Short

Megan-Murray ‎11-01-2016 04:15 PM
‎11-01-2016 04:15 PM

Tell us 3 important things we should know about you.

    • In 2000 I founded Bunny London a vintage inspired clothing label for little girls, worn by the daughters of Madonna, Kate Moss and Brooke Shields, that was available globally in stores such as Harrods, Harvey Nichols, Isetan, Paul Smith, Mitsukoshi and Saks 5th Ave.

 

    • I don’t give up, I love building my brand.

 

    • I had to take on part-time work to continue to fund my dream.



 Tell us about your business. How did it start? Did you set it up alone or with a team?

I was away for a weekend wedding when I needed an emergency spare pair, I hadn't packed any pants! None were available on the local high street and I had to make a detour to a Superstore to buy some. There is a definite gap in the market, you can buy a pair of tights in most local pharmacies, garage forecourt shops and convenience stores but not pants? How many times have you been to the gym or for a swim and forgotten a fresh pair? Or unexpectedly come on at work, or stayed over at a friends last minute? I set up the business alone and employ freelance experts when I need them.

Caught ShortWhat do you love most about running your own business?

The challenge to create something from scratch. I especially enjoy the PR, social media aspects and developing the brand.

Tell us about a challenging experience you’ve faced in the process of starting up your business and how you overcame it.

Raising funds. I was extremely fortunate to receive a Government Funded Start Up Loan via Alison Lewy and Fashion Angels which enabled me to go into production and I personally invested the same again. Getting the products into the market place and accepted by buyers. Selling to a very high profile client and not being able to speak about it.

What advice could you give to other startups about starting up in your industry?

Don’t tie up all your capital in stock. Work with the right people, if they say no find someone who says YES.

Get a mentor, it’s lonely starting a new business and working from home. We all need someone who’ll tell us to “Wear a pink tutu and bend over: what ever it takes!” Thanks Andrew!

I am lucky enough to have two, the other is the iconic David Jones who’s mentored practically everyone in fashion.  I trust them both implicitly and can talk things through with them. They help keep my feet on the ground and support me in bad times.

Whether a friend or professional acquaintances, find people you trust and learn from them.

Follow Sir Richard Branson’s advice: “No matter how great your product or service is, no one will hear about it if you don’t attract attention – it’s that simple”.

When we entered Virgin Media’s Pitch to Rich competition we campaigned at Virgin Media HQ and at No.10 Downing Street in the week prior to the General Election. We handcuffed models dressed as Virgin Atlantic air hostesses, minus their skirts, to the railings to raise brand awareness!

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Can you share an experience that really helped you take your business forward? 

Meeting Charlotte Tobin and Nick Ede from PR company EdenCanCan.  They helped to launch the brand on social media, in particular Twitter. Georgie McArthur from leading online hosiery retailer My Tights has been a huge support. She gave me a temporary job this Christmas and allowed me to put Caught Short gift flyers in with their orders. Caught Short is soon to launch at My Tights and on their sister sites Tights Please and Alex Blake in the USA.It means so much when influential people see the potential.

Many people start their businesses at home, where do you work? What do you love about it? 

I work from home because my business is still in the start up stage. I love not having a commute and walking my dog in my local park, first thing in the morning to clear my head.

Caught Short 1

What are three things you know now, that you wish someone had told you when you first started?

    • You get one chance to impress.

 

    • That things take far longer than expected.

 

    • Buyers want to see a demand for a brand before they commit to a new launch.




Is there anything specific you’d like to ask or share with the Virgin Media Pioneers community?

How do I penetrate the retail sector?

How do we secure additional funding?

Before starting off remember to Define your brand and where you fit into the retail landscape.

Finish the sentence: To be an entrepreneur… 

You need to be fearless, tenacious and instinctive, with a thick skin and practical, with a good imagination and the ability to implement the plan. There will be very good times and very dark times, you just need to keep going forward whatever is thrown at you. Be clear about what you want to achieve, hold that vision and pursue it.

Check out Caught Short online and on Twitter.

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