Online vintage boutique receives Start Up Loan boost
An entrepreneur based in Oxted, Surrey, has found new business success thanks to a Start Up Loan from Let’s Do Business Group.
A new business idea formed…
Lynsey Swords-McCann, owner and Director of Baby Let’s Frock, set up her business in 2013.
The inspiration to set up a vintage clothing company came from searching for a vintage wedding dress for her own wedding in 2013. Lynsey found it difficult to find a high quality dress, in an attractive style, online, and for the right price. Born from her love of vintage clothing and the desire to combine this with the bespoke gap in the market Lynsey sought to specialise in vintage bridal and special occasion wear dresses.
There are large online sellers of eclectic vintage clothing, e-bay and Etsy being the two largest, but Lynsey wanted to ensure her website was a unique online boutique for vintage wedding and special occasion wear only.
Start Up Business planning
Lynsey researched the market in depth to create the look and feel of her company’s online presence; vintage, affordable glamour, with the hands-on personal touch. She prides herself on always being available on the end of the phone for clients’ questions and queries. By taking a lot of time to consult with clients on a one-to-one basis Lynsey finds them the right outfit for their occasion.
The challenges of a start up business
Lynsey’s previous career was in corporate HR and, after a second child, she didn’t want go back to the corporate world.
How then could she spend more time with her children and explore a new career path? She had some tough decisions to make and decided to re-invent herself combining her passion for vintage clothing with her career.
One of her biggest challenges was not being a bricks and mortar boutique. Traditionally, in the vintage market place, customers go to specialist vintage boutiques and prefer to try the clothes on.
On line it is very difficult to give customers a real sense of what they are buying. Vintage clothes by their nature don’t look as crisp on the hanger, or online, in comparison to new clothes. To reassure each customer of superb quality, Linsey’s solution is to provide exact measurements of every dress so that customers receive the exact size they are looking for, (bust, waist, length etc., instead of guidelines measurements). Where necessary dresses are professionally restored by a seamstress, For the perfect result.
Lynsey goes on to describe how her returns policy protects her stock. As many customers want to try the clothes on, it is an ingenious company policy to place the tags, visible, on the outside of the garment, so that a customer doesn’t buy it for an occasion, wear it and then return it.
Why get in touch with Lets Do Business for a start up loan?
Lynsey applied for a start-up loan and was referred to a Lets Do Business representative.
She said: “They were so supportive from start to finish. In particular with advice on your business plan and financials, an area where I needed additional support,” said Lynsey, “The person who interviewed me was really helpful and positive. It’s just what you need to hear once you have put in that much time in to researching your new idea, for someone to tell you they believe in you, here is the money – now go and make it happen. They are also a great source, to talk about how to market your company, online marketing, SEO etc.
“Even the people who contacted me by email were really supportive and have still kept in touch to see how it’s going. It was a refreshing and very personable approach. I have yet to meet my mentor but it’s definitely an avenue I wish to pursue.”
Advice for those starting out….
For those wishing to start up their own business and apply for a loan I would say put as much time in as possible to your business plan. It’s the most important process you will go through. Thoroughly research everything! It is such a useful exercise, take the time to prepare it properly. Even though sometimes you might want to tear your hair out. Don’t shy away from the planning process as it makes the rest of your journey easier. Plus, should you feel yourself deviating from the business plan you can always go back to the finalised document, re-focus and move forwards with renewed confidence.
If you’d like to find out more, or if you’re ready to fill out a Starting Your Enterprise form, follow the links below:
Do you, like Lynsey, have a passion you wish to turn into a business? Get in touch with Let’s Start Up and find out how we can help you get started. Call 0844 943 2988 or email email@example.com.
Visit www.babyletsfrock.com for more information of Lynsey’s start up business, you can also follow Baby Let’s Frock on Twitter and like them on Facebook.