Georgia King and her mum Sarah turned their love of fashion, and backgrounds in the industry into a new fashion brand – Georgia King London – while Georgia was pregnant with her first baby! We asked Georgia how she did it.
What’s your career background?
I have always had so much love for fashion retail that I have never imagined doing anything else. I graduated with a BA Hons degree in retail management and went on to work in various management positions at shop floor level.
I’ve worked for both independent boutiques and large premium fashion chains, and have loved each and every one in different ways. I also worked in buying for a major childrenswear brand, but couldn’t stay away from womenswear for long!
What inspired you to start your own fashion brand with your mum?
It is something that we have always wanted to do, purely because of our love for beautiful products and for customer service. It was just a matter of waiting for the right time!
You started your business while pregnant with your first baby. How did you manage it?!
It has definitely been a challenge, but I wouldn’t change a thing and have honestly enjoyed every moment. The hardest thing was probably juggling the hospital appointments (and lots of them!) with supplier meetings. It is such an exciting time for Georgia King London (GKL), the time flies by.
You’ve just launched your debut collection for AW 14. What’s it like, and where can women buy it?
It’s definitely a very British collection, and really represents our brand. Everything is designed by us in Greenwich, and then made in the UK (even our exclusive jewellery range). The AW14 collection mixes classic cuts with beautiful detailing and trims that hint at trends.
Our collection offers timeless pieces for every woman’s wardrobe to be worn season after season. We use bold colours alongside neutral and classic tones so that every customer can experiment with different looks. It’s available now to buy online on our website.
How would you define your brand, and who is it aimed at?
The GKL brand is all about quality and integrity, and we aim to always make this our focus in every aspect of the business. Being British and backing UK manufacturing is also a massive part of our brand.
Our collection mainly targets women aged between 21-55, although we do design products to suit women of all ages, and have this in mind when creating a collection. Style, fit, quality and comfort are our main focuses from designing and sourcing fabrics, to sampling and fit sessions with our suppliers.
How has your experience as a fashion buyer influenced or shaped your brand?
Working in buying gave me huge amounts of experience in the whole process of creating and producing a product – from first design sketch, to the shop floor.
I gained invaluable experience in everything behind the scenes, before a product reaches the selling environment. We all tend to underestimate how much work goes into every inch of a product!
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced in launching your brand?
I would say that the biggest challenge was finding UK suppliers who not only work efficiently and deliver the high quality products that we need, but that also are willing to work with limited volume.
We personally source all of our own fabrics and trims, so each item is exclusive and is only made in small quantities.
And your biggest success to date?
Our biggest success so far would be our launch party. We had a fantastic response and sales exceeded our target. We have a lot of exciting things in the pipeline too!
What’s your vision for Georgia King London?
Our vision is for GKL to become a successful international brand, well-recognised and trusted by our customer base. We see ourselves selling not only through our website, but with a limited number of stores in major cities, and concessions in luxury department stores.
How do you plan to grow your business while raising your family?
The plan is to continue to work hard and focus on the future. Juggling a career with family life is definitely possible; it is all about multi-tasking and working as a team.
My mum and I work really well together, and of course she is a devoted grandmother at the same time so is always willing to share the babysitting!
Who inspires you?
Jane Shepherdson – CEO at Whistles, is a massive inspiration for me. She transformed high street shopping while at Topshop, but always with the customer at the forefront. She then went on to work her magic at Whistles and is a real inspiration.
What advice do you have for other aspiring business mums?
Always focus on the future and follow your dream. Determination and patience is so important when facing day to day challenges both at home and in business. Concentrate on your goal and you will make it happen… even between all the nappy changes and night feeds!
Spend over £100 on Georgia King London between 11 and 17 September, and you will save £20! View their new collection now.