Last Sunday 11th October, Harriet was featured in You Magazine as part of a series of interviews with enterprising women, entitled ‘The start-up stars: Meet the women who turned a bright idea into a burgeoning business’.
Here is the full article:
THE ACCESSORIES ACE
Harriet Cleverly, 47, made her mark in retail working for The White Company, Harrods and Gap. She hit on a business idea that would combine her skills with the flexibility of working from home in Hampshire while bringing up her family.
Living in the countryside, I discovered the indispensability of online shopping. I realised that if I set up a web-based business I could keep overheads low and transfer my skills to e-commerce. I sketched a business plan on the back of an envelope (literally) in 2013.
Scarves make brilliant gifts because you don’t have to worry about someone’s size, they’re light to post, and can be beautifully packaged – plus, luxury gift-shopping is an ever-growing sector. In one afternoon I bought the domain name, created a limited company and registered the trademark.
I then found stock at trade fairs in Hong Kong, Paris and the UK, choosing on gut instinct. I buy silk, cashmere and cotton for every lifestyle and budget. Our look is contemporary with a bit of edge.
I used £37,000 of savings: £7,000 for website design and £30,000 on stock. I don’t pay myself yet – I would rather pay other people in order to grow the business.
I work every day, including some weekends. I am very organised, plus walking the dogs (my cocker spaniel Joey and labradoodle Malteser) gives me planning time and keeps me sane. I don’t waste hours commuting, or have to consult anyone, so my productivity is high.
And I feel a greater sense of purpose being back at work.