This Month, entrepreneur Catherine from East Sussex talks to Coffee Corners about her business adventure, starting small and growing success in the digital age.
Q: Tell us about your business?
A: JJ Fashions is a Clothing Business with a difference, we organise Clothing Parties for Residents and their Families in Residential Homes and Retirement Homes in the Kent and Sussex Area.
Q: What inspired you to create a business like this?
A: Like many other women I wanted a business to fit around a young family. My background was in Retailing, I had worked as a Manager for Viyella, Alexon and Jaeger so I had a wide Knowledge of the Clothing Industry and came up with the idea of Clothes Parties in Residential Establishments in my local area so I could fit it around the School Run. I started with just a handful of homes and their Residents really liked having a Clothing Party visiting them in their own home, giving them the opportunity to browse and try on clothes before they buy. With this knowledge I was able to expand and soon had a part-time business and over the years grew to a full-time business now 20 years on, it is a family run business as my husband joined the business 10 years ago! We expanded to cover the whole of the Kent and Sussex region. We now sell a Collection of daywear, evening-wear,underwear, nightwear and slippers for Men and Women.
We have recently added accessories and jewellery to our range to compliment the Ladies Clothing.
In October 2018 A New Website was launched allowing our customers to view our collection online before Parties and giving them the opportunity to purchase in between visits.
Our aim is to growthe online side of the business as more and more of our customers are nowonline.
Q: Great, can we have you web address?
A: Certainly, the website is JJfashions.co.uk; you can also find us on Instagram and Facebook by searching JJ Fashions UK.
Q: What has been the biggest business challenge?
A: Keeping ahead of trends and the changing market and being able to adapt quickly as our customers are changing from pleated skirts and polyester shirts to the new modern women in their 60s who are very fashion conscious. 1 in 4 women are over 60 and 1 in 12 women are over 80 so our market is set to grow even bigger.
Q: What was the best advice you have been given and who was it from?
A: Actually the best bit of advice I have ever heard was from My Mum at her 90th Birthday Party she whispered in my ear: “Look how kind everyone is to me it’s because I have always been kind to others and now I am repaid with kindness”… You can’t get better than that.
Q: Lastly what advice would you give to our Professional Women?
A: Your future self will thank you for all your hard work and time you are sacrificing now.
Remember: Success is the reward and failure isn’t fatal
Thank you Catherine, for being our Woman of the Month!