Helen Mincher – I am mom to two gorgeous girls, Eva, 4 and Olivia, 2. We live in West Yorkshire with my husband and Eddie the dog.
What’s your business called?
Flip The Dog
Can you describe it in one sentence?
Flip The Dog is a new breed of yogawear with sustainability at its core; fusing high performance with fashion-forward styles to lift mood and transcend the studio.
When did you become a Mumpreneur and what inspired you?
Having children makes you realise how fast time goes and certainly makes you reassess what is important to you.
At the start of the year we relocated out of London and up to Leeds, swapping the Big Smoke, for fresh Yorkshire hills; a career in online corporatedom for work/life balance; a tiny terrace for a family sized plot, and finally, a chance to concentrate on getting our ideas and business off the ground.
Inspiration came from a variety of sources – i loved reading about women and families who seemingly had it all – a successful business, working around a passion point and plenty of time with their children and family
How did you fund your start up?
How do you manage working around your children?
Its not always easy. I work when they are in bed from 7.30pm and its important here to set up a lot of content for marketing activities and to compose the lengthier emails. During the day with the girls, I need to be able to focus on them, but i do push content live/ answer quick emails/ package up orders in between play groups, dinner times and general mayhem!
Can you describe a typical day, what tasks do you have to get done, how do you manage your time?
I wake before the children to take the dog for a run and shower, and then get the children ready. My eldest has just started school, so mornings are action-packed getting her prepped and ready. I may have lined up soclial media updates that will need pushing live, and will check for any comments and orders throughout the day. I’ll normally have a playgroup with my youngest in the morning (who doesn't love a free biscuit?!), and then after lunch, she will have some quiet time with a couple of Peppa Pigs, whilst I make any phone calls I need to suppliers or stockists etc. The afternoon is a blur of plarks, playdates and dinner. Post the bed and bath routine, which i share with my husband, I’ll settle down with my laptop for a couple of hours to focus on the business, writing blogs and setting up any automated activity for the following day.
What challenges have you faced in your business and how have you overcome them?
A rather painful challenge that sticks out was when we received the first batch of stock. We had been through endless rounds of refining and prototypes; worked incredibly hard to establish a supply chain and model that was responsible, and source materials that were environmentally friendly and sustainable – all to create a product that we were truly proud of. The eagerly awaited first batch of stock arrived…. And the sizing was all out. We had 250 pairs of rather small but beautifully made pants.
At first, we were devastated. We eventually received the money back for the fabric that we were able to reinvest into the second batch (that are live on the site now) and as we took a step back we realised that whilst we knew the first batch was not as perfect as it could be, people still liked them. We were able to sell the first batch at a discounted price and gain more feedback and followers.
Whilst what happened felt out of our control and really devastatingly unlucky, we sought to gain back control by looking at how we could protect ourselves better against anything like this happening again.
What’s the best thing about being Mumpreneur?
1, Crafting something that you made from the ground up is immensely satisfying.
And 2, the Flexibility! I tried to maintain my career before i set up on my own, and i just wasn’t seeing my children monday – thursday. I will always be thankful that i got to spend this wonderful time with them, whilst being able to craft my own business.
What are your plans for the future?
In the short to mid term, we want to introduce a new collection of prints. We firmly believe that what you wear enhances how you feel and move, and have lots of exciting idea for our next range. We are also looking to include matching bra tops and racer back tees.
We are always striving towards being as sustainable as possible. All our pants are made from the fibres of plastic bottles, once destined for landfill. Long term this means working towards being able to recycle the actual clothes we manufacture, creating a virtuous self-sustaining cycle.
For now, anyone sending in their used Flip The Dog gear will receive a 30% voucher towards their next pair. (but rest assured, your Flip The Dogs are super durable and made to last).
What advice would you give for someone just starting out in business?
Its easy to get overwhelmed with all the possible tasks you need to do, and so being laser-focused is really important. What are the one or two things you can achieve this week that will make a material difference to your business? Be ruthless and honest with yourself and cast all the other items off into a separate list that you can keep revisiting.
Lastly – Don’t be afraid to be new and ask lots of questions. We entered a new industry to us, which was initially quite daunting, but by asking lots and lots of questions we have been able to approach things from perhaps a different perspective to someone very established.