Noemie Kenyon — French Laundry UK
#SWMamasThatCan is all about mums supporting mums. It’s about celebrating and showcasing amazing #SWLondon mamas and their independent businesses as well as the amazing and talented ladies they are.
What inspired you to start your own business?
The love of fabrics is what started it all for me. I worked for many years in the textile industry. First for a French fabric manufacturer and then for a renowned bridal and fashion designer in New York. I loved participating in textile shows all over the USA and Europe and discovering fantastic new prints and designs!
What challenges / hurdles have you faced?
Definitely the tech part of the job! I am terrible at computers, social media etc… Also managing my time and being a one woman show. I feel extremely lucky to be able to run this little business of mine and also be a full-time mom. However, when you manage every single aspect of the business: make the product by hand, take pictures, manage the online presence through website and Etsy, ship, be active on social media and participate to markets and fairs, time does run out sooo quickly.
What do you like best about your job?
Sourcing fabrics always! I’m always looking for new beautiful ones. I’m always hanging around the Designer’s Guild and Liberty of London of course but will also bring some from wherever I travel to. I love fabrics so much that I started a business on the side and have now an Etsy shop just for fabrics. There you will find very high-end references such as Christian Lacroix and Ian Mankin at very affordable prices.
Tell me a Mama That Can story…
It might not sound amazing to a lot of people today but to me it is huge and I’m very proud of myself for it: the website! As mentioned above I’m not good with technology at all but really wanted/needed a website. I also had to keep the cost down and couldn’t afford to hire a website designer. So, I took my time, followed tutorials, asked questions to friends with experience and spend a LOT of time on the Wix platform and finally did it! The website isn’t perfect but it is up and running and I couldn’t be happier. Now for the next challenge: SEO anyone!?
Top 3 tips for other SW Mamas That Can?
- Make a list! I make lists all the time. It sounds a bit annoying but it’s a massive help to prioritise the day. It doesn’t mean you’ll get everything done but you’re clear in your head of what needs to be done and that’s half the battle.
- Be patient and don’t get discouraged, it does take time but if you love what you do you will get there.
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions or ask for help. I find that in the UK people don’t like asking for help but when you do, people are very happy to get involved.
Any upcoming events?
Friday 30th November 11am-9pm
St Michael’s Christmas Fair — 73 Wimbledon Park Rd- SW18 5TT
Saturday 1st December 11:30–2:30pm
St Barnabas Church — 146 Lavenham Rd — SW18 5EP
Favourite item / product?
Just finished a brand-new product that I’ve been wanting to do forever: the baby gifts! It is a lovely set with a large keepsake zipped pouch that I make with high-end fabrics from Maison Thevenon Paris, Liberty and Laura Ashley. I personalise the pouch with a hand-embroidered initial on the front and it is then filled with 2 organic cotton bodysuits that are made in the UK. Included is also a lovely “congratulations” origami card handmade by local small business Kimomio shop. The set is then presented in a pretty pillow gift box, perfect for baby showers.
Who else would you like to see celebrated on the SWMamasThatCan?
My friend Pauline from @lovemyvelo is a talented local maker with a fabulous product: handmade bicycle saddle covers. They come in so many different beautiful and bright fabrics!
Also my friend Anne-Laure @annelorlondon who is doing a fabulous job at juggling 3 young children and keeping up with her handmade jewellery business.
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