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Wildchild London Meets Chiltern Chatter

Posted on March 13 2018

Beaconsfield-based Wildchild London was founded in Spring 2017 by local gals Rebecca Hughes and Gemma Olley. They've just launched their first gender neutral kidswear collection, so we caught up with them to find out more about their exciting journey....

We both grew up in Buckinghamshire and are now in our early forties with three kids between us. Rebecca lives in Beaconsfield with Miller 6 and Cleo 5, and Gemma lives in Virginia Water with Purdey 4 and her long-term partner Nick. Our love for champagne, fine dining, skiing, snowboarding, daily fitness classes, social events and exotic holidays, have all been replaced by Lambrusco, take away's, watching ballet, football, gym and swimming, box sets and camping by the coast!!!!

Sum up your business in a sentence:

Wildchild offers quirky, comfy, casual wear that is gender-neutral with distinctive style. The 15 piece collection for 2 to 9 year olds, includes long and short sleeved T-shirts, sweatshirt, harem pants and leggings, that can be mixed and matched and shared between brothers and sisters alike, all made here in Britain.

What's your career background?

We both had successful careers in the Telecommunications industry in various commercial sales and purchasing roles.

How did your career change after becoming a mum?

We learnt to juggle pretty quickly!

What first inspired you to start Wildchild London?

We decided, after having children, that the lack of flexibility in corporate roles no longer suited our family lifestyles and therefore left us with no choice but to look for something that would enable a better overall balance. Given our unused creative skills and obsession with our little ones wardrobes, we decided to enter the world of children's fashion. We identified very quickly that there is a lack of unisex options available to mums who don't want to stereotype their children, hence Wildchild London was born in the summer of 2017.

And how did you move from idea to actually taking your first business steps?

It all happened rather quickly, we discussed the idea and then before we knew it found ourselves in research mode. Finding our manufacturer felt like one of the most pivotal stages between idea and actually starting the business.

What skills or experience from your career do you use in your business?

We both have lots of experience commercially, in terms of running a corporate business which helps us make decisions, albeit feels completely different when it is your own money on the line!

Who is your target customer and how do you find and market to them?

Our target customer is predominantly female, aged 24 – 44, parents with children aged 2 to 9, interested in high quality clothing and design led fashion. Our main focus for marketing is via social media.

What are the biggest challenges you have had to overcome in starting your own business?

Just remain patient (Rome wasn't built in a day!) and continually believe in the business and drive it forward

What's your vision for your business?

To be stocked in boutiques across the world. As the brand grows we want to explore adjacent categories to develop.

What has most surprised you about yourself in starting your business?

Determination rules!

How do you juggle running a business and family life?

Badly..........In all seriousness it is important to let others help and realise that some of your standards will have to slip! Don't sweat the small stuff, if the laundry stays in the basket one extra day it's not the end of the world.

Choose five words to describe yesterday.

Busy, fun, hard going, tiring, noisy!!

What advice do you have for other mums who want to start a business?

Anything is possible if you stick to it, you will be amazed what you can achieve if you try.

How do you relax?

Either at the gym or with wine Yin/Yang :)

What do you love most about where you live?

We both live in areas which allow us to get into the big smoke easily but have the balance of a town with some greenery and good local schools. Plus friends and family nearby!

Other than at home with friends and family where would you most like to be this weekend?

Somewhere at least 8 hours away in the sun with a glass of something nice in one hand

What's your favourite tipple?

G&T / Red wine

What three things would you take to a desert island?

Assuming that survival is already catered for :) Music, Wine making kit and a good companion.