How did I come to set up Claudia May Lingerie?

Most of you are well aware that I am setting up my own online lingerie store where I am selecting the best products from the brands I have chosen to work with.

But how did I get to this point in my life?

After deciding that University was not for me, I worked for a local store for just under six months until I realised I really disliked my job. I had a strong work ethic and I decided that my enthusiasm would be better served elsewhere.

I began working for my Dad’s company as a receptionist and soon decided I wanted to set up my own business. Dad then took me along to a Chris Cardell marketing talk. Afterwards we were walking back to the car and he said that I should set up a business in something I felt passionately about and asked me what that would be. The night before my Mum had been telling me off for buying too much underwear so I jokingly said “Oh, underwear”. Right away my Dad enthusiastically said “Okay then!”.

Whilst working as a receptionist, I did some on and off travelling around Europe. Most people say that they discover who they are when they travel, and I decided that I wanted to start setting up a lingerie business once I got home. Due to some unforeseen circumstances in my life, setting up a business straight after travelling, didn’t seem doable.

At the beginning of the year (2016), an opportunity came up to work for a lingerie retailer. I got the job and worked for a short time setting up their store. This motivated me greatly to get going on setting up a business of my own.

Through some contacts, I found out about the Moda Exhibition at the NEC in Birmingham and was told I had to go. It was the place to be apparently. Without knowing what to expect, my Dad and I headed off on an adventure. By the end of the day I was so excited! I suddenly had access to all of these brands and felt like I had a great insight into how part of the industry worked.

Just before attending Moda, the retailer whose store I had helped set up offered me a new contract and I had accepted. I went back to work the week of Moda but after three shifts I handed in my notice before I had signed my contract. My heart wasn’t in their brand, it was in my own. I really want to bring the very best luxury lingerie to the UK market and unfortunately that is not to be found on the high street.

The following week I wrote my first blog post and started to build relationships with my Twitter friends. I then spent hours on end researching the lingerie market, choosing the best products based on comfort, quality and fit. I then contacted the retailers and introduced myself and my business idea.

I have spent a lot of this year breaking ties with negative people which I feel has really helped develop the positive outlook I now have on life. I also kept what I was doing very quiet. Very few people I know knew that I had a blog and that I was setting up a business. Once I announced my business on Facebook, the compliments and kindness from everyone was so overwhelming, I was not expecting such a huge response.

I never imagined at 19 I would have founded a business and at 20 be launching one. After years of feeling like I had nothing interesting to talk about, people always want to know how things are going and what the latest updates with my business are. Starting up this business has really helped me shape who I am and what I want to achieve from life. The future is totally unknown, but the experience I have had in the last 8 months is more than I could have imagined and I am incredibly excited to be moving forward and launching in just under a month.

Thank you if you have managed to get to the bottom of this blog post and to those who have supported me from early on in my journey.

Claudia.x

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