I first found The Hettie Company after watching Sophie Callahan’s wedding video and being completely smitten with Barney the Spaniel’s bowtie that he wore at the wedding. I followed the link and found out more… and when I got chance to ask the lovely Sian some questions, I jumped at the chance…
Tell us about you and your background
I’m Siân, and along with my son Tom and his wife Stephanie we are The Hettie Company.
We love to spend time together as a family, and enjoy nothing better than all gathering around the table sharing food and laughter. The family is growing steadily with toddlers adding their fun and noise, and of course our dogs are very much part of everything. We can’t imagine not having a dog around, and they have inspired us to include the pet accessories as part of our range.
What made you want to start The Hettie Company?
Hettie was born out of an idea that started around the garden table one evening at one of our BBQs. These are something we have regularly, in proper British style ‘whatever the weather’. We live in the beautiful countryside in Warwickshire near the river, and have many beautiful walks and villages right on our doorstep. We wanted to design and make a country inspired collection, and having come across the gorgeous fabrics of Abraham Moon we knew that these would be perfect. There are so many beautiful fabrics for us to choose from and we have so many ideas for product ranges for the future!
How is your business different?
We specialise in luxury accessories, and our collection harnesses two significant consumer trends in the U.K. by offering high quality co-ordination for dogs and their fashion conscious owners. We saw an opportunity in the market to bring together durable and stylish pet accessories and high fashion bags and accessories for their owners.
What makes your products special?
It was logical for us to focus on offering sartorial, elegant and eye catching design to dog and owner in one collection. We’ve chosen to make our collection here in the U.K. using the classic fabrics of Moon who have a long history and heritage and are renowned throughout the world. The contemporary combined with the traditional. The wool we use is sustainable, natural and ecofriendly.
If you had to sum up The Hettie Company in five words, what would they be?
Fresh, simple, elegant, classic and different
Do you have a motto or ethos?
Don’t be afraid to ask for advice, help or anything else. If you don’t ask, you don’t get. And don’t be afraid to make mistakes.
If you could give one piece of advice to an aspiring business owner, what would it be?
Very hard just to think of one thing! Don’t give up I would say. Take time to consider your options before spending money on things such as advertising and marketing, sampling etc, and going with your gut instinct is probably a good idea. I read recently that in Coca Cola’s first year in 1886, sales averaged nine drinks per day. That first year Pemberton sold only 25 gallons of syrup. For his efforts, Pemberton grossed $50.00 and spent $ 73.96 on advertising !
One thing that helps you run your business more effectively
We couldn’t live without our Apple products! We can communicate/share information/store information/photos and design basic marketing materials together on our various phones and computers and their Apps. We can even take money from a customer using one of the Apps – amazing!
Best thing about running a business?
Freedom to make our own decisions and be your own boss
Worst thing about running a business?
It’s very hard to switch off, especially with the aforementioned wonderful technology which means it’s so easy just to check emails, social media all the time
Top business blog you follow
I enjoy reading Richard Branson’s blog, and have been delighted to be introduced to Karolina Barnes of Estila mag. She runs the Atelier of Success on Facebook for businesses, and is very generous and giving in her advice having been through highs and lows herself in business. Her magazine is a breath of fresh air, vibrant and colourful.
Top business book you’ve read
No specific business books, but I enjoy autobiographies, again people like Richard Branson are fascinating. So positive
One thing we might not know about you
I am a qualified pharmacist
Top business achievement
We’ve taken our time to get all our ducks in a row before properly pushing Hettie into the wider world, so nothing massive yet, but we are delighted that people are coming to us now asking us to be involved in collaborations, interviews like these etc . We recently have been approached by someone across the pond for a possible product collaboration which we are very excited about .
Where can people follow you or The Hettie Company online?
We can be found in the usual places listed below, and would be delighted to meet you there. We love to hear from people and would be really happy if you got in touch
Pinterest Hettie Hettie company
LinkedIn – Hettie Trading Co Hettie