House of Foxy is a vintage inspired clothing brand specialising in quality, beautifully-made garments that emulate the glamour, fit and style of the 1920’s through to the 1960’s and are proud to boast that the whole range is made in Great Britain. I catch up with owner and designer Clare to learn of her inspirations, struggles and wisdom as a female entrepreneur…
Q. Tell us a bit about your business
The House of Foxy is a vintage inspired ladies clothing brand based in Yorkshire, England. We proudly manufacture all our designs here in Great Britain at a dedicated factory and the designs are heavily influenced by classic 20th Century Fashion styles (primarily 1925 to 1964). I design them all myself, based on photos, styles that I like, books and original garments from my hoard of vintage clothing.
Vintage styles have so much to offer women that are uninspired by the high street – women deserve to feel great and vintage style is much less about age and size – it celebrates women and their curves. As we manufacture here in England, we are not a volume model interested in pushing vast numbers of units made as cheaply as possible – we want to make garments that are as close as possible to vintage.
We have strong values – we want to create quality clothing in ethical circumstances. Every garment we make is made by one machinist who takes great care and enormous pride in what they do. We also like to use local suppliers where possible.
Q. What inspired you to start your business?
A combination of giving birth and frustration with high street clothes! I had always owned and worn vintage clothing but now that most of them didn’t fit, I was looking for something to make me feel good again. Since the high street is driven by economic fast fashions, I simply found there was nothing for me. At the time there weren’t many vintage repro brands and I was able to lean on my then job to make a start with an online shop initially selling other brands. I was still craving for different garments so I decided to design our own – and the rest is history.
Q. What struggles have you faced being a female entrepreneur?
It’s not easy juggling childcare and running a business especially since we don’t have family nearby to help out. But thats an old story. I think like most female entrepreneurs – we probably all experience some sexism and judgements from others over our decisions if we are working mothers and equally so for those who have chosen not to have children.
Q. How do you see your business developing in 5 years time?
Ideally we would like to open a few boutiques in the UK as many customers would really like to be able to visit and try on. We want to develop our 20s and 30s ranges further and introduce our own jewellery and accessories. Lastly, we launched our menswear brand last year and we would really love to expand that further.
Q. Can you offer any would-be entrepreneur readers any pearls of wisdom?
If you have passion for what you are doing and you believe in it – you can’t really go wrong. The best advice I received was stick to what you are good at and buy in what you’re not. Just because I can design doesn’t mean I’m any good at accounts or understand HR and its better for the business that I use my time at what I’m good at. You will find it easier to succeed if you have something different to offer than your competitors – find your niche.
Lastly – share the weight of responsibility as your business grows – don’t be afraid of getting advisors or even a board as your business grows. Its a lonely place to be sometimes when you run your own business.
“If you have passion for what you are doing and you believe in it – you can’t really go wrong”
The Fabulous Times