Eco-warrior and a creative mastermind, Lucy Jeffrey, has gone from strength to strength since starting her business in the sock world. You wouldn't have thought that there's much to say about socks, but Lucy has proven us wrong! Socks are the way forward!
Hey lovely, tell us a bit about yourself!
Hey I'm Lucy, I am 26 years old and live in London with my partner and my two rabbits. I studied Biology at the University of East Anglia, supplemented heavily by playing hockey! I took a gap year after uni and went travelling around New Zealand. I then joined HSBC on their graduate programme, and a year later started my own business, Bare Kind. Since then I have quit my full time job, hired two members of staff and I am selling so many socks I have had to move into a warehouse - it's all happened very quickly!
Wow, that has escalated quickly. Where did the idea for your business come from?
It was 2018 when I started Bare Kind, a year where a lot of focus was being placed on reducing single use plastic, and so I started selling reusable straws and t-shirts made from plastic bottles. It was a bit of a fun learning experience for me but I never thought I would take it much further. In 2019 I started experimenting with some new products.
I knew that I wanted to donate a % of profit to charity so I needed a product that would fit well with this model, and I landed on bamboo socks. I released some turtle socks and they went down so well I decided to expand the range
Since then I have quit my full time job, hired two members of staff and I am selling so many socks I have had to move into a warehouse - it's all happened very quickly!
Where did the idea for your business come from?
There wasn't a single a-ha moment, I tinkered with a few different products, took onboard customer feedback and gave them products they wanted. I landed on socks because I personally take a lot of joy from wearing a fun and colourful pair of socks. Add into that the 10% of profits helping to save the animal on the sock and I had found myself a winning combination. What have been your biggest learning experiences since becoming a business owner?
The time off is almost as important as the time you spend working, if you don't look after yourself you will burn out quickly.
Hiring a couple of girls to work with me was the best decision I have made for both me and the company, they are two very talented people and it just allows all of us to play to our strengths.
It's great to see you have realised this so early on. If you could give one bit of advice to someone thinking of starting their own business, what would it be?
This made be hard for some people, but try not to be a perfectionist. Launching something is better than launching nothing. Feedback is key here, you need to get out there and test your product and improve. You are unlikely to reach your end product in one go.
What has your biggest success/accomplishment/achievement been since starting your business?
I took my very first salary from the company in May this year, that felt pretty good! I was also awarded a grant from my university to grow the business, which was a big step for me and hugely validated what I was doing.
Who inspires you?
Other female entrepreneurs smashing it out the park. This may just be small business owners not many people have heard of, I can relate more closely to them. But I am also a fan of Sara Blakely and her story of starting up Spanx.
What book/article/podcast really gave you that OMG moment?
When to Jump: if the job you have isn't the life you want - It's a book about quitting your day job, I read it in 2018 when I had just started up Bare Kind, and I took some of that advice with me and used in 2 years later when I had eventually built up to quitting my job!!
➡️ You can find Lucy:
Emma Downey | Founder, Women Who Do
Emma can be found glued to her laptop/kindle or embarking on her next favourite hobby. Avid cake-eater, Disney-superfan and passionate about female empowerment, Emma founded WWD in 2017. She's currently travelling around Europe in her converted camper van and eating far too many croissants. You can contact Emma: email@example.com
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