Tell us about your career background and how you came to found Milli Millu:
Before launching Milli Millu my background was in business. I did an MBA at Harvard Business School and worked as a Management Consultant for Bain & Company in London, advising large corporations (from energy to luxury and private equity) on strategy issues. I had thought about launching Milli Millu for a while as I struggled find the perfect bag to go to work but it wasn’t until I had my first daughter and wanted to take a break from work that I decided to take the plunge…
Where do you find your inspiration?
Everywhere! From customers to new materials I find in leather fairs to architecture and interior design. I’m constantly creating whether it’s a new bag, a new marketing campaign or new imagery for our online store. My brain never stops and I often struggle to fall asleep with so many ideas coming through my head… so many ideas and so little time!
Did you find it challenging transitioning from a career in management consulting to working in the world of fashion? How do the industries differ?
As an outsider to the fashion industry I had to learn everything from scratch, but what I found is that a lot of the skills I gained in consulting were very relevant to succeeding in the fashion world such as attention to detail and getting up to speed quickly on new areas. I think the biggest difference is that my job in management consulting was very analytical and my role in Milli Millu is very creative.
If you could offer one piece of advice to aspiring entrepreneurs, what would it be?
Listen to your customers and have determination, determination and more determination
Describe your perfect work wear outfit to us:
Because I now work in fashion and represent our brand, I typically wear something that can be transformed from comfortable to press-ready with just a couple of changes. Skinny black coated jeans are my daily staple coupled with an interesting top or knitwear, flats or heels, depending on the occasion and a great coat.
What, in your expert opinion, should we be looking for when shopping for an everyday handbag?
I think you should look for a bag that ticks every box: a great design, beautifully crafted with the highest quality materials and practical interiors so you can find your things and go to work in style…
What is has been your career highlight to-date?
I think there have been a few pivotal moments. Joining Bain & Company gave me an invaluable set of skills that I will always treasure and going to Harvard Business School gave me the guts to become an entrepreneur so they both led me to launch Milli Millu, which has taken my career on the most exciting journey
You are a working mum – how do you balance family life with running your own business?
It’s a juggling act, I can tell you! With 3 kids and a business to run there is no idle time. For me it’s very important to spend time with my children though, I wouldn’t be happy otherwise, so I make it work by working from home a couple of days a week and when I go to the office I go at 10 to see them in the morning and leave at 4 to spend the rest of the afternoon with them. And as soon as they are asleep I’m back on my laptop until midnight. I guess you just become the most efficient you will ever be!
And finally, what is your favourite style in The Fold’s autumn/winter collection?
My favourite piece is The Claremont coat in burgundy combined with the Hutton belt in black, it gives it a contemporary look and I find both pieces incredibly versatile!