Hi Alice, so great to meet you, as you know you were highly recommended to me by a client of mine & I love what you’re doing, so tell me…
Can you talk me through how the concept of your business came about?
I think the idea was brewing for a long time. Ever since my bust went past a D-cup, I struggled to find any clothes at all that fit me well across my bust. It became more of an issue the older I got and the more I needed and wanted to dress ‘appropriately’ for occasions – anything from work to a wedding. About 5 years ago, I went some way to developing a new strapless bra for bigger busts but in the end it felt like a bridge too far with zero experience in technical lingerie design, and due to the complexities of patent protection and manufacturing abroad. But my daily sartorial crises went on and finally I thought, ‘there must be a better way!’. By this stage, I had so many ideas about which clothes and styles would work for full busted women that I decided to put my money where my mouth was and to offer my own solution. So I started Alice Fawke!
Describe your business in 3 words?
That’s a great question.
And who is the typical Alice Fawkes customer?
In terms of who I’m targetting, I wanted to be quite ageless in the designs. For example, both my mum and I wear the clothes. She’s 65 and I’m 33. My youngest customer is 17 (as far as I know). Instead, I focussed more on creating flattering shapes and silhouettes that could be worked into lots of looks, depending on your style. My customers probably share a need for clothes to wear for particular occasions. You can get away with looser or ill-fitting clothes in a more casual context, but it’s when women want to dress a little smarter and feel well-tailored that Alice Fawke is most popular.
What does a day in the life of Alice Fawkes look like?
My boyfriend and I are both entrepreneurs and we have a silly joke between us where we ask, “what did you do at work today?” The answer is always, “everything”. It’s not in a self-important way, but when you’re managing your own business, particularly at an early stage, you’re usually juggling all elements, all the time, including: accounts, customer correspondence, design, manufacture, IT, marketing…
A great day is one with lots of customer interaction and when I get to work on designs.
Your customer service is what anyone who has purchased from you raves about, it seems like this is central to the brand. Was this a conscious decision?
Yes. I think the concept is very personal, both to me and for the customer, so a positive experience is vital. Moreover, I genuinely really value and appreciate every single client. They’ve taken a chance on a brand and a new idea, and I want to show thanks and also make sure they’re glad they did! I can’t see the point of putting yourself out there if you’re not going to bring your best self.
The range is ever expanding but quite edited, what’s your favourite piece?
It’s so hard to say! Each piece works really hard in a different way. No two things do the same job and I wear it all! I do love when there’s an opportunity to whip out high heels and the black Lucy dress. I’ve had so many experiences of having to dress up and having nothing to wear, it’s nice to feel chic and comfortable for a change.
And the best seller?
At the moment, the Nadia top is hugely popular. I think the cut is really versatile and square necks are ‘in’.
I’m hoping to come to one of your pop-ups, when is your next one?
Thank you! It’s in the pipeline for late April when we’ll introduce some new Spring/ Summer styles. I’m excited about that.