Thank you to Her Way Her Say for the interview. Visit https://herways.org/ to read some incredible stories of women who inspire us!
A little pre-story...
A mum, a wife, a Creative Director and an entrepreneur, each title represents a ball Beth Richards is juggling. How to bounce each of them high and catch them with great balance and stability seems to be a challenge that every working mother is facing these days. Personally, I could relate to Beth in a number of ways being a working mum, partner, creative writer and blogger. Seeing my partner running a fast growing business myself, I understand that what customers see and what they don’t see are like an iceberg above the water and the huge unseen solid part under the water. How the brands Kinnon and Lapoche Beth created pave their ways to top trend global-selling businesses has a lot to do with Beth’s business visions, strategic thinking, hard working and of course, her great juggling skills. Welcome Beth Richards’s voice and stories in Her Way!
1. Tell us about yourself
Hands down my first love and greatest achievement is my family. I am the very proud mum to Ruby, 4, and Parker, 2 and wife to my gorgeous husband Rich. I’m also the Owner and Creative Director Hallow Brands which houses my two labels, Kinnon – luxury leather pieces for work and travel, and Lapoche – a range of accessories to simplify and organize when packing for travel.
I didn’t start my career expecting this is where I would be. A niggling idea stuck with me and ended up throwing me off course…in a good way. I have a brand strategy background and directed my own comms agency for eight years. I have worked with some incredible clients and brands in fashion, entertainment and lifestyle. I travelled a lot for work, and through this I saw the need for work and travel accessories that are just as functional as they are stylish… so I set about creating them. The labels are completely different (and some might say I am mad trying to grow two!), but both have a similar audience.
Kinnon’s range includes leather compendiums, carryalls and laptop bags, travel wallets and overnight bags, all with attention to the little details to make them extra special. Lapoche’s range includes everything you need pack your case from outfit organisers, garment cubes, lingerie totes and jewellery cases. Click here to view.
I absolutely love what I do, and feel so blessed that I have the opportunity to do it. I love staying close to our customers, finding out what they want and designing pieces that are just as comfortable here as they are anywhere around the world.
Something I try to live by and think about in everything I do, from how I raise my kids to how I run my business, is to be courageous and kind; go with your gut, believe in yourself and most importantly, help others to do the same.
2. Tell us something that you are most proud of
My kids aside, I am really proud that I have been able to grow my labels to a place where we are able to more comfortably give back and to have more influence over ensuring the suppliers we use have a strong social responsibility to their workers and that the materials we use are ethically sourced and produced. I’m also really excited that we’ve just signed on as a supporter of The Hunger Project, which we’ll be launching via our sites this week.
3. Can you tell us about a major obstacle at a certain stage in your life and how you conquered it?
For me, my major obstacle has been over recent years… trying to do too much, not focusing on the one thing and as such not necessarily doing anything to the best of my ability. A couple of years ago, I was running my brand agency, launched Hallow Brands and had my two kids which have always been my number one focus. It was madness! Deciding to part with my agency and my team after eight years was such a tough decision, but in the end the right one for me and my family.
4. If you could give a piece of advice to yourself 5-10 years ago, what would you say?
It would be to go for it! Don’t hold back on what you really want to do, you can find a way to make it happen. It would also be to figure out what you want most, and focus on that… you can’t be all things to all people and that’s absolutely fine (see question above!).
5. Your piece of advice to other women…
The absolute number one is to be yourself – you are good enough and you can do it. Also never be afraid to ask for help and always be willing to give it. Create a network of ‘wing women’ and hold them close!
6. Can you tell us how do you keep your products relevant and on trend?
As Kinnon collections can be seen in many countries in the world, do you seek designing inspirational globally?
It’s a constant process and one that never slows down. I draw inspiration from so many places, and always try to stay on top of global trends. We also speak with our customers to find out what they love, what they don’t and would like to see more of.
Different markets do tend to go for different styles and colour palettes so we do take that into consideration but what we mostly focus on is designing products that we absolutely love and are proud of, that we believe our audience will love too.