The Reach London: Helen Collins

The former commercial lawyer who founded her own luxury nightwear business after needing to 'find a new challenge'

Name: Helen Collins
Company Name: The Reach London
Location: London and Rutland
Number of Employees: 3
Website: www.thereachlondon.com

Tell us what your business does?

The Reach London is an online retail company specializing in luxury high-end nightwear for both men and women. All products are designed and manufactured under our own label.

Where did the idea for your business come from?

The failure to find a high-end, pure cotton bathrobe led to my designing, producing and importing a range of luxury cotton bathrobes from Turkey.

How did you know there was a market for it?

I know there is always a market for beautifully made, ethically sourced products. Add to this the current trend for great night to daywear.

 What were you doing before starting up?

I worked as a commercial lawyer in the City of London.

Have you always wanted to run your own business?

I really enjoyed my career but I always had an entrepreneurial mindset. Increasingly it became apparent that I needed to find a new challenge.

How did you raise the money?

The business is self-funded. However, as it continues to expand investment from external sources will be sought.

Describe your business model and how you make money

The business is an online retail store specializing in luxury high-end nightwear for men and women. The collection can be purchased via the company website.

What challenges have you faced and how have you overcome them?

Having a legal commercial background has proved invaluable in setting up the business. However, I have had to learn many new skills, it has been a huge learning curve, very hard work but also immensely enjoyable.

What was your first breakthrough?

The first sale! Also receiving really great feedback from our initial customers both on our products and on our customer service. It was tremendously encouraging.

What advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?

Firstly, providing a great service for your customer is one way in which you can distinguish yourself from some of the bigger and more well-known brands. So often as a company expands, its level of customer service starts to slip.

Secondly, time spent on sourcing a top end manufacturer is never time wasted.

Thirdly, as time is at a premium when setting up a business, however determined you are to master new skills and save resources, quickly assess which skills are beyond you and therefore best left to the professionals.

Where do you want to be in five years time?

A global luxury nightwear and lounge wear brand which is renowned for the quality and design of its products and also for its exceptionally high level of customer service.

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