Julie Harriss - Co-owner of Style My Kid - This is Me
Posted on May 22 2020
Hello! I am Julie and am one of the (relatively) new owners of the children’s online clothing site Style My Kid. This is a new venture for me and we thought we would add a blog page to give a some background to the new business and the people behind it.
Prior to investing in Style My Kid I had successfully worked in the entertainment industry for the past 35 years, including being the Managing Director of a large publishing firm, running and promoting large events and also running the commercial arm of a trade magazine. Even prior to the Covid virus the home entertainment industry had gone through huge change, reduction and consolidation and this has adversely affected many areas of the industry. This was one of the reasons for looking for new opportunities in different areas and we felt that children’s clothing, while an enormously competitive area, was not likely to be replaced by a new digital version!
I have been married for 18 years, live in West London and have a wonderful 14-year-old daughter (who has asked me not to write about her). I love fitness and in particular doing Body Combat classes (trust me if you need a release of anger it is the best way of doing this, throwing household items at your family is not!!).
We have two cats, named Buffy and Angel (yes after that Buffy & Angel!)
Balancing work and being a mum has always been a challenge. The company I worked for when I was pregnant with my daughter was acquired by a large PLC. While on maternity they then made me redundant which was an incredibly stressful time. I had this precious baby so really I should have been happy, but it was hard going from the job and industry I loved to being a ‘mum’. I love my daughter with my very soul, but losing my job and with it part of my identity was difficult.
I picked myself up, set myself up as a self employed business which gave me the flexibility I wanted to share the time between work and being a mum and over the last 14 years I have worked with a variety of companies connected to the entertainment industry.
I am finding the current period of change quite a challenge as having known the entertainment industry inside out it gave me a confidence to operate within it and now to start in a new sector with a totally new company feels quite daunting. I find social media scary, I am comfortable with posting on personal sites but ask me to post a work related promotional post on instagram and it fills me with dread.
Why is this? I am unsure why I have gone from being a confident businesswoman to someone who feels trepidation at reading her emails and fears a social media post. Is it work related stress, having a teenage daughter, the loss of my 90 year old mum, the dreaded menopause hormones bombarding my system? Truth be known it is probably a massive combination of all of those things and more.
About Style My Kid
While looking for new business opportunities we found Style My Kid, run by Amy, a new mother who was inspired to start her own business as she struggled to find nice, high quality clothes for her son at reasonable prices. It was quite incredible what she had built on her own while also bring up her baby son. As a teenager I worked in the weekend markets with my parents helping to sell kids clothes, so it felt like returning to my roots. We hope that by investing in the business and applying some of what we have learnt in the last 30 years we can grow the company.
In the past year the steep learning curve has involved rebuilding the website, sourcing new suppliers, new warehouse set-up, understanding the complexities of online advertising, doing baby photoshoots (this could have a blog of its own!), dealing directly with customers and trying to compete with the major retailers, not to mention the lockdown.
Our aim is to source and sell fabulous children’s clothes at great prices, including a wide range of ethically sourced, organic clothes and some fabulous accessories from some of the newest and most innovative suppliers we can find. Sales and traffic have been picking up nicely in the last few months but there is a long way to go.
So I hope to bring you stories over the coming months - about the things I have learnt from being a mum over the past 14 years including a few amusing tales and guest blogs from friends talking about their own motherhood experience’s. I am not saying that I am an expert but if I can make just one person smile or pass on a nugget of advice then that will make me a happy bunny!
With love from Julie
Co owner SMK