We realised earlier this month that it’s been forever since we did a Q & A on the blog, so this month we’ve decided to sit down with one of our favourite humans ever, Becks from Charlotte Lane.
For those of you that don’t know, Charlotte Lane is a Queenstown based online store that stocks a wide variety of New Zealand and Australian brands.
We have been huge fans of Charlotte Lane for a long time, and have recently got to know the beauty behind this increasingly popular New Zealand store.
Thank you Becks for taking time out of your busy schedule to answer some questions for us! You’re an absolute superstar and we love watching Charlotte Lane’s journey.
E & J
How did it all begin? Where did you get your idea/concept for Charlotte Lane?
I always thought I would work for myself ever since I dropped out of school, maybe I have an issue with authority haha. After having kids, I gave a few things a go then really found my feet with Charlotte Lane. Fashion is fun I love it and most importantly I enjoy it.
What are your goals for your business?
I used to dream that everyone would own a Charlotte Lane purchase, but now I’m thinking beyond that. I have something I didn’t think was possible in the works but it’s early days yet so I can’t share too much!
You have a new bridal collection launching, what was your inspiration for this?
When we got married I wanted a non-traditional dress. I love a beautiful bridal gown but it just wasn’t me. After searching high and low (with Carrie’s vintage number in mind) I found a knee length fitted white dress for $290 from Cue. It was literally the only Dress of its kind on the market.
Charlotte Lane Bridal is about filling that gap for NZ brides wanting something modern & contemporary but still timeless. Our dresses are also perfect for engagement parties, engagement shoots and bridal showers too. They have that something extra while still being simplistic and most importantly affordable. I would have loved Charlotte Lane Bridal when I was planning our backyard wedding!!
If you had one piece of advice for someone just starting out what would it be?
Get a great accountant who you can talk to about all aspects of your business. Mostly though listen to your inner voice because it’s always right and it doesn’t go away! Keep your values & self-value in mind when dealing with all matters.
What is your most memorable moment regarding your business so far (famous client? Magazine exposure?)
Oh wow, we’ve had so many! Not “famous” as such but women I find inspiring approaching us to wear Charlotte Lane like Makaia Carr & Simone Anderson is so amazing. Julia Ford the head of Design at Kathryn Wilson wore one of our dresses down the runway at their SS’17 show that felt pretty special I may have even done a happy dance!
What is the most rewarding thing about running your own business?
It’s such a cliche but when we get emails from customers who are thrilled with their purchase it’s the absolute best. When they post photos to social media of their purchase I could cry! If I’m having the worst day and read one of those it makes me so happy! At the end of the day, we would be nothing without customers so it’s really heartwarming when they take the time out of their day to share the love.
What do you wish you had known before you had started your business?
To be prepared for a long slog. Everything takes time, consistency & commitment but when you hit those goals it will be the greatest feeling in the world. To stick to my guns & standards even when it’s hard or tempting not too.
What is the most difficult/challenging thing about running your own business?
Being able to switch off mentally, I think any business owner would say the same thing. Both my husband & I are self-employed so finding that balance with three kids can be hard.
What are your thoughts on the increase of social media advertising, do you think it has a positive or negative impact on businesses?
Definitely a positive I’ve grown my business through social media. It’s a great way to directly connect with your customer. Soon we will probably have more rules around advertising on SM like overseas do which will be a good thing I think. Some grey areas need to be clearer.
I’ve learnt that contracts are vital. To be honest though without Instagram I’m not sure how online would be for us it’s a major part especially when your customer is doing the advertising for you. Nothing beats organic word of mouth going out to your customer followers. We are so grateful for that.
What is the next step for yourself and Charlotte Lane? Where do you see yourself/Charlotte Lane in 5 years?
Myself eeek in 5years all my kids will be teenagers!! How the hell did that happen!!
Charlotte Lane, I hope will have continued to grow & my latest project to be in full swing. We are also launching active wear in November. This is a new collection for Charlotte Lane that we’ve never done before. This is the first time I’ve actually spoken about it and it’s really exciting!
Mostly though I’d like to be proud of myself.
If you had to take three things to a desert island what would they be?
Oh god!! Other than my family of course.
Definitely chippies, a cuppa & vogue. And music!! I can’t go a day without music. That’s four whoops!