Welcome to our meet the brands series of blog posts, where we take you behind the scenes to meet the makers and small brand owners that make Shop The Squares possible.
Burch and Brown was founded in October 2017 by Katy Brown. Katy holds down a full time job in the fashion industry, alongside Burch and Brown. Her passion for well-made, high quality pieces is reflected in the Burch and Brown products, which are all made by hand from Katy’s home in West London.
1/ What made you decide to start Burch and Brown?
About 6 months ago I was looking for a gift for a friend’s baby, and was really struggling to find something classic, well made and individual so I set about making my own. I saw a gap in the market for products which were well-made and long lasting but also that offered that personal touch. I started with the ‘initial’ cushion, and the rest, as they say, is history!
2/ What was the hardest thing about getting started?
I started Burch and Brown just before the Christmas period, which meant everything was very much on fast forward! It was a big rush to book in Christmas markets, get my products made and website up and running. Definitely not the best timing for a new start up!
3/ Describe a typical day, given you also hold down another full time job…
I am very much a morning person, so a typical day will normally involve my rising early and squeezing in some cushion making / stencil designing before I walk the 3 miles to my day job. On lunch I’m posting orders and in the evenings I am back at the sewing machine making products or answering customer queries and updating the website / Instagram.
4/ What advice would you give to someone who is thinking about setting up his/her own small business alongside a full time job?
Go for it. You might think you won’t have enough time, or won’t be able to squeeze everything in, but in truth the more you have to do the more efficient and effective with your time you become. It really is true; if you want something doing then give it to the busiest person!
5/ How important is social media to your business and what other platforms do you use to promote your business?
I am a total novice with social media, so this has been my steepest learning curve. Instagram has definitely been an important factor since starting, and something I shouldn’t have been afraid of. Everyone has been so supportive and friendly, and it’s really helped to generate interest and sales.
6/ Where do you find your inspiration?
I am really inspired by fabrics, I just love playing around with different combinations of texture and colour.
7/ We always ask this question, but with a full time job in addition to Burch and Brown, how is your work/life balance?
When you run your own business you have so much passion for it, and such a strong desire for it to succeed that it totally consumes you, but definitely in a good way. I would say work is my day job in fashion and life is Burch and Brown, and for now I’m very happy with that!
8/ What is your biggest challenge?
I’d probably have to say IT. My computer and technology skills are somewhat limited, I am constantly having to call on IT support (aka my boyfriend!).
9/ Describe your style
Classic, smart and clean.
10/ How do you relax/ switch off?
Walking along the Thames Path, just beautiful and always so many amazing dogs!