In this edition of Igniting The Spark we speak to Alex and Anna, the two founders behind the amazing brand Hedoine. Hailing from backgrounds in finance and consulting Alex and Anna launched Hedoine in September 2018 to rave reviews.
Hedoine chose Ignition to help them complete a shareholders agreement and enable them to access funding from a UK investor. Ignition Law also helped them with employment contracts.
What motivated you to take the leap and start your own business?
We both had a desire to create and had been ruling out different ideas until we hit upon the right concept. We enjoy that journey, every day is so different and exciting!
Tell us about the kind of product you wanted to create?
We wanted to create the most innovative premium fashion essentials brand for the ambitious woman of today’s world. We looked at essential products that we used ourselves, with the focus on how we could innovate and improve, in addition to whether a gap in the market existed.
How did ladder free tights fit the bill?
So, there isn’t a woman in the world who has not experienced a ladder in her tights, which is the last thing you need when you’re at work or have plans in the evening. So why not develop premium tights that do not ladder?
How did you progress the idea?
We conducted a lot of research on the market and competitors, tested products from all over the world, looked at production possibilities, unit economics and sales channels. It all made sense to start the journey of Hedoine.
How did you end up in Italy?
We figured that the best tights are made in Italy so we knew this was the country to manufacture ours.
What advice do you have for picking the right producer/manufacturer?
Do your research, speak to as many as you possibly can and don’t be afraid to ask hundreds of questions.
When did you know was the right moment to focus on the brand full time?
We went through the entire research phase working full time in our respective careers. Then, we travelled to Italy and talked to as many producers as possible to learn about the production process. The day we came back, we sat down and drafted the business plan. A few days later, we left our jobs and ever since have been working full time on Hedoine.
You both had strong connections with Germany – what made the UK a more attractive proposition for a new start-up?
Even with the uncertainty of Brexit, setting up in the UK was the obvious choice. London is home to our core target audience and has an amazing and progressive fashion scene. Also, the UK is very startup-friendly!
What are some of the challenges you faced?
Every day brings a new challenge that we need to find the answer to. One of the funniest challenges was during the brand conception phase and our entrance to the creative world. For example, who knew that 200 shades of blue could be extracted out of one picture, when it was clear for us that there was only one tone!
In general, we would say that you need to be prepared for everything to take longer than you think, and cost more than you would like.
Any goosebump moments?
So many! The initial launch date, taking our first order – the list goes on. However, a few occasions stand out. For example, when we were at an event and came across a lady who was wearing our tights. It was simply amazing to see a customer who had embraced our brand and our values and was enjoying wearing our tights. Or when two people were talking about Hedoine as a great emerging brand, not knowing that we were the founders!
What’s the best thing about starting your own business?
Seeing your idea develop from thoughts in your head, to words on a page and then to a real-life product that people love and enjoy.
What is the best thing about working with Ignition Law?
Ignition were / are absolutely fantastic – they are great lawyers, have an amazing energy and made the whole process seamless. You know that you are in a safe pair of hands with Ignition as they are built on helping entrepreneurs. One lawyer has even become a friend to us and will remain part of our journey as we continue to build and expand Hedoine.
Final words of wisdom for an entrepreneur or start-up?
Definitely talk to people, there is no such thing as too much feedback. You also know your brand the best and how you want your brand to develop and evolve. It is so important to take a hands-on approach and inject your vision and value in everything. It’s also very important to be realistic – starting your own business will mean making sacrifices.
To find out more about Hedoine visit their website at www.hedoine.com