Independent design and retail company Get Cutie was founded over 30 years ago in the heart of the lanes by Mum of Izzy England. Izzy is now one of the two directors of the business, whose vision is to influence their consumers on the importance of sustainability.
Get Cutie faced displacement after Covid forced their landlord in Kensington Gardens to increase the shop's rent. This meant Get Cutie needed a new space to call home, and have found just that at WERKS.
We spoke with Izzy and asked them to give us more background about Get Cutie and where it all began.
10 Questions with Get Cutie
1) Firstly, can you tell us in your own words about what your business does and its mission?
Get Cutie specialises in made-to-order clothing and homeware - we have a huge passion for fabulous prints and quality products, and have a range of fabrics and talented local seamstresses to help us nurture the love! We reject the movement of fast fashion, so it's important that our products are well-loved and are of quality that lasts.
2) What inspired you to start your own business?
My mum actually started the business when I was tiny, and (me) taking over has happened completely by accident! I grew up with the business and would start getting paid by it from the age of approximately 4 when I would sweep the floor in exchange for tuck shop change! Working in and around the business has always been second nature to me, though I stopped being so involved after moving to London for University 12 years ago. I had a successful career in hospitality marketing until the pandemic hit, whilst I was in Brighton visiting a sick family member, and what was meant to be a quick visit has turned into a complete life turnaround. I took over the day-to-day running of the business to navigate it through Covid and quickly fell in love with it all over again. One of my best friends, Ruby, had been working as a freelance seamstress for Get Cutie for a while and was a total life-line for me throughout with inspiration, support and enthusiasm during a time of such change and confusion... it soon become clear that we were a bit of a dream team and it was decided for us to become business partners and take the business over officially together. My Mum is still on hand for advice but needed a bit of a change after having the business for so long.
3) How do you find inspiration and what sets you apart from the competition?
Local artists are a constant supply of inspiration! I love working with creatives and find that doing so keeps the inspiration coming and the ideas flowing! A recent highlight has been working with the artist Hannah Shillito, initially on tee prints and now we're about to launch our second fabric together... we plan on doing lots of artist collaborations going forward. I think that our service is so personalised for each customer sets us apart from the competition.
4) What is your background and what skills have you developed since launching Get Cutie?
After growing up with Get Cutie, I studied fashion at University before going into hospitality marketing. My role at Get Cutie has a lot of similarities to my past career, as I always seem to put myself in a place of nurturing creativity and pulling lots of different people together. Ruby also studied fashion at University and has since worked for a lot of boutique brands developing and creating products. The main skill that we've developed since becoming business partners is growing a thicker skin against the constant obstacles thrown at us! Problem-solving has definitely had to become our forte!
5) Describe your typical work-day?
We'll start the day by meeting in the studio and will ease ourselves in by chatting about what we need to do and updating each other with a deluge of information that's happened in a very short space of time. The day will then be spent (in no particular order) excitedly working on patterns, sewing orders, having heads down in emails, working on fabric designs. The only constant in the everyday flow of the studio is that Fleetwood Mac WILL be playing very loudly.
6) What has been your biggest challenge to date and how did you overcome it?
We lost our bricks and mortar shop recently after the landlord put the rent up an unmanageable amount. It was sad after having a shop in Kensington Gardens for 30 years and I couldn't remember my life without it. It initially seemed like it was the icing on the cake and final kick in the teeth after just having had officially taken on the business after the sequence of events of the past 2 years... we stupidly decided that the right time to move would be between Christmas and New Year... never has a sillier decision ever been made. It was brutally tough and I think we've only just recovered, but the amount of help and support was really heartwarming, and we're super happy and settled in our new home now.
7) What has been your greatest achievement to date?
Getting through the last 2 years in a way that means the business is now in a place to grow and thrive - we have lots of exciting plans.
8) Which small businesses and/or entrepreneurs influence you / to do you look for guidance?
I always find Hotel Pelirocco really inspiring, we do a lot of photoshoots there because the brand marries really well - they've really nailed the combination of fun and customer service. Hannah Shillito has been a real source of inspiration and help recently, she's boundlessly enthusiastic and her attitude is a lifeline when mine is dwindling!
9) If you could go back, what's something you would have done differently? With this, what advice would you give to someone who is wanting to start their own business?
There are a few instances that I wish I followed my instinct quicker... navigating the business through Covid has been tough in that it's been difficult to plan as easily as you would in 'normal' times, but there have been a few decisions I could have made quicker that would have had more impact if I'd just gone for it. So think that's my mantra and advice now - JUST GO FOR IT!
10) Where can we find Get Cutie online?
Inquiries please email - email@example.com
Like us on Facebook - www.facebook.com/getcutiedresses
Follow us on Instagram - www.instagram.com/getcutiebrighton
Visit our Website - www.getcutie.co.uk
Huge thanks to Get Cutie for their time.
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