In this inspiring guest post, Girl Boss Maxine Wells gives House of Coco the lowdown on how she started her business, Intimate Apparel Samples, became London’s resident lingerie lady.
“Turning creative visions into a reality makes my day job a dream! I am Maxine Wells proud Founder of Intimate Apparel Samples.
My business offers a unique design and development service supporting Intimate Apparel and Swimwear businesses.
I love my job, whether working with start-ups or established brands I enjoy the entire process of supporting my clients along their creative journey to produce high quality collections”
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background, what inspired you to start your business?
I am the youngest of four sisters and was very quiet & introspective as a child. This meant I had a vivid imagination & wild creativity. I enjoyed losing myself in a daydream about what I could create or who I could become.
My daydreaming was a cause of concern at school, with teachers often noting the negative effects it had on my schoolwork, however it has since become one of my superpowers
My ability to form a crystal clear vision of my dream life & mission propels me in their direction, with complete belief that they will manifest externally regardless of my circumstances.
I started my business, because I wanted to add value to the world and I felt I could make a positive impact by creating jobs with a company culture that uplifts and supports those around us.
Our factory & coaching programs also nurture start-ups and independent brands which furthers my mission in supporting people living their dreams & life purpose.
What have been the biggest milestones so far?
There are so many, but moving into our Wembley Park studio in 2018, investing in high tech industrial machinery and hiring full time permanent staff, was a big turning point in the business.
It took a big mindset shift to make those commitments. I was no longer hiding behind ‘busy-ness’ and instead took scary financial risks which has since paid off!
What has been the biggest challenge you’ve faced on the way to becoming the lingerie lady of London?
Balancing motherhood and business has certainly had its difficult moments, although it is much easier now he’s eight years old.
I suffered the dreaded mum guilt to a severe level when he was younger. I felt there was something fundamentally wrong with me for still having the desire to continue growing my business and wanting to work.
I gave up my first studio when he was a baby and scaled back the business, so I could be a ‘proper mum’. I tried to convince myself I could be fulfilled without working towards my big ambitious dreams, but there came a breaking point where I could no longer lie to myself. I am who I am, and once I embraced that and started pursuing my goals again, both mum and son become much happier.
What advice do you have for women who would like to become GirlBosses like yourself?
Start small and minimise your risks. Business is a marathon not a sprint, so take small but continuous steps in the direction of your wildest dreams and do everything you can to enjoy the journey otherwise you risk quitting before seeing the results.
Bootstrap at the beginning until you understand your business and industry well, but depending on the business there may come a time when you need to take a calculated risk and invest in the business’ growth. Working harder doesn’t always equate to higher rewards but taking well-thought out risks can.
When the business is going through tough times, remind yourself that if business was easy everyone would be doing it. I have always found this helps me. Also, when things feel hard or messy, it doesn’t mean you are not cut out for this, it simply means you are challenging yourself and you should congratulate rather than be hard on yourself, because you are freaking awesome for pushing outside of your comfort zone.
For more information, visit Intimate Apparel Samples on https://intimateapparelsamples.com/