Emma Parker, talks to Business Matters about why she started the never beige and boring Business Champion Awards finalist lingerie company Playful Promises.
What do you currently do
I’m the Founder at Playful Promises. The main part of my role is overseeing the business strategy and product design. One of my favourite bits of my role is setting the colour palette for each of our lingerie brands for the season we’re designing into and working out what embroideries we should design for the coming season.
What was the inspiration behind your business?
Playful Promises is a lingerie and swimwear business that is pretty, sexy, comfortable but never beige and boring. I noticed there was a gap in the marketing for design led fashionable and sexy lingerie in a wide range of sizes (we make 90+ bra sizes!) and an affordable price point.
Who do you admire?
This is a bit cheesy but my Dad – he taught me to love reading and gaining knowledge and to have confidence to try and be anything I wanted when I grew up including an entrepreneur.
Outside of work I admire some of the old philosophers who spent time thinking about how humans interact and how we can best interact. A couple of the ones I admire the most are Bertrand Russell and JS Mill.
Looking back, is there anything you would have done differently?
Planned bigger from a technology viewpoint from the beginning. Migrating technology systems hurts and I wished I had started with something more robust when the business was a bit smaller.
What defines your way of doing business?
Passion. We bring a lot of passion to what we do. We really care about making unique product and in a wide range of sizes.
Whilst it’s not cost efficient to have higher paid people doing more administrative tasks, I would never ask someone to do something I hadn’t done or wouldn’t do myself – I also apply to that to my design and fit process – it has to be good enough that I myself would wear it.
Put yourself in your employees and customers shoes always.
What advice would you give to someone starting out?
Stop waiting for your product or service to be perfect. A business is a journey which will evolve as you go along. Be resilient and by that I mean don’t worry about making mistakes; you will make mistakes, pick yourself up and work out how to do it better next time.