Ulster Life talk to Caprice about her new A/W14 lingerie and swimwear collections.
- Your lingerie and swimwear collections for AW14 are stunning-what is your inspiration for the collections?
We go to Paris and see what’s there. I pay a lot of attention to colour trends. You have to educate yourself and see that’s going on trends-wise. I also really listen to my customers and see what sells season on season, from what blocks sell to colourways.
- Who is the By Caprice customer?
Women that buy By Caprice are not compulsive buyers, she wants outstanding quality and value for her money. She is fun, fashionable and confident in her own skin.
- What is unique about By Caprice products?
At By Caprice our designs are unique, fashionable, functional and fun. When you buy By Caprice there is a definite signature in terms of material, bright colours and prints. We pay a lot of attention to fits to ensure comfort and support and use the most stunning fabrics and textures. This shows in the end product.
- Why did you set up the By Caprice business?
When I turned 30 I thought ‘holly smokes’, I have got to think of something that I’m passionate about that people can buy into. Lingerie worked so well and I used modeling as a platform to turn myself into a businesswoman.
- What highs and lows have you experienced running By Caprice?
The highs are seeing my business grow from an idea into an international company that sells in five different countries. My customers are the most important aspect to my brand and I also love their positive feedback and we have a loyal customer base.
Gosh I have learnt a lot – the biggest thing has been how currency exchange rates work. I now look at rates every day to see how our costs will be affected. They are always up and down and I have to keep my eye on the ball.
Before the recession By Caprice experienced massive growth. I made 50-80% margins and was paying for my stock every two months. To the factory I was paying about £1.2m, now, if you add on 50- 80% mark up as my margin, add that on top of £1.2m, I was doing very well for a start-up business. When the recession hit in 2008 I didn’t really think about currency fluctuations. In mid-2008, I was buying stock for my business when you could get about $2 to the pound. The size of the order meant I was out of pocket by about £1.6m, just in currency terms, and that was just on exchange rates. I was buying products in the millions, so the losses were obviously huge.
- Congratulations on becoming a mummy to Jett and Jax. Has your life changed since becoming a mum?
Thank you! I am still trying to figure this one out, it literally involves no sleep…..
- Do you think the pressures of owning your own business in any way prepared you for motherhood?
Nothing prepares you for motherhood and the deep bond and the love you have for your children.
- What are your future plans?
Raising my beautiful boys with love, happiness and guidance as well as focusing on my business.
I would like to expend into hosiery and maternity and beachwear. The UK has been the prime focus up until now for By Caprice, but we do sell in four other countries at present. As the UK is my home market I am able to control the marketing side much more than I would internationally. Having said this, international growth is something that By Caprice is now ready to concentrate on and I am looking for international reps who can control the brand integrity for me.