Business Name: Daughter of Jon
Support received: Start Up Loan
From having her bags being sold in Topshop, to being mentored by the directors of Ted Baker, to securing the Vice President of wealth and investment management at Barclays as her financial advisor, Hedi started her handbag and accessories label, Daughter of Jon, with just an idea and a Start Up Loan of £10,000.
We asked Hedi more about her experience and vision to create something that lasts beyond her own life.
Tell us more about the inspiration and motivation behind starting your own business.
Over the last ten years I worked in many fields in the fashion industry and I felt like I needed to get a wider perspective so I enrolled on a post-graduate program in culture management. Alongside my day job I ended up working on a dissertation about the history of the handbag as a cultural object.
I realise now that I’ve kind of always envisioned myself in the position that I’m in now, with the direction I’m going and the way Daughter of Jon is evolving. But I guess I just hadn’t figured out how to get started or what it would look like to run your own business until I actually started doing it almost impulsively!
Looking back, I think getting experience in many fields and different types of jobs has helped me a lot now, so I’m happy I took my time to start a business! But I always felt like something was missing, that’s what in the end really pushed me to make the leap and start Daughter of Jon. It was, and is, a huge challenge but it’s absolutely worth it.
How did you become involved with the London Small Business Centre?
In my first year I was selling at various street markets and pop up markets in London to test my product, price range and to see who really my target audience is and what they look for. I’d recommend that to any designer.
One day a buyer from Topshop saw me trading on my local street market on Chatsworth Road in Hackney and then approached me with an email. It was as simple as that. That was a massive step up for Daughter of Jon and I quickly figured out that I needed some advice and insights from professionals to help me on that exciting journey.
I contacted Disc who immediately helped me with the manufacturing process and London Small Business Centre with the business side and funding.
My advisor at London Small Business Centre was Peter and he’s great at analysing the current state of your business and quickly understands where you can take it in the future and what steps need to be taken to get there.
He helped me to come up with a solid business strategy and helped me secure funding against that strategy.
On top of all this, what I highly appreciate about Peter is his positive energy. He makes you see that what you thought was difficult or even impossible is actually totally achievable and manageable and helps you get there.