After a little break over the Summer we’re back with our Social Mum of the Week post. This week it’s all about mum of 3, Michelle who is a member of our Social Mums London Facebook group. She talks to us about what inspired her to start he business and how she is using it to also help young people with cancer.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your family
I’m 48 years old and live in Harrow (just outside London), with my husband, my two daughters aged 19 and 12 and my son who is 16.
What inspired you to start your business?
Before having children, I worked as a solicitor in London but gave up when my daughter arrived. Once all my children had started school though, I realised that I needed another avenue to fill my time. I was ready for a challenge! Out looking for party dresses for my girls for a family occasion, I really couldn’t find anything I liked, everything was either aimed at really young girls or at adults, there was nothing in between unless I wanted to spend a small fortune, so the search began for designers that could fill the gap and the seeds of an idea began to grow. Initially working with a partner, a really good friend of mine, Silhouette London was born.
What is your business?
Silhouette London is a Party Fashion Boutique for Kids and Teens. I became the sole owner of the business around 3 years ago. It is run from a shop in Harrow and is also online. It’s three main principles have always been trendy, age appropriate party wear, affordable prices and a one to one, caring, friendly styling service. All three remain as important to me today as they were on day one. There is nothing I love more than to watch a customer shine when she finds the dress of her dreams. As a mum, it is particularly wonderful when a young girl walks in, shy and unsure and they literally blossom before your eyes, leaving their appointment feeling beautiful and ready to take on the world. There is no better feeling! It is with that in mind that a few months ago, Silhouette partnered with Teens Unite, a charity helping young people suffering from cancer to not only fundraise for them but to offer anyone referred by them a Silhouette appointment and a dress of their choice so that they too can have that feeling for Prom, Graduation or any special occasion.
What social media platforms do you use and why?
I use Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest for Silhouette with the main focus on Facebook and Instagram. Facebook is great for reaching mums looking for something special for their daughters and being able to share posts on the various Facebook groups really helps to spread the word. Instagram is a great visual medium heavily used by the younger demographic, so it’s an essential part of my social media marketing. I’m learning to love the use of Stories after learning all about them on the Social Mums online Instagram course.
WHAT DO YOU FIND MOST CHALLENGING ABOUT MARKETING YOUR BUSINESS ON SOCIAL MEDIA?
The thing I find hardest about social media is building up my followers and I’m also still learning to predict which posts will be the most popular. I’m fascinated when certain posts get huge traction when you least expect it!
WHAT HAVE YOU FOUND MOST USEFUL ABOUT BEING PART OF A SOCIAL MUMS FACEBOOK GROUP?
Being part of the Social Mums London Facebook group is great with the daily #socialshare and all the little tips you can pick up. I also really enjoy reading about other mums in business and their stories.