Meet Edith Victoria
What is your background?
I studied Management of Business Information at University, which was a bore. I served nine years in total at the BBC as a Systems Administrator for the first three and a half years and then as the Freelance Co-ordinator for Post Production for the remaining time. It was during this period that I realised I wanted to do something more exciting and creative with my life, something that I was genuinely passionate about. I did an MA in Journalism which was thoroughly enjoyable and I started training to be a newsreader soon after completing the course. I left the BBC in 2009 to pursue my own interests and haven’t looked back since.
Tell us about your business?
ATN Clothing specializes in beautifully designed culturally inspired diamante clothing. Inspired by pride, heritage and symbols I combine images representative of countries from around the globe with contemporary fashion trends, fusing them to create a unique clothing brand.
ATN Jewellery Collections are made up of carefully selected, exquisite pieces of jewellery. From casual outfits to glamorous cocktail dresses, there are beautiful pieces to suit every occasion. Both brands are inspired by my appreciation of glamour. I often describe ATN Clothing as casual glam and the jewellery just makes the wearer look fabulous!
Where did the idea for your business come from?
I got the t-shirt idea at the end of 2009 from just simply wanting a t-shirt bearing my name made out of sparkly stones. That’s all it was. I am a person, who likes sparkle, luxury and customised things. I like having things that not many have or can get hold of and I am also very proud of who I am and where I am from, so I wanted clothing that reflected this. Then I thought…other people might want that too. The concept of All Thingz Nice jewellery came after years of always being drawn to large statement necklaces. An operation in 2001 to remove a growth from my chest left me with a large and in my opinion rather unsightly scar, so I started looking for fashionable and stylish ways to cover the blemish on a daily basis. Applying make up to the area was often awkward and inconvenient especially if I was wearing white or light coloured tops, so I started looking at fine jewellery and then costume jewellery, (the scar is also the reason the ATN t-shirt range is made on crew neck t-shirts). I became fascinated with gorgeous, bold, glamorous statement neck pieces and I often received compliments and I decided sourcing and selling costume jewellery could be a viable and enjoyable business.
What is the most challenging thing about running your own company?
Not having a consistent income, makes planning and expansion extremely challenging. Some days, weeks and months you might have decent sales. Other days, weeks and months you might not ;0( The bills are there regardless!
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?
You might have a great idea, but that doesn’t mean your business will take off. You need to have thick skin and be prepared for knock backs and disappointments. It is all part of the learning process. You should also look at how to keep your idea/brand/service relevant to your target audience. It is also important to know when to change direction or even stop and try something else.
How has working with Elisicia and Petit Miracle hub helped you?
The hub has been an excellent way to reach the public and a new customers. As a small business it is extremely hard to gain a high street presence especially in London because of the cost of rent. This platform has allowed me to see which of my products are most popular and what people are prepared to pay for certain items. This is important especially where ATN Clothing is concerned as I make the t-shirts myself and people don’t often understand the effort and time that goes into creating some of the designs I feature. This has also been a huge reality check for me – the sales speaks volumes! Having to constantly think of ways of getting people to shop has been good for identifying marketing opportunities and shopping trends.
Hopefully if all goes to plan ATN Clothing should be available in leading department stores. There will be t-shirts and jumpers available for children. Vests and other t-shirt styles will be available for the summer ranges. The ATN Swimwear range will available internationally. Swarvoski crystals will be used for limited edition ranges. Knitwear (hats and scarves) will be available for the winter ranges. I would like to have a good number of wholesale contracts and I would like ATN products to be more widely at international tourist destinations. There are also charitable causes that I will be able to raise awareness (and funds!!!) through making diamante branded clothing.