Meet Kelly from girlstalktoboys #mumpreneurstories

#mumpreneurstories is a series of interviews by mumpreneurs who share their journey to inspire and encourage others mums to live their dream. There is a lot we can learn from each other :) #mumpreneursquad


1. Tell us a bit about your family.
My family is a bit of a melting pot. My husband, Jules,  is German, but he’s been in the UK for almost 20 years now, I’m American and have been in London for 10 years and my daughter, Edith,  was born here in London, so she is American, German and British. It’s funny when the three of us are together, my husband has a South African kind of accent, everyone is confused by my accent and Edith has an English accent. We like to keep people on their toes.
2. Fill us in on the inspiration of your brand name girlstalktoboys.
My husband and I were in Vienna several years ago, way before Edith came along, we were walking in the city centre and on a sign it said, “Fact: girls that speak to boys at a younger age have better relationships when they are older.” I thought this was interesting because this could be applied to both sexes. It’s about kids being themselves and to not be afraid to talk to those around them. It’s about building confidence in both boys and girls. Teaching them to talk to each other, support each other, and accept differences in others.

3. How did your background as a fashion designer help you when launching the brand?
It has helped massively. I’ve worked in all parts of the industry. I had my own online kidswear shop, I Dream Elephants for several years, so I did the photoshoots and buying, I was a kidswear agent, a stylist, events coordinator and worked in retail. All these experiences have played a major part in my business.  
4. What do you think is the best marketing strategy to get your products out there? Which channels (website, newsletters, social media, etc) are the most effective?
I believe the best marketing strategy is using all the platforms you can, consistency and literally flooding social media with your voice and product. My most effective platforms at the moment are instagram and twitter. I still have a long way to go, but it’s growing.
5. Your lookbooks are quite professional, do you hire an external production team or do you do everything in-house with own resources?
I’ve worked with the same photographer since the beginning, Clare Walsh, she is a friend, but also an amazing photographer. We work well together and she just gets what I am trying to do. I do all the styling myself since I know how I want it all to look together. We do have a lovely make-up artist Gemma come along as well. I usually bribe a friend to coming and helping me with the rest, taking care of the kids and families, steaming and helping with outfit changes.


girlstalktoboys from Kelly Ekardt on Vimeo.

6. Why is it so important for your to help promote traditional industries in the community?  
The clothing industry has just completely lost the plot I think. People are unwilling to pay for quality anymore and this is very sad. I want to know where my clothing is being made and how its being made, so I try and use local people and factories for the collection. I am also working with a factory in Finland now too, but this is a family owned factory and they practice sustainability as well. I still feel it should be about people and the story behind the product. People are making these clothes and this is very important to me.
7. We have seen that you have been awarded as the Best Newcomer for the Smallish Design Awards 2016. How did that come about?
I applied and they liked my clothesJ yay for me!

8. How does a typical day in your life look like? How do you balance being a mum and having your own business?
My days vary, but they all start off with the school run at 9am, then I will either go to the studio and work or go to a meeting. I’m not crazy busy at the moment, but I will soon be with new product etc. At the moment I don’t have a full day, so I do the school pick-up as well at 3:10. I usually start working again in the evening after Edith is in bed.
I have learned to set aside time for Edith. She gets pretty grumpy if I’m on my phone to much and rightly so. She’s growing up way too fast and I don’t want to miss it, so I have to use my time wisely. Do I have the balance figured out? Not at all. I’m learning as I go along.
9. A random but important question at the end. Which payment solutions do you customers on your website mostly use and why?
It’s been a mixture of card payment and paypal. I originally was using squarespace for my website but at the time they were not accepting paypal so I switched to shopify because I believe paypal is a must have!
10. Thank you so much for your insights! Is there anything else you would like to share with us? ;-)
I’ll be launching some adult pieces come summer, so watch this space!


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