In today’s Behind the Biz interview I’m chatting with Lisa Ebbing, the co-founder of HotMilk Lingerie.
HotMilk Lingerie is designed by mothers, for mothers. The brand has revolutionised what was once a very uninspiring market with their fashion forward styling.
We take a closer look at Lisa’s business journey, brand, advice for aspiring entrepreneurs and much more. You can also find out about the charity work they do.
Please tell us about HotMilk Lingerie.
10 years ago, Hotmilk launched their innovative, fashionable and inspirational range of maternity lingerie. We first launched close to home in New Zealand, followed by Australia, the UK, the US and the rest of the globe quickly followed. Hotmilk is billed as a sexy and provocative fashion forward alternative for expectant mothers and breastfeeding women. It urges women to celebrate femininity and look aspirational at the same time. Hotmilk’s beautiful designs have been embraced by everyone from the girl next door to the chic fashionista. The designs are not only beautiful, but all lingerie has been tested to ensure a supremely comfortable fit through every stage of pregnancy and breastfeeding baby.
How did you decide upon the name of your brand?
We actually were just having a laugh at that stage, throwing around words and then realised actually to make a real splash on the market and stand out from the crowd, we actually did need a name that stopped people in their tracks, so the name stuck!
What sets Hotmilk Lingerie apart from other brands?
Hotmilk forced change upon a market that desperately needed an overhaul and is immensely proud to have led this revolution of the maternity world that prior to their launch left mothers with only a sea of beige as their choice for nursing lingerie. Our lingerie is designed to make a mother feel like a beautiful sexy women. We not only focus on the look of our bras, but we also put a huge amount of effort into innovation and design so that our bras fit perfectly and last for years to come.
Did you always plan to set up your own business?
Yes definitely. I started my first business at 20 and always knew that I was an entrepreneur. I love overseeing the whole structure of a business and being involved in every aspect.
Please share a business high and low with us.
Low – The recession really hit us hard, overstocked at a time when people had no money to spend. That was a tough time of willpower in holding on until times improved and we were so fortunate that we did.
High, Bravissimo taking us in to their stores, they are so well known for their fitting in the UK so it’s wonderful to get their tick of approval.
Where can we buy HotMilk Lingerie in the UK?
We are stocked in over 50 stockists throughout the UK. A full list of retailers can be found here… https://uk.hotmilklingerie.com/pages/stockist-locator
And of course we exhibit at The Baby Show which returns to the ExCeL in London 1st – 3rd March. (www.thebabyshow.co.uk)
What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs?
Get a lot of help, we waited for too long, I recommend getting some mentors in early, and then truly I believe it’s about having sticking power, don’t give up, never quit.
Where do you hope to take your business in the year ahead?
We have recently launched our new brand projectme which is a bold new label set to disrupt the nursing lingerie market even more with influential styles and directional fit that is designed to be seen. We’re having a lot of fun with this brand and can be quite bold with the design. We’re really looking forward to taking this brand to new and exciting levels.
Check out the beautiful designs over on the Hotmilk site and support the brand on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Pinterest.
Thank you so much to Lisa for taking the time to answer these questions. I’m so pleased to have her as part of the Behind the Biz series. Having spent a lot of time looking at maternity and nursing bras recently I can say with confidence that she’s created a fantastic brand which really stands out from all other brands on the market.
I think Lisa’s tips for aspiring entrepreneurs are really important. Never be afraid to ask for help and don’t give up.
Once again, I want to say a big thank you to Lisa and I can’t wait to see more of projectme and try their nursing bras out for myself.