WORK|LIFE|ME: Heidi Gosman, founder of luxury swimwear brand Heidi Klein
Our new WORK|LIFE|ME series looks at the work, life and home context of some of the most inspiring female entrepreneurs and women in business. In the second of our new series, we interview luxury swimwear entrepreneur Heidi Gosman, who started her company fourteen years ago and now counts Jennifer Anniston, Kate Moss and Sienna Miller as fans…
You launched Heidi Klein, with business partner Penny Klein, 14 years ago – what inspired you to start your own business?
Penny and I worked together in marketing and business, then became good friends. We had a great business chemistry and complemented each other’s strengths and weakness’ perfectly. We were working together on a project for a client about airport spend and holiday mind and we thought what a brilliant idea, why don’t we do this ourselves?
How do you balance running the business with the creative design side of the company?
My business partner Penny heads up the business side of things, whilst I look after the more creative side, such as designing and branding.
How has the industry changed since you started out?
There are a lot more swimwear brands around now than there were 14 years ago, so we have to set ourselves apart from the rest. We pride ourselves on being the classic choice, offering women perfectly fitting swimwear for any shape.
Do you have any advice for women today who are looking to launch their own venture?
Women should be confident and passionate in what they do. Also, always know your market and your customer base.
How hands-on are you with the design of each collection (new SS16 pictured here)?
I have a fabulous design team and we design all the collections in my studio in the London head office. We use research from old magazines, movies, attending runway shows and my constant travels as inspiration for each collection. Then we sit down and decide on names, styles and prints for each story. I love seeing the styles come to life and hearing the positive feedback from customers.
Where do you go for creative inspiration?
I draw inspiration from everywhere; from my many travels for work and pleasure as well as to listening to customers at our stores. Feedback is crucial for me when designing new styles and prints. I also attend the fashion shows in London each season and look back to past style icons, such as Grace Kelly and Jackie Onassis.
Describe a typical day for you?
One of the things I love most about my job is that no two days are the same. That is what makes my job so much fun. I’m either visiting a factory, in the showroom for meetings, at a press event or in the studio with my design team. My days are constantly changing!
How do you balance a demanding work life with home life?
I think is has become easier as the children have gotten older, or perhaps I’ve become better at juggling everything! It’s all about having a balance. I always make sure I spend lots of quality time with my children which means no looking at my phone or computer. I always give them my full attention.
What do you do to relax?
Of course with so many pressures and commitments from children, work and family, it is so easy to lose yourself. I think the secret is to make sure you have time for yourself – I adore early walks first thing in the morning with my dog before anyone else is awake.