Laura Grant is launching her family business on 18th of March. Lovelythings.ie sells pre-loved children’s clothing and we caught up with Grant to get her insights on starting her new business. “Lovely Things is a business that my husband and I are putting together for pre-loved kid clothing for those from 0 to 12,” says Grant. “The reason that we picked the 18th of March was because it’s Global Recycling Day, so it fits in with our ethos and what we want to promote.” Grant is a solicitor by profession and previously worked in a big law firm but took a step back from the workforce when her middle son James was born with congenital CMV which caused deafness. She became a stay-at-home mum and became actively involved in parents’ groups becoming chairperson of Our New Ears. Starting a new business is only adding to her growing list of talents. Having always had an awareness of the environment, she was horrified when she came across videos of ocean waste washing up on beaches, she could see the over consumption going on around her over the years and one day while she was trying to squeeze another child’s outfit into an already bulging wardrobe, she had her lightbulb moment, she needed to do something about this.
During a pandemic with all the restrictions it’s difficult to give your closet declutter to the charity shops so she began to sell her items using online marketplaces like Facebook and Done Deal. They worked fine but the process seemed over complicated, it was a lot of hassle and this is where she found the dimmer switch! Why not create her own business making it easier for people to buy and sell pre-loved kid’s clothes? Turning the dimmer switch up to bright, the process began.
“I just thought, I can do this,” she explains. “I’d bought and sold hundreds and hundreds of items online at this point. And it’s something I feel so passionately about. Things that are seen as waste are actually just a wonderful resource, if they are just reused it can have such a positive contribution to this circular economy.” Getting the message out to people was one of the challenges Grant had when setting up the website which they have managed to do through a series of guides. Another challenge with a new business is trust.
“Building the trust relationship between people buying from us, those who have maybe never bought pre-loved clothing before, we need to make sure that they are really comfortable with our process and it is thoroughly checked with our screening process,” she says.
The clothes are checked, sanitised, steamed and stored carefully and Lovely Things will be adding the transparency of this process to their website to reassure their buyers.
“I think people are intrigued by it, but it is literally bridging that gap and turning the intrigue and interest into actual action,” she adds.
One thing which has surprised Grant was the power of a LinkedIn for her business. It comes as no surprise that Samantha Kelly suggested she post about her new business project on the platform as she had been hesitant to say goodbye to the old and introduce the new.
“I was pleasantly surprised on LinkedIn. Part of me was saying goodbye to the legal career as I was putting myself out there as a business owner. That’s a process in itself,” she says.
“I’m hoping that more and more people will have the conversation [around sustainability] because it’s not just buying from us but I feel so passionately about people starting to change their habits. It doesn’t have to be perfection, perfect is the enemy of better, just small changes can have a massive effect,” she adds.
Well, it’s clear to see Grant has found her why! Stick the 18th in your diary and support Lovely Things on their launch day.