I thought it would fun to have this as more of an interview with me, Natalie, founder of Nattily Dressed....
Tell us about Nattily Dressed and what you do?
Nattily Dressed is a relatively new lifestyle brand, 4 years old now, which showcases a range of brightly trimmed Polartec fleece gilets and more recently quarter zips with a detachable pom pom for the zip!
On average, the Polartec fleece for each adult gilet is made from about 20 recycled plastic bottles (10 for the childrens and 40 for the quarter zips!).
How long has Nattily Dressed been going?
I first thought of the concept in May 2016 but it took two years to build relationships with a reputable manufacturer in Portugal and suppliers across the globe to create the perfect Nattily Dressed gilet.
In September 2018, 300 gilets arrived on my doorstep and I plucked up the courage to quit my full time job and attend as many Christmas Fairs as I could to sell all my stock! I did it and since then it’s been full steam ahead with no looking back.
Why did you start Nattily Dressed?
Many people wear gilets all year round but I couldn't find a gilet I liked which I could wear both in the countryside at weekends and in town during the week.
My university degree was in Zoology so I'm very passionate about sustainability, our impact on the environment and the footprints we leave behind. Therefore, I was determined to make a more colourful fleece gilet using recycled plastic bottles with sustainable packaging and as low as carbon footprint as possible. Our clothing is very much slow fashion, its made for adventures and to last as long as the memories you enjoy making whilst wearing them.
What is your passion behind Nattily Dressed?
I love the interaction with my customers. Everyone who buys a gilet receives an email from me to triple check the size before sending to save time with exchanges. My customers are incredibly loyal and love the gilets. I'm so humbled by how many come back time and time again - it's their supportive feedback which keeps me going!
I have also really enjoyed learning about the manufacturing process, meeting suppliers and managing the whole start-to-finish process from design to a completed product. The best part was in 2021 we moved all manufacturing to the UK and they are now made here in Leicester - I'm so proud of this achievement! It's great to support the UK manufacturing industry, helping to provide jobs and support the local community.
What did you do before Nattily Dressed? Any previous relevant experience or was this a complete change?
I worked in London for 10 years in PR & Marketing – the last job I left to start up Nattily Dressed was in Fintech PR! It couldn’t have been any more different but I've gained great experience throughout my career which I think has really helped me to build the brand and make a product I'm really proud of.
Who works in the business and what is the relationship?
Just me! My husband is a huge supporter as well as my mum who helps a lot with the shows – they’re great. I now have a little boy called Hector, a little girl called Saoirse (pronounced Sia-sha - Irish husband!) and mini Jack Russell called Pixie so I’m always juggling lots of things and the days just fly by!
What values are important to you?
Top quality product which you can wear time and time again, exceptional customer service which is professional and personal, sustainable thinking and fun but functional designs.
What has been your business highlight so far?
I’m really lucky and have a few really lovely retail partners and brand ambassadors. I love seeing people out and about in their gilets – it's always a 'pinch me' moment when people I don't know are wearing them on tv or social media!
Do you have a vision for Nattily Dressed? The big dream?
To create great quality garments in a rainbow of colours with sustainability at our heart. I launched with just two trim colours (pink and lime green) in two fleece colours (navy and grey) so four options. In September 2019, I introduced two more trim colours (sky blue and coral) as well as a children's range. Then for Christmas 2020 we launched the purple and mint green trims. In 2021 we welcomed the new unisex Quarter Zips and last year welcomed the new red trim! Stay tuned for more this year!
Why should shoppers buy from Nattily Dressed?
Because they’d be supporting a small British business which means the world to owners like me who wear all the different hats and try really hard to create a fantastic quality product which customers can enjoy wearing time and time again.
What is your top tip for anyone running their own business?
Be human! Treat your customers how you would like to be treated yourself.