After having an idea for a sports bra that raised awareness of breast health, Claire worked with NatWest's Back Her Business to crowdfund...and ended up launching during a lockdown.
Tell us how Check Out Her Norks came about?
Norks came about on a bit of a whim. I was looking online for something for my husband and stumbled across a company that did socks and boxer short for men and gave back to a charity. I started thinking about bras and sports bras (I’m in the fitness industry), and then I started thinking about breasts, and how people don’t talk about them and how breast health isn’t always spoken about. So, I made a bit of a snap decision to create some sports bras which would support conversations around breast health.
You really pulled it out of the bag with your crowdfunding – tell us about your approach there?
I’d love to say there was a strategy but there really wasn’t. The first 3 weeks were quite slow with the crowdfunding campaign. In fact, 3 days before it closed, we were at £700 out of £5000 and I didn’t think we had a chance. I knew it was all or nothing, so I cleared the decks for the day and took to my phone. I text or rang anyone and everyone; people who I’d done favours with, who I’d helped with their business, if I’d done a good deed for; and just started asking for them to return the favour. It started shooting up and then momentum built very quickly. We ended up hitting our £5k target just 11 hours later which NatWest then matched with another £5k.
What would your advice be to any other small businesses looking to do some crowdfunding?
Go for it 100% but be prepared to work hard for it – and to not be supported by some of the people you assumed you would be!
How has everything been since the launch? Can you share your highs and lows?
Well, it’s been interesting! We were due to launch on the 2 April and then lockdown came. Everything just stopped overnight with no idea what might happen next. I actually thought we were dead in the water before we had even got going. We gave it a few weeks for the situation to reveal what was instore and found that so many people were working out at home. This is when we decided to launch.
Highs have been being featured in Grazia and worn by Amy Childs and Leanne Brown. Whilst I don’t think it’s a low, I tend to let negative feedback affect me personally. I put such a lot of time in, that if our product doesn’t suit someone, I let that get to me a little more than I know I should.
What does the future hold for Check Out Her Norks?
The future is very exciting. We are just finalising a low impact lifestyle bra which should make an appearance in early August, and we are just about to start work on a high impact shape for maximum support too.
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