[4 MINUTE READ]
Happy Friday and welcome to the weekend! What better way to shelter you from the storm than with a fresh Friday Founder interview.
This week we spoke to the inspiring Pip Durell, CEO, and Founder of With Nothing Underneath. With Nothing Underneath (WNU) is a women's shirt brand inspired by men's tailoring.
"We have applied for B Corp status and hope to soon sit alongside the other amazing businesses that put people and the planet in line with profits."
Good morning Pip! Could you start by telling me a bit about your childhood and how you feel it has influenced you today?
I grew up in the countryside with dogs and lots of playing outdoors. It was very free and far from the fashion industry!
It sounds like it! How did you make your start in the fashion industry?
I was doing an internship at Easy Living, a now-defunct Conde Nast magazine, and HR put me forward to be the PA to the Publisher of Vanity Fair. I have no idea why she hired me… I was 18 and a terrible PA, but it was the best start in the industry I could have asked for.
Aw, what a brilliant opportunity for you! So, when did you decide to start up With Nothing Underneath and why? Was the timing important?
Having worked in the magazine industry, I saw the gap in the women’s shirt market. I don’t know how important the timing was but, after thinking about it for around 2 years, I knew I had to take the chance and try it before someone else did!
Absolutely! It is so important to seize the moment with things like this. Does With Nothing Underneath consider issues relating to sensitive skin or allergies?
All our products are 100% organic so as far from chemicals and additives as possible!
We love to hear that! Sometimes people aren’t aware of just how many chemicals and additives can exist in the clothing we wear. How does sustainability factor into your business?
Hugely! In fact, it's core to the business. We have applied for B Corp status and hope to soon sit alongside the other amazing businesses that put people and the planet in line with profits.
Good luck with the application! Do you think people are more conscious of the materials and fabrics in their clothes nowadays? If so, why?
Absolutely! And the awareness is only going to grow as time goes on.
I agree completely. Moving onto the business side of things, what were your biggest challenges in starting up With Nothing Underneath?
It's hard to pick one! The minimum order quantities make it hard for anyone to get started as the whole system is geared towards the bigger established companies.
That is something people don’t talk about enough actually. So, what strategies do you think have been key to the success of your business?
The focus. We do one thing very well.
So true. What is your favourite thing about your job?
The highs are higher than anything else when it’s your own business. Admittedly, the lows are much lower too!
I believe it. And which is your favourite piece that you’ve ever created?
The original Boyfriend Poplin. It’s timeless, classic, and effortless - just how a shirt should be.
It is so gorgeous! What do you think makes With Nothing Underneath stand out?
Hopefully, it’s a mixture of the quality product and an accessible price point, alongside an ethical standpoint. We design for the women who buy our shirts and keep away from trends or fads.
"I prioritise people and things that matter and don't spread myself too thinly. I would much rather be at the pub with my friends than an industry cocktail party!"
I really respect that authenticity. Could you describe your biggest “pinch-me” moment since starting With Nothing Underneath?
Seeing anyone in With Nothing Underneath in the street is still incredible!
It must be surreal. What inspires you?
Other entrepreneurs and those who are successful who make time to help and raise up others.
That inspires me too. What does an average day look like for you?
I get up at 6.45 am, make myself a tea, walk the dog, and go to the office. Every day is a mixture of admin, production, marketing, finance, digital, strategy, and problem-solving! There is never a dull day at a startup.
Oh, I can imagine! Do you think you have a work/life balance?
Definitely! I prioritise people and things that matter and don't spread myself too thinly. I would much rather be at the pub with my friends than an industry cocktail party!
Love it. Having your priorities clearly in focus is key. What words do you live by?
“You can but ask.”
I haven’t heard that one before, but it’s on point! What’s next for With Nothing Underneath?
Some very exciting collaborations, expanding the collection, and hopefully some bricks and mortar…. 2022 is going to be a busy year!