A few words from Katie Teague, founder & director of Harry Austin
We had the pleasure of interviewing Katie Teague about her lifestyle as a mum boss lady and beautiful brand Harry Austin.
Why did you start Harry Austin?
I actually started HARRY AUSTIN out of a personal need for a product that didn't exist. When I fell pregnant with my first born Harriet (aka – “Harry”) I was discouraged by the lack of stylish baby bags on the market. It seemed to me like all the traditional baby bags out there were designed for a baby rather than the women actually wearing them! Rather than having a range of different bags for baby, work and everyday life, I liked the idea of having just one beautiful bag that served all my needs. So I designed the Florence Tote and Baby Bag Converter!
What inspires you as a designer?
I’m inspired by heritage handbag brands such as Gucci and Louis Vuitton that have been around since the mid 1800's. Such loved brands have earned their reputation by consistently producing incredibly high quality pieces that are luxurious, timeless and stand the test of time. I strive for the same integrity, with our leather bags being handmade in Florence, Italy, using 100% Italian leather and materials.
How do you manage kids and being a girl boss?
Having your own business (and particularly one you love) means you don't ever really "switch off", so it's a constant battle finding that balance between being a business woman and a mum. As I am currently working from home with both my little ones (Harriet, 3 and Stevie, 7 months) during these strange times of Covid-19, it’s even more tricky than normal. Firstly, I try to involve my kids in the fun parts of my work as much as possible, such as photo shoots. I try to do most of my work before they wake up and while they’re asleep… or at least occupied with activities. I am conscious of not being on my phone too much in front of them. Family always comes first!
What are the hard parts of your business?
As a start-up you have to learn how to run all aspects of the business before you can eventually outsource. I find it difficult doing tasks that don’t play to my natural strengths, such as the book keeping and anything numbers related.
If you had one take item to take if your house was burning down (your husband, kids and pets are already out!) what would it be?
I’m already disappointed in how boring my answer is… but I would have to say my laptop. For one, when you have two young kids you rely on your calendar to be your memory. It’s also where I store all my photos and documents.
What advice would you give to other designers wanting to start their own label?
My best advice would be to just get started! Don’t wait for perfection as your business will be constantly evolving anyway. If I could go back I would have started 6 months earlier when my seed of an idea was blossoming. Draw your designs, get samples made, start your social media accounts, send your website live and generate feedback from your early followers and customers from the start!