I'm a true believer in 'Things Happen for a Reason' and in a rush to an exercise class, I sprinted past Penny at a Pop Up Event at The Marlow Club back in September. A quick chat, an exchange of emails, a meet up to find out more about Penny and Judi, about Beau Britches - their vision, their mission and how they are taking and developing their brand, turned into Penny and Judi supporting me my first 'Get our of your Comfort Zone' event at The Marlow Club.
I generally live in leggings, sometimes even two a day depending on my exercise routine, so its great to find someone local, to support local women and business and to have a choice of AthLeisure collection that is not only different but allows me to go throughout the day looking stunning.
Beau Britches is right up my street, Penny and Judi have a gorgeous collection of leggings, tops, bralettes and NEW fur trim hoodies. From minimal to bright patterns and even eco-friendly with some made from recycled plastic bottles. They have a large collection of pieces and the attention to detail on style and fit means styles that look gorgeous, (kid in a candy shop) they offer a variety of technical fabrics (including compression, silver ion, thermo regulation and sweat wicking) allowing them to develop a collection that's not only stylish but flatters the figure whatever your shape. Thank you fate... thank you Penny and Judi .. you are an amazing find! Read their story...
Tell me, a little bit about yourself…
Penny: A lover of the great outdoors, fitness and healthy living, when I am not focusing on the business I love to walk our westie, cycle, and spend time in mucky boots looking after my daughters horse, or catch up with my very special bunch of friends and family who I adore. I love to wake up in the morning with loads of new ideas for the business and with fun in my trainers. Having spent my career in the fashion business, firstly as a model and later as a fashion agent importing collections from France, Germany and Denmark I didn’t have to think twice about entering in to a new venture with my business partner and friend Judi Bone.
Judi: I did a retail management course at Harrods and on completion became a junior manager in fashion, rising to Assistant Buyer of the Designer Room. I then experienced the wholesale side of the rag trade working for a couple of high end Fashion Agents prior to starting a family. In more recent times I retrained as an Interior Designer at Chelsea College of Art and Design. Having a fashion background was really helpful when working with colour and texture. However I quickly realised that working on my own was not for me and the rest is history as they say!
Why Sports luxe?
Penny: Athleisure and Sports luxe are the buzzwords in our industry. The UK market is enjoying a boom following in the steps of the already exploding markets in the USA and Australia. We all live in our activewear and because our collections have been so carefully designed we still feel polished and put together whether spinning, doing Pilates, yoga or simply walking the dog.
Judi: The concept of Beau Britches came about from a trip to New York, where I discovered a store selling hundreds of pairs of different designer’s leggings. Penny and I have been friends for ages and had always thrown around the idea of doing some fashion enterprise together because of our shared background and love of all things fashion, Obviously she was the first person I thought of with the idea of our own leggings collection.
Launching Beau Britches..
Following a short break from the fashion business to raise our families we felt that the Athleisure industry and the buzz it was creating in 2016 was a very good reason to jump on a plane and head for NYC to investigate further. It didn't take us long to establish that there was a great opportunity and we couldn’t resist not getting involved. We spent an evening brainstorming at our favourite restaurant in Soho and Beau Britches was born.
Then came the market research and then the easy but expensive part, the buying. We both have a love for fashion and fitness and find it particularly exciting that we can combine the two at Beau Britches. We quickly got up to speed on the technical development of sportsluxe fabrics..... compression, silver ion, thermo regulation and sweat wicking to name but a few advances on the science front, as well as sourcing styles that are gorgeous visually, stylish and flatter the figure.
Our mission is to give every client whatever their figure the confidence to know they look they look fabulous and ready to Work Out and Stand Out.
Next local Pop up shop: for other pop up events go to www.beaubritches.co.uk
What's your usual week / day look like?
Penny: Up at the crack, cup of hot lemon and ginger, feed the dog and then walk for an hour or so, get showered and pour myself into my fav pair of Beau Britches, I always visit our Instagram to see what Nicole has posted and then get to work on all the issues that we need to deal with, Emails and queries, chasing orders, picking up stock, we may discuss branding, product development and market penetration. I always try to squeeze a Pilates or yoga class, a cycle or swim in to the day, along with food shopping and family commitment. Late afternoon I will visit Jack and feed him carrots and groom him, being a boy it is only the former that he is interested in. Hopefully I will meet up with a friend for a quickie social or a cultural experience, and then probably throw myself on the sofa and catch up with one of my favourite series on TV, whilst making the supper on my aga.
Judi: I always try and fit in some form of exercise week day mornings, tennis, body pump, gym and pilates all feature in my schedule. Afternoons are normally spent working on Beau Britches in some form or other. However that has all been turned upside down by the arrival of a gorgeous puppy into our lives.
What inspires you?
Penny: Turn around stories, and people who have become successful despite great adversity.
What did you want to be growing up?
Penny: I aspired to being on the stage, having relished every moment I spent on the stage at school Judi: A ballerina
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Penny: Starting my business in 1992 as a fashion agent and launching collections in to the UK market.
Judi: That despite facing adversity in our lives I have managed to produce two pretty well balanced sons. (I have to give my husband some credit too!)
What’s next on your to do list?
Penny: Make the supper 😊
Judi: Work with Penny to get our own Beau Britches label together
When are you happiest?
Penny: I have learned to live in the moment, I love being outside in the fresh air, whether on a beach by the ocean or in the pouring rain walking the dog. I love selling our compression leggings to ladies who love the way they look in them, and I am very happy when exploring art galleries and beautiful cities with friends or family.
Judi: Spending time with family and friends, cooking up feasts in my kitchen
When was the last time you laughed out loud?
Penny: Just now, I watched Joe Lycett talking about how he got out of paying for a parking fine.
Judi: Sunday. We had friends for Sunday lunch and our puppy feel asleep with an empty plastic bottle that he had been playing with, in his basket. My enterprising? younger son Ollie, replaced the plastic bottle with an empty wine bottle and took a photo. No doubt it is up on his Instagram feed with a witty comment!
How as women, can we help to empower others?
Penny: Clothes that flatter can give huge amounts of confidence. Feeling useful and being part of a group or team or network and giving people the tools and confidence to reach their full potential. Small steps, my mother always said.
Judi: By believing and supporting whatever their chosen path is, regardless of our personal feelings
What’s your style?
Penny: Effortless cool and comfy.
Judi: Some classic pieces are timeless and will always be in my wardrobe However I will always give a nod to fashion trends whenever it is age appropriate.
Penny: Chocolate raisins/Mojito
Judi: Taking time out to play with my puppy when I know I should be doing something else.
Penny: ‘I can I will’
Judi: Honesty is the best policy. Love life and live it to the full
Can’t live without…
Penny: Dublin Tea Rose, Oud and Patchouli candle
Our mission is to give every client whatever their figure the confidence to know they look they look fabulous and ready to Work Out and Stand Out. See our collection on Beau Britches Website: www.beaubritches.co.uk