Nikki Hesford - The Kirkham mum behind the fashion label for big busted women
PUBLISHED: 16:33 03 November 2011 | UPDATED: 20:14 20 February 2013
Nikki Hesford shattered the stereotype of young single mums and is now one of the country's<br/>most successful young entrepreneurs after launching Miss Fit UK Paul Mackenzie reports Photography by Kirsty Thompson
When a button popped open on her blouse during a job interview and she flashed her chest at the all male panel, Nikki Hesford realised something had to be done. It was one of 35 interviews she had been to without success and while that process was taxing enough, she also having a hard time finding smart clothes which fitted properly and werent liable to bursting open.
When a button popped open on her blouse during a job interview and she flashed her chest at the all male panel, Nikki Hesford realised something had to be done.
It was one of 35 interviews she had been to without success and while that process was taxing enough, she also having a hard time finding smart clothes which fitted properly and werent liable to bursting open.
Im not massively busty but if I was finding hard then surely other women were, she said. Women are getting bigger busted and more and more women are having boob jobs but there are very few clothes designed specifically with bigger breasted women in mind.
There are things for older women but not really anything sexy for younger women. I looked and looked and eventually I put not being able to get a job together with this problem Id identified and thought maybe I could give it a go.
That was three years ago and Nikki is now owner of her own clothing, swimwear and lingerie brand and is one of the most successful young entrepreneurs in the country. She is also developing a reputation as an inspirational speaker in March she will share the podium with Richard Branson at a major business conference in London.
Nikki, who has recently moved from Galgate to Kirkham, is a former glamour model who dropped out of her A level studies as an 18-year-old when she became pregnant. For a time she was a single mum living on benefits but Nikki, now 25, refused to fit the stereotype.
After Oliver was born she completed her A levels, read English Literature at Lancaster University while working part-time for a international accountancy firm and then, in those boom days, launched a property development company.
When the bubble burst she switched direction again, training as a mortgage adviser, but the bust in both senses was responsible for launching her current career.
I began to reconsider the future and started sending my CV out, she said. I had the qualifications and the experience and the interviews seemed to go well but when I mentioned I had a child, the interest suddenly cooled and I wasnt offered a single job. I suspect if I hadnt mentioned having a child I would have been offered jobs but that would have been dishonest and why on earth should I hide the fact that I have a son?
It was while I was going to all these interviews and going out buying blouses that I realised how hard it was to find any that fitted properly across my chest. Im a 32D, so not enormously busty and other women must be finding the same problem.
I was just playing at it initially, getting blouses made for myself and I wasnt really thinking about the big picture but people started to say theyliked my tops and that set me thinking.
Her Miss Fit UK company now has three lines clothing, lingerie and swimwear and rather than try to take on the big name companies, has hunted out gaps in the market and found one in catering for petite women with bigger boobs.
It had never occurred to me until I got into the business but I did a lot of research and found this was a real problem for a lot of women, some even had to have bras flown in from America. The range goes from 28-32 and from DD to H cup. I liken the lingerie to killer heels its not practical, functional, day time wear but it does look damn sexy, added Nikki who is now hoping to develop the business with a line in bespoke wedding dresses.
Her products are stocked at Woods of Morecambe and at Slinky Fit in Lancaster and are available to buyonline. Nikkis website www.missfituk.com has all the details.
But she suspects the business would not have been the rapid success it has prove without the help of Enterprise For All in Lancaster. They brought all my ideas together and explained a lot of things to me. I didnt really have a business background and I knew nothing about how to set up a business. I had an impression that business meant men in suits and I didnt see myself fitting in that world.
I remember thinking if only there was someone who could tell me these things and thats what I try to do with the speaking I do now. I dont profess to know everything Ive only been trading for two years but its going well. I didnt like doing the speaking at first but I love it now. I didnt go out pushing myself, I was asked to speak and then people who had seen me asked to other events and its just grown.
The print version of this article appeared in the November 2011 issue of Lancashire Life
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