Addison Clothing - Hayley Harrison
Hayley Harrison (maiden name Addison which is how the business got its name) comes from Hamilton, where she has lived her whole life. Hayley has two boys, Luca who is 8 and Ollie who is 4. Hayley founded Addison Clothing at the end of 2016 and is the owner, Designer, Photographer, Website admin, Accounts, Packer - being a small business Hayley wears a lot of the hats.
Why did you set up your business?
After having my youngest son, I found it hard to find breastfeeding clothes aimed at younger mums. I just wanted a t-shirt dress that I could breastfeed in so, I started off by making the clothes myself, but the demand got so big I had to find a manufacture to start making them for me and the brand has just grown from there. I always wanted the brand to remain affordable for mums who’s family may be on just one wage.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
When I was a child, I used to want to be a chef because I love cooking and baking, and I wanted to own my own restaurant.
Do you ever feel "mummy guilt" about spending time working instead of with your children? If so, how do you deal with it?
Yes, I do feel guilty sometimes, but I also think that its good for the boys to see their mum as an independent, hardworking businesswomen. I also make sure that when the business is quieter (in between seasons), I don’t work on the weekends, so I get to spend lot of time with them then.
What do you do to get "me-time"?
I love to bake so often on the weekend I will send the kids outside to play so I can get some peace and quiet and I will do some baking. I also go and get a facial once a month which is my little treat.
What is the smartest thing you have done with your business?
Remain an online business, this gives me a lot of flexibility with my staff’s hours and my own. It also allows me to run the business from home and work around my kids so that I can go to sports days at school and take them to their after-school activities.
What is your favourite thing about the business now? What do you most enjoy?
My favourite thing seeing a collection come together, something that we work on for months. The thing I enjoy most in the business is photoshoot days, I love being the one to take all the photos- it’s when my creative vision for the brand really comes together. We also have a lot of fun on shoot days!
What is the most surprising thing you’ve found in running your own business?
How fast the business took off and continued to grow. I knew there was a need for breastfeeding clothing in New Zealand but didn’t realise quite how much. So the whole business has been massive learning curve for me having to adapt and grow with the business and find new processes which allow us to keep up with the growth.
What is your philosophy to child-rearing?
We don’t parent based on just one philosophy, we just do what works for us and our kids. They both have very different personalities which we love so each child requires us to parent slightly differently. We try to take them on lots of little family adventures to explore new places and spend lots of quality family time together.