Today we chat to Emma Watson, founder of the coolest kids hat brand around, Little Hotdog Watson.
Hi Emma, Tell us a bit about LHW?
LITTLE HOTDOG WATSON is a kidswear brand that specialises in making hats. We make hats unlike any other by bringing together style + innovation. For example our sun hats offer triple protection from UVA/UVB rays, Mosquitos and over-heating as well as looking good. It’s run by me Emma, a mum to two daughters 5 and 11 months and based in Norwich.
How long have you been running the business?
The idea for the business began when my eldest was 3.5 months old on our first family holiday. The lightbulb moment when I thought family holidays would be like the movies and it was actually a hot mess of trying to stop her getting burnt, eaten by bugs and not look like she was dressed in something I wore as a kid! It was a year of research and development and we launched the following May. We are 3.5 years old.
Tell us a bit about your background?
My background has always been in fashion/product and trends. I studied fashion textiles and business and went on to research trends predicting and guiding big brands like MTV/Diageo as well as fashion brands what was cool and what to be aware of style wise. I missed products so I moved into menswear and worked for a smaller independent in buying before moving to the highstreet. I love products and innovation, how things work and how they can work better for people.
What does a typical day look like for you?
Busy and busier 2020 is a little simpler than 2019 now my eldest is at school at my littlest is weaned. Mornings are a quick check of emails and social before getting up with the kids (breakfasts and drop offs) then onto the office I share with my hubby. My time is very concentrated so I tend to use a list of three and don’t look up till I’ve ticked those things off. Lunch is errands and normally a youtube or an academy business video while I eat. I like to maximise my time as best I can. Afternoons I try to do creative tasks and use it for thinking time. Evenings are a mix of pick-ups, games reading, homework then once the kids are asleep I start again, normally social mediaing and things that are easier done at home. Each week is very different though – I might have meetings in London or Manchester, network events and now my eldest is at school it feels like there is a fayre or a sports day every week too. I also recently started lecturing Fashion Communication two days a week which I love. I was really missing being part of a big creative team and I find it so much fun to have all the students and their ideas around me. I like to learn and normally in the evening I will be working my way through one online course or another. That’s after a quick tidy (the organised mum method) and some exercise either Adrienne or some light weights. The weekend is all family time, we usually head to the beach and most importantly no work till sunday eve (if I can possibly help it).
Best bit of business advice you ever heard/ received?
Two things that stick with me: 1) Only you know what you want to achieve – I think we have a tendency to want everything and if it’s not perfect get put off. Actually it’s only in our head, no-one else knows what we thought it would be/look like so just change the narrative don’t feel bad about it
2) It’s only hats. At the end of the day I’m very lucky I have my family and my health and while running a business can be very stressful remembering this helps.
For me definitely the loneliness. I’m a social person and working on your own and taking all the big decisions yourself is hard. Building your network is so vital to keep you sane and more than that laughing.
What does the future hold for LHW?
2020 my word is growth, growing up a little in terms of I think about the business and where it can go but also some of the more fun sides to things that I would like to achieve personally too. What I do know is being flexible for 2020 with all the changes coming our way as business owners negotiating Brexit is key. The main aim though is create a creative hub and smash a few glass ceilings for my girls. I want them to know at any age or time of life they can follow their dreams.
For more on the LHDW brand…
Little Hotdog Watson Sun hats and winter hats are £26 (free uk delivery) sizes 0-6 months all the way up to 8-10 years and adults. We ship worldwide.
Thank you Emma! xx