Can you tell us a little about your own professional background?
I come from a professional buying background, where I’ve had the pleasure of working with retailers like Net a Porter, Moda Operandi, Ralph Lauren and Harvey Nichols. I have been exposed to the most incredible senior management teams who taught me most of what I apply every day to my own work ethic. Most of my professional training happened in New York City. I moved there from Paris when I was 18 for my first job in the industry, working in a showroom representing Balmain to the U.S. market. I’m a Frenchie with the work ethic of a New Yorker and a buyer at heart, with a passion for product and retail analysis. This is what I love doing and talking about. It’s a bit nerdy of me, but it’s what gets me most excited. Starting my own business was the only thing that was left for me to do.
What inspired the launch of Kids O’clock?
As a buyer, I saw how easy it was to over-forecast products and items. Sometimes, you end up with too much stock with nowhere to put it. In the end, that leads to textile waste.
Secondly, after the birth of my son, I noticed how quickly he grew out of his clothes and shoes. What can someone do with that many outgrown clothes that are of no use anymore? You could donate them to charity, pass them onto a friend or family member’s child, or you could sell them via an online marketplace.
There was nothing revolutionary about it, apart from the execution and my vision of the brand behind the business. Kids O’Clock is a platform dedicated to promoting a circular economy for kids’ stuff.
What were the goals of the company when you started?
The goals were, and still are, to build a community-led platform of parents who share the same love for pre-loved. It’s not just about the extra cash you might make, but rather the feeling of contributing to something greater than yourself and connecting with like minded individuals. In business terms, that meant building a community organically on social media, utilising the power of word of mouth, and building a stellar logistical operation to facilitate a seamless buying-selling experience.
There is also a true desire to partner with retailers and brands in allowing them rapid and official access to more responsible manners when it comes to their circular message and communication.
Buying, selling and renting pre-loved pieces is becoming more and more popular. What attracted you to creating space in this market for childrenswear in particular, and how is Kids O’clock unique in this sector?
The preloved market is getting bigger for adult clothing & accessories. It was about time that it extended to kids’ clothing and more. And why not, when a kid will wear approximately ten sizes in their first few years or around 200 pieces of clothing? To add to that, an estimated 183M outgrown children’s clothes are sitting in the back of UK wardrobes. The facts speak for themselves.
What’s different about Kid’s O’Clock is the hyper-focus on community and the ability to collaborate with notable brands such as Caramel and Harvey Nichols. Kids O’Clock isn’t just a platform promoting the circular economy for kids’ stuff, but it’s also bringing simple solutions for brands to play their part.
How has the company grown in the last year? Can you give any examples?
We have raised capital from business angels who come from a number of different backgrounds and specialties. This diversity means that we can tap into a variety of skill sets and learn from these individuals.
We’re very lucky to say that most of Kids O’Clock’s growth has been organic. Word of mouth makes a huge difference to parents and we have been very fortunate enough to work with many mothers who are tastemakers and challengers in their respective fields of work and fun.
Our team has grown and we now have talent from Vestiaire Collective, ASOS, Not on the High Street and Papier who joined the team, which I feel really good about!
What is the ultimate goal of the company? What are your next steps?
The goal is to become THE destination for parents to buy & sell preloved kids’ items and a place where parents can come to feel seen, heard, and understood. We have a lot of big plans for 2022, and one of them has been in motion for the past few months – we have asked what our users and parents really wanted – and now we are delivering with the KidsOclock app. We are thrilled for this product launch/update which already allowed 80% of our users to use the wishlist.
92% of our users are on the go, no need to reinforce being a parent means busy and tight schedule, so we are thrilled to offer efficiency, rapidity and personalised notifications straight to your phone.
I also have an amazing pool of talent who joined me in the preloved revolution: Anne-lise, ex Vestiaire Collective, Leslie, ex Papier, Zoe, ex Asos and Saakshi, in health tech. Each one has an amazing understanding of the branding, the problem to solve and a strong vision for our roadmap.
Laura Roso Vidrequin is the founder of Kids O’Clock.