Since having my children I’ve always wondered how so many fantastic products have made it onto the market, one brand I really love is Mia Tui bags, they are perfect for everyone, in amazing colours and a range of sizes.
So when Charlotte agreed to do a guest post on how Mia Tui was born, I was over the moon! Enjoy this little piece from the lovely Charlotte (I met her at the Baby Show & she is just so helpful and passionate about her bags it really shines through!)
Having my own business has been a dream of mine for a long time, I was always thinking of different money making schemes.
Mia Tui came about after travelling with my two girls Amelie & Mia to and fro from Vietnam. I could not find a bag that was big enough but also allowed me to be organised. So in consultation with friends I designed the ” Amelie” bag. I road tested it back to the UK in the summer of 2010, then refined the design and produced 200 in Oct 2010.
Mia Tui took the expat community by storm in both Vietnam & Hong Kong, it was only when my husband was made redundant did I think that Ma Tui could become a “real” company.
I quickly designed another couple of bags, and the Ava and Grace bags were born. See the pictures of me on the factory floor making a bag.
The family head back to the UK at the end of the summer 2011, after moving back into our house and settling the girls into school, I start to work on Mia Tui.
A friend said that the bags would make a great baby changing bag, so I started to promote the bags to Mums and Mums to be.
Mia Tui bags are for everyone, and I am conscious that we don’t become pigeon holed into one area. Our strap line is “A bag for all reasons”and the bags are great for Travelling, Work, Gym, and Mum’s or to use every day.
October saw me launch the brand, selling the bags at the Mum Club Expo in Solihull, followed by a Baby Show in Aylesbury; I think I sold 20 bags that weekend. I even remember my 1st customer.
It was a busy run into the end of 2011, The Baby Show Earls Court, Bluewater Spirit of Christmas and a few other Christmas events.
It has been a very busy 10 months and I have probably made every mistake in the book.. but I have learnt from every one of them and put things right.
The biggest mistake I made was that I want to run before I can walk.. You see other people in business and you think they are successful and you what to be the same.. But you never really know what their businesses are like.
So now I have things under control (well sort of) My factory in Vietnam can produce a smaller number of bags, so I don’t have to sit on a mountain of bags, we can keep things new and fresh. I have some bright colour bags coming in July.
I’m like any other working mum I feel like I don’t spend enough time with my kids/husband/friends. I have no time for me and I couldn’t do it without the support of my Mum & Dad, but I do actually love it.
The kids moan all the time that I spend too much time on Mia Tui, but when I had a particularly bad day and said “that’s it I quit Mia Tui” they said “No you can’t quit”! So I think Mia Tui runs through all our blood.
I feel like I am building something, my customers seem to love my bags, and I love to chat with them on Facebook or Twitter and get their option on colours and different style of bags.
I listen to all feedback and have made changes from what people have said, I have moved the key clip to the side where the phone is now, so you can get to your keys easily. I am sometimes too close to the bags to see where improvements can be made.
Customer service is my main priority, I am always at the end of a phone to help people choose their bags and give advice.
What I want for the future is for Mia Tui to grow and people to see that our bags are different. I want to build an amazing team around me, where we never lose sight of the consumer and have fun working environment.
I have a dream that when Mia Tui has made it, I put on this amazing party for everyone who believed and supported Mia Tui in the beginning.