When did you set up your business and why?

I set up my business in 2009 and in 2010 I opened my own flagship store in my home town at the time, in Portlaoise. I had my store for 10 years which I loved. It was an amazing space for me to meet my customers, showcase my collections and get feedback from clients as I worked in my studio above the boutique on new designs. In 2020, pre-COVID, I closed my boutique as I was moving to live in Tipperary to be near my husband's farm.

The timing was important to me as I was due my second child and the online side of my business had started to really take off. For the last three years, I have restructured my business model where I now make everything from my collection in Ireland.

My collection is either made in my design studio or with WE MAKE GOOD, a social enterprise based in Dublin. All my online orders are made as customers order them, so I am regularly speaking to my clients and have the facility to adjust sleeves, lengths of dresses etc, making it a more special online order experience for my customers.

I also sell my collection in Arnotts, Dublin too.

Designer Heidi Higgins, wearing the "Carmen" dress from her collection

Can you explain your process?

I start with selecting my fabrics. I use a selection of block colours and prints in my collections. I work very closely with my fabric suppliers in Italy, Spain and France. Silk, satins and wools are used each season in my design. I design with my customers in mind and create beautiful, feminine designs with a splash of colour.

What is your best-seller?

Each season there is a particular style that really stands out, but a classic tailored HH dress is always a winner.

Pink is also a very popular colour in my collections. It might just be my favourite colour too!

What is it about your business that brings you joy?

I love seeing my customers wearing my designs - after almost 15 years in business that never gets old!

Also, my loyal customers who come back season after season to add to their HH collection brings great joy and helps keep me motivated.

The "Ada" dress from the Heidi Higgins collection

What are your hopes for 2023?

I recently launched my new autumn winter collection and added a selection of accessories, along with a very special print that I have worked on with a fellow Irish designer - it's currently all systems go!

What advice would you give to another start-up business?

Do your research, believe in your product, listen to customers feedback and dream big!

Heidi's collection is available on www.heidihiggins.com and in Arnotts, Dublin.

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