This weeks spotlight is on Nina Clark, owner of Nightire:
Tell us a little bit about yourself
My name is Nina Clark – I’m a South African living in London and launched my own sleepwear brand, called Nightire, about two years ago.
At Nightire, we’re all about sleep. Good sleep, bad sleep, afternoon-nap sleep. If it’s sleep-related, we’re on it. We also know that super soft, temperature-regulating, 100% organic bamboo sleepwear is the first step towards the best night’s sleep of your life. Insomnia and too-much-on-my-mind-itis be damned. Created with the constant list-makers and the work-hard-play-hard city slickers in mind, every Nightire detail has been carefully researched for a wonderfully relaxing downtime and a very good sleep. Night after night.
What made you want to start your business?
Nightire was born out of a personal quest to understand sleep, and all that it entails, a bit better. Like many folks I know, I have this thing called can’t-always-shut-my-brain-off-to-go-to-sleep syndrome. I overthink everything and am that person who constantly makes lists in my head and who worries about things that I can’t change; all while lying in bed at night waiting for sleep to set in. This led to a few years of having a rather patchy sleep routine.
I began doing research into what could help a person sleep better and tried to apply it in my nightly routine: using black-out blinds, taking a relaxing bath, using no screens in the room (i.e. goodbye to Insta-sessions right before bed), and trying anything I could to keep my body temperature on an even keel. That included buying the right sleepwear, which, in turn, got me to focus on an industry that seemed like it had some room for innovation (and a bit more personality), which is how the idea for Nightire came about.
What challenges do you face when running a business?
Oh gosh – so many. Everything from supplier issues (sucks when others don’t care as much about your business and product as you do), cashflow challenges, tricky customers, time constraints, knowing what to focus my attention and energy on to drive the business forward, I could go on for days.
What’s your biggest success or achievement so far?
Just launching Nightire and keeping it alive (and thriving) for as long as it’s been out there for. Whenever I get customers coming back for more. Currently, the amount of repeat purchases is almost 50% – which shows that it’s a great product that people want more of, and want to share with the ones the love through gifting.
What do you do when you’re not working?
That seldom happens – because work and life as an entrepreneur has become so entertwined – but on the odd occasion when I take a break completely, I love to travel, go to the movies (huge film buff over here) and read. Hanging out with friends and getting inspired by the women who inspired me to create this brand, is a real treat too.
What does work-life balance mean to you?
Work-life balance is a constant struggle to attain – and I feel like nowadays it’s almost another thing on our to-do lists to make sure we get right. I would say it’s small steps of kindness towards yourself on a daily basis. And if work feels like it’s not work anymore (because you’re so passionate about it) then there is nothing wrong with that – embrace it.
What’s next for your business?
Hopefully additional funding, building a team that can take some of the tasks off my hands that I am really rubbish at, and just taking over of the sleepwear world. I would love to expand into retail soon, and perhaps have a fulfilment point in North America & Australia to service those areas better.
What advice would you give to people starting out?
Starting your own business is not easy. And it’s not glamourous. And you will probably doubt your decision to leave the lovely corporate life daily. But it will also make you feel more alive, passionate and inspired than you’ve ever been. Also – it will seem very overwhelming at the start as there are so many things to tackle but just do it. Start.