Hotseat: Bloomin’ marvellous!
Ann Marie Reaney meets Loretta Kiss, the lady behind blushandbloom.com
Tell us about the website...
Blush and Bloom is an online maternity service. I provide clothes, fittings and advice for expectant mums looking for quality products to make them feel attractive in pregnancy. I stock dresses, bras, sleepwear, swimwear, shapewear for C-section recovery, nausea remedies, breastfeeding DVDs, even diaper bags.
What made you want to begin a maternity service?
Two reasons really: I’m a digital creative director by profession so I’ve been working in the online business for quite a while. I had designed many e-commerce stores for friends or through work so it was always a natural progression to eventually move into the industry myself. I was looking for a business opportunity and it occurred to me that my friends had an almost constant complaint – the lack of quality maternity wear. That’s the second reason, there was definitely a gap in market for pretty yet affordable maternity clothes in the UAE.
What makes you unique?
Knowing my products inside out. I double check everything with suppliers so I am assured of the quality. I keep in contact with customers so I know if there is any issue with a product. If there is, I get back to the suppliers until we sort it out. I really want women to feel good about themselves – Blush and Bloom’s motto is ‘love your bump without the frump’. To me, product is king, so I stock quality brands such as Seraphine, Emily Evans, Amoralia, Hotmilk, Isabella Oliver, Cache Coeur, Fertile Mind and Belabumbum. I provide a complete service in the buying process. I actually care that women are buying something that is useful for them.
What advice do you have for maternity bra fittings?
Remember that each bra manufacturer designs it slightly differently to another – even the shape of the bra matters. I order all of the bras in my own size and I wear each bra myself to test for comfort and durability. When you come here for a bra fitting, you get to try on different sizes and fit them properly. Most retail stores don’t understand the questions that should be asked, such as what stage of pregnancy is the customer at? Will there be room for breast pads, room to move and grow into the bra, has her milk come in? That’s what I take a special interest in.
What’s the future for blushandbloom.com?
I want to be the ‘go-to hub’ for online maternity and get my name out there, so I will be launching a blog in the near future and extending the range further. I have been up and running since May 2011, and this company has been a two-year labour of love (pardon the pun!) so it’s onwards and upwards.
How does your line get delivered around the UAE?
The delivery process is pretty straight forward. As well as card payments, I do cash-on-delivery and use a courier. I also do a lot of the deliveries myself locally. I have a really good relationship with a lot of my clients; they’re all very happy with their products so I like to keep in touch. Selling clothes online is one thing but it’s quite a hard thing to get right first time and I’m understanding about returns if there is a fitting issue.
What’s your advice for mums-to-be?
Always dress for comfort! First and foremost, make sure you can move in the clothes. Buying maternity clothes shouldn’t cost the earth, so hold off until you are sure of what you need. We sell belly bands which can give you some extra wear out of your clothes. If you wear jeans, get one good pair and they can get you through the whole pregnancy. Get some staples items you can dress up or down. Ruching is great for that in-between stage. Clothes that are breathable and easy iron will make your life easier. And remember, the clothes can last – not all maternity clothes are for maternity only. There are lots of items that will be with you throughout nursing and beyond.
Visit www.blushandbloom.com or book an at-home bra fitting by calling 050 845 4622.
Time Out Dubai,