My Week: Clare Thommen of Boudiche

The lingerie entrepeneur on the evils of early mornings and some great late nights.

by
Last Updated: 06 Nov 2012

I sleep with my BlackBerry next to the bed, so the first thing I do when I wake up is check I’ve not accidentally booked in any early morning meetings. I’m not a morning person and don’t function properly until at least 10am – or even later if I’ve pulled a late one on the laptop the night before. I can deal with e-mails first thing, but not stringing intelligent sentences together. Unfortunately, our investor hasn’t clocked onto this yet and still occasionally calls me at 8am. I contemplate returning the favour by calling him at midnight when I’m on top form to discuss strategy and management accounts.

Before starting my own business I was an accountant. Over 4 years in with Boudiche, and it is a very different story – no day or week is the same. I don’t read Pensions Week anymore; I read Drapers. I oversee several areas of the business including PR and marketing, business development and e-commerce. My business partner is responsible for the retail side, which includes looking after our stores in Scotland and handling all of our buying, merchandising and finance. I do some of the buying on a selective basis – for example when we have to go over to New York for Fashion Week to meet suppliers out there like Kiki De Montparnasse and The Lake & Stars.

Aside from working on Boudiche, I also like to continue developing my accountancy skills, so I’m currently doing some freelance consultancy in a part-time finance director role.  I was down in London at the head offices of a company I’m currently working with for one day this week. But it’s not all work and no play – I managed to squeeze in a drink after work with my friend Richard Moross, founder of Moo.com.

Once back in Edinburgh, I hosted an event for one of our Scottish designers, Bebaroque, who make the most amazing tights in the world. I am also in the process of organising a Trunk Show in-store event for a new designer Kiera, who I met when we were both nominated at the Scottish Style Awards, us for Best Retailer and her for Young Designer.  

Midweek it was a full-on e-commerce day. I’d arranged an analytics training session in Edinburgh, with Lynchpin delving into our Google analytics. Afterwards I took the team for dinner at excellent restaurant The Dogs, before they headed back to Glasgow.

We had a press day this Thursday with Liberty and Cole PR, so I was up at 6.45am to set up ready for the press – who arrived in force, despite the Scottish downpour. After this it was straight on to the launch for a new ladieswear store, Cruise. I rarely get a night to myself and my diet is certainly beginning to suffer – I’m going through a phase of living off canapés and carry-outs.

And the madness doesn’t stop there: tomorrow I am heading to the Glasgow store and office as I have two photo-shoots lined up for features that the Sunday Mail and Saturday Herald Magazine are running. Afterwards, I’ll catch the train back to Edinburgh in time to get drink with friend at a launch party for The Green Room, a new bar in Edinburgh. Everyone will be out in force and undoubtedly it will be another 3am finish. As usual, I’ll go to sleep dreading the alarm going off at 8 the next morning...

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