My week: Susanne Newman of Garmentology

The style expert and entrepreneur on her love of golf, having a supportive hubby and why the one-size-fits-all approach to fashion doesn't work.

by Hannah Prevett
Last Updated: 19 Aug 2013
While we began development three years ago, we only actually started talking about Garmentology with retailers about six weeks ago. Our product is basically a personalised online shopping experience. So a user will visit the site and build a profile of their body. We then direct them to the right garments for their body shape and colourings. Every single profile is unique; we do not put people into categories. We do not say people are an apple, a pear, a banana or whatever. In nature, do you ever see two pears exactly the same? Never. The same is true of us.

This means a lot of my time at the moment is taken up by visiting retailers to talk to them about integrating our technology into their website. I’ve been talking to some of the biggest names on the high street including M&S, House of Fraser and John Lewis. We’re based in Salisbury, but I probably spend a couple of days a week in London. It surprised me how many of the retailers are based up north and it can make a day seem really long when you have a 6am flight to catch.

I also have a six year old daughter, so it’s that classic juggling act of being a mum and running a business. It’s hard work and it also means that there aren’t many hours left for me. The flexibility of running your own business is great when you’re a mum because it means you can choose your hours to a certain extent. So I typically won’t work between about 4 o’clock and 7, and then when my daughter goes to bed, I’ll start working again. One thing’s for sure: you can always get me at my desk at about 10pm.

Once I do eventually get to bed, I have my iPad right next to it. I rarely get emails or anything in the middle of the night, so I guess that’s a good thing. I am lucky that I have such a supportive husband, so we can dovetail when we need to. There are times he has to take over the fatherly duties when I have to work. I think it was very hard for him in the early days of the business when he didn’t see the potential as I did. But now he gets it he understands my drive to do it.

I’m lucky in that I know how to switch off too. Apart from my business, golf is my passion, although I haven’t had a lot of time to do it recently. The problem with golf is it takes up a lot of time. My handicap is 10 so I’m a reasonable golfer, I just wish I could play a little bit more of it. I’m a member of a golf club, so I have lots of people to play with, but my husband isn’t one of them – he doesn’t play at all. He’s a golfing widower.

Susanne Newman is founder of Garmentology, a personalised online shopping experience.

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