We had the good fortune of connecting with Maddie Morgan and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Maddie, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
It really started just by chance, I never really went into it thinking like “okay this is it I’m going to start a business”, it mainly happened organically – which I find kind of cool.
So when I was studying at university I didn’t really have time/didn’t necessarily want to get a part time job to support myself, so I would make silk bandeau tops and paint on tracksuit bottoms and sell them on Depop. My mum knew how to sew so I asked her to help me make a pattern and then just learned on the go from there. That was actually surprisingly successful at the time so I think that probably planted the seed that this might be something worth pursuing.
In terms of ByMaddie London, I made a dress for myself and I just thought it was really cool. I hadn’t seen anything else like it at the time, so I showed my friends and they loved it. I posted a Tik Tok about it and then people started to ask where they could buy it – so I put some up for sale on Depop. I was so shocked, they would sell out really quickly and it just grew from there. It’s something that I am so grateful for and still a bit in shock about.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I have always been interested in fashion, literally since I can remember. It’s funny because when I think back I would be 4 years old telling my mum she couldn’t wear her jeans so high (it was the 2000s), or I would refuse to go out to eat without coming home to change my clothes. I would say I was meant to pursue a creative path.
In terms starting ByMaddie London, I remember I made one of the deconstructed dresses and after I did I though “okay I KNOW this is good. I have to share this”. So, I sent it into the group chat with my friends and they were all so supportive and encouraged me to make more and try different colour combinations. Definitely the catalyst was a video I posted on TikTok, that got me probably my first 500 followers, and people were asking where they could buy the dress, so I started making more and selling them.
Everything just grew from there really. Having this platform has been really good for me professionally and personally – it’s allowed me to meet so many like-minded and creative people, which has really encouraged me to explore new ideas. At first, it wasn’t totally easy for me to allow others to be involved/influence what I make as I was really a perfectionist and I definitely am I control freak haha. I like things done a certain way, but, I have definitely learnt that working with others and allowing them into the creative process is the best way to grow and develop ideas – so that’s been a really big learning curve.
It can be hard sometimes, and especially recently, being a brand that operates and relies on social media. Probably the majority of my sales are made through discovering my Instagram, and that plays a huge role in the reputation of the brand and what’s associated with it. Where the difficulty lies with that is when your engagement is low, or Instagram isn’t really pushing your content it can be a huge blow to your confidence, that’s something I, and I’m sure lots of other small businesses, are learning to navigate.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
This is a hard one for me as I’m definitely the type of person to just go with the flow. I’m that person in the group that will just show up on the day and see what happens. I am grateful to have very organised friends that allow me to just float around haha.
I would definitely take them out to eat, that’s something I love to do. Recently I’ve been drowning myself in Italian food so I know a fair few spots if they’re down to eat their body weight in pasta. Gloria in Shoreditch is a very cute spot with a cosy interior (low level lighting is a must).
I also LOVE to people watch, I could sit for hours and do that. I think Soho is a good place to start there. You can sit outside with a cocktail and watch interesting people walk past, I find it so fascinating to think everyone has a different life and different experiences and that existence can pass you by in a second.
Recently I’ve been really wanting to go to the Miniature Art Exhibition in South Kensington, so this would be a great opportunity to do that. Or even the Science Museum, anything slightly weird I am always down to see. I hope my enthusiasm there would be mutual otherwise they might think twice about using me as a London tour guide again.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
It’s so hard to choose! First and foremost my family have been so supportive, my mum showed me how to sew which got the ball rolling and my dad encourages me to pursue creative paths so without them I don’t think I would have the confidence to go down this route. My sister has been very important to me on this path too – she’s so supportive and (sort of) accepts the fact that my stuff is all over the house and her room is now partially my studio.
Also of course my friends. They have been there since day 1 supporting me and sharing my different endeavours – whether that be helping me when I’m crying because I’m stressed out or coming to work in the store when I do pop-ups. Words can’t really describe how grateful I am for everyone.
Instagram: @bymaddielondon, @madd.d.e
Pictures with blue sky background: Amy Peskett Picture with black background: Salomé Gomis-Trezise