Interview with owner of Maison De Choup, George David Hodgon

Tell me your story…
Maison de Choup was born out of George David Hodgson’s severe anxiety spell in early 2014 and has grown into something more exciting indeed.  MDC’s debut collection is called Born Out of Anxiety.  It includes T-shirts and shirts, both of which are made from ethically sourced organic cotton and are unisex in design, as well as Italian leather and Spanish vinyl tote bags.  The most popular product is the Words Fail Me tee, which has a word search design of jumbled letters and incomprehensible words, which represents what many anxiety sufferers may feel.  25% of the proceeds from the sales of this tee are donated to the Young Minds Charity, which is UK’s leading charity dedicated to supporting emotional wellbeing for children and young people.

Where did you start?

I never intended to go into fashion, I always wanted to do photography, studying Art & Design at college for 2 years before leaving due to a sever anxiety spell.  I first started very small, just creating a few t-shirt designs and showing my friends, but then I thought we could take it a little bit further.  It was at this point we decided to consult someone within the fashion industry.  We then worked on designs together and came up with the current ‘Monochrome’ and MDC has grown into something very exciting indeed.

What are all your areas of expertise ?

My expertise lies in photography mainly, as well as social media.  I’m always looking for new ways to photograph MDC product and make it look unique and exciting to the customer, then putting my social media skills into play.

How did you get to where you are?

I suppose, sheer determination and not giving up.  Even though I was suffering with severe anxiety in the early stages of MDC, I continued to focus on creating the brand because it was something to do and was sort of a coping mechanism for me.  I have mentors to help me and I’m always asking people for advice and what they think of the brand.  Slowly but steadily the brand started to gain recognition and grow into something more and more people had heard of.  I consistently used social media to create awareness about the brand.

What’s the most enjoyable points of your work?

For me, meeting customers and seeing people’s reactions.  When we are selling up in London, I’m always telling people about the story behind MDC and they love it.  I think it’s so encouraging when people love the brand, it feels so great to know people are wearing some of our products and posting about them on social media.

What advice do you have someone starting?

Surround yourself with great people, even though you think you can do it all alone… It will be near impossible.  I believe in mentors, people who have much more experience than you in different sectors.  If you work with these people, you’re bound to learn a lot more and the business is going to grow a lot quicker if you accept help from the best.

How do you feel about outsourcing and any tips to share?
I can’t divulge much about our sourcing of garments, but we source ethically and use 100% organic materials for the highest quality.

Daily processes around the site and business?

I always check my emails for any support tickets that have been opened/orders and finally traffic.  Analyzing traffic, what people are doing on the website.  We’re always looking for ways to improve our website for the customer.

Traffic, How do you get traffic?

We use Facebook Advertising quite regularly to keep fresh traffic coming to the website.  We are also very active users on Social Media to keep people updated this way.  Our main source of traffic comes from our newsletter list though.

Apps/software you must have?

We use a few apps on Shopify – LuckyOrange – For the traffic analysis, and for the live chat software.  We also use Google Analytics, Product review, Contact form and persistent cart for recovery. So we use a few apps to make the website as great as possible for the customer experience.

Sites or People who you feel are motivational or provide tactical help?

Any other fashion brands are a help to us, we are always keeping an eye on what their doing to see if we can make it better, just that little bit so people come to us.  MDC is always exceeding expectations.

What are some current projects you are working on?

We are currently working on releasing new collections for the brand which should be dropping this summer.

How do they find you if they need you?

We are quite high on the Google Rankings and we are all over magazines/blogs and social media.  You can catch Maison de Choup there.  We use Facebook Advertising regularly to keep the brand fresh in people’s minds using RetargetApp.

Where all can we find you?

We are all over magazines and blogs and social media.  You can catch Maison de Choup there. Here’s the link: maisondechoup.co.uk

How can you help shopify owners…

Our door is always open and we love giving advice about how to get started on Shopify.  We started small and we have grown.  If we haven’t mentioned something here, always ask us directly.

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