A Perthshire mum who sells bright, comfortable breastfeeding clothing says the public response to her online sales has been “insane” after selling out of stock and making sales of £10,000 within nine days of her website being launched.
Kirsty Lunn, 38, has recently moved her business into bigger premises at Perth Airport– and taken on new staff – to cope with demand from as far afield as Australia and the US.
The mother-of-two started selling the brightly-coloured pieces after struggling to find clothes that would allow her to easily breastfeed her own children.
Now, having set up Molke with her friend Ros Marshall, the business partners are looking to the future with plans for expansion.
“We want to stay in Perthshire and keep building on the manufacture in-house,” said Kirsty.
“That’s something we are really passionate about. Eventually we are hoping to launch a clothing range as well.
“We really do hope in the next year or two to be in larger premises with a much larger turnover. We are already exporting. But we really want to grow that side of things as well.”
Born to parents from Aberdeen, Kirsty travelled the country as a youngster because her father was in the RAF.
She studied fine art at the city’s Robert Gordon University.
From working as a tour guide in Paris to a stint teaching in China, she never really had a set career path.
It was only when she gave birth to her first child Billy, now aged six, however, that circumstances changed.
She bought a sewing machine and started making cloth nappies.
“There was a real market for it,” she recalled. “It became really popular – just sewing at home. Fitting it in when I liked and I sold through a Facebook page. It was very small scale.”
Realising that Billy Bums was not the best name for a business, the move into breastfeeding-friendly clothing and the name change to Molke – a title she “made up” – has been inspired.
The business specialises in making its own underwear – bras and pants – from jersey cotton which it brings in.
The range is primarily for breastfeeding mothers but a large amount of customers don’t or never have breastfed – they just want the comfort and support that the non-wired, soft jersey bras give.
“Weirdly it’s something that other companies don’t do,” she added.
“We get a lot of customers from America for example and it’s women who have large busts but small backs. Highstreets just don’t cater for that, and if they do, they have to get custom bras.
“It’s expensive. But also when you have a baby and your milk comes in, you pretty much wake up one morning and everything has changed.
“You need a bra that can fluctuate between the supply and demand of your baby.
“With women breastfeeding for longer again now, hopefully breastfeeding support is growing, more women are choosing natural weaning, hopefully they don’t need clothing or a bra that’s only going to last a few weeks.
“They need something that’s going to last three or four years, and subsequent children as well.
“In future we plan clothing for breastfeeding as well.”