Nicola Eyres, mama of four and founder of Cissy Wears, on launching her clothing line, Activist
Tell us about Activist – what is it and what inspired it?
Activist is a range for kids based on important issues, with a view to empowering them to talk about current affairs.
Around the time of last year’s general election, when everyone was feeling politically charged, I was interested to read that one of the biggest growth groups in terms of voting was women aged 30-45 – no doubt a large proportion of mums – because, like me, they were beginning to understand how decisions made in government now would affect the future generation.
Kids are much more “woke” than we give them credit for. I could overhear my kids discussing Jeremy Corbyn, racism, plastic pollution and Donald Trump. It seemed natural that my first attempt to do my own thing should be based around this.
Rather than release another brand on the market, I wanted to create a project designed to empower kids to fight for their futures, and to encourage my customers to engage with important social issues.
Do you see Instagram as a good platform for positive messages?
For me, Instagram is a community of like-minded people who appreciate beautiful things, have an eye for a good aesthetic, but who love their family and keep it real. In this
sense, it becomes a great place to be able to raise awareness within a supportive environment.
How instrumental is Instagram to your business?
My business pretty much exists because of Instagram. When I joined five years ago, mine was one of the first few independent kids’ stores on there and growth was rapid; the creative community opened up a whole new world. A few years on and sadly it feels saturated, all the negatives of the Facebook buy-out are taking over… but I still love it. Some of my best friends, and even my business partners, I’ve met through Instagram.
Instagram obviously brings pressures alongside the opportunities. Do you and your family enjoy the platform?
One of the most difficult things is being expected to be on-call 24 hours a day – people can be inappropriate. I am conscious of dangers, too – I never post live from somewhere or mention in advance where we will be. My kids enjoy having their picture taken and doing photoshoots with friends. While they continue to enjoy it, I’ll let them get involved.
What’s next for your brands?
If the demand is there for Activist, I’ll keep growing it. It’s been great to continue my relationship with Liberty London and stock it there, and reaction from press and customers has been fantastic. As for Cissy Wears, the big news is I’ll be closing the physical store later this year, as we’re moving away. We’ll continue online and hope soon that I’ll be able to make the next big announcement.