Tag Archives: Michelle Mone and independence

Taking a Liberty with Mary Portas’s pants.

Last nights episode of ‘Mary’s bottom Line’ on Channel 4 was very interesting. Issues were raised as to the quality of the lace, which was provided by the Nottingham lace maker, deadlines were closing in and training and actual production was becoming more of an issue.

Mary went out and did her thing, which is selling her brand concept to stores with the hope that they would order “Kinky Knickers”. The first stop for this was Liberty. If you haven’t visited Liberty it’s a large department store, which sells a lot of big name brands but does it with a lot more panache and gravitas than almost any other store you may have bought from.

Mary spoke with one of the head buyers and after a bit of theatrical humming and hawing he agreed to not only but 500 pairs of Kinky Knickers but also to hold the launch of the product in the store. Much joy from Mary at this point and deservedly so. I’ll return to Liberty in a moment.

Next up John Lewis, Boots and others, which netted total sales of almost 1500 pairs of Kinky Knickers and the feeling was that for now, at least, sales aren’t going to be a problem. Getting them made and delivered looked like being more of a problem given that the launch date was to be the 14 February and Liberty were giving over a whole window for the launch.

Yesterday I mentioned that there might have been some issues with the Kinky Knickers sizing and quality. This has turned out to not be the case. The issues seem to have been created by Liberty who had put incorrect sizing information on their website. Now this may have been due to information provided by Kinky Knockers or it may have been due to Liberty. Either way an email has been despatched to Liberty to point out the error of their ways and to seek some sort of recompense for the mis-sizing information. I will keep you informed as to progress or not before next week’s final episode.

It’s obvious that Mary has much to learn about the manufacturing process, regulations and the overall complexity of it all. This is not a criticism. There is no reason why Mary should have known about all of that, it’s only when you have to do things you then learn what is truly involved.

The overall aim to develop UK manufacturing is very valuable and necessary and the drive to improve the UK economy will no doubt benefit from this if enough existing manufacturers bring their production back to the UK (Michele Mone for example, Dyson too). Consumers will pay a little more for products if they are UK designed, sourced and manufactured. The short section of the programme which covered the visit to the Barbour manufacturing plant in South Shields showed that, at least to some degree, manufacturing can work in the UK.

On a much more serious note the use of the word gusset has now reached 4 utterances over the first two episodes and quite a number of ladies bottoms were on display also, although there were no lingering camera shots in slow motion al a Baywatch. Whew!


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Let the Moneing commence!

The BBC carried a wee story today on Michelle Mone of Ultimo Bra fame. Michelle is a Scot born in Glasgow and has been fairly successful in developing a range of bras that ladies seem to want. Good so far. She employs people in Scotland, lives in Scotland and is well know in entrepreneurial circles here.

Today, however, she has been quoted as “threatening” to leave Scotland if the Independence Referendum vote is yes. She is entitled to her opinions and she is also entitled to her political leanings.

It’s good to know that she is keeping abreast of the independence debate and that she has the courage to get her opinions of her chest. There have been a couple of times in the past when her business may have gone tits-up and a couple of her entrepreneurial friends have supported her.

The Ultimo silicon enhancement is in the brassiere rather than inside a ladies body, which seems like a better way of doing things form a health point of view. Although, the expectation of a shiny new suitor may be tempered somewhat following the removal of said garment during a moment of heightened passion.

So Miss Mone, who has also been known to moan at times, will move to London and move her company to England also, if the majority of the people in Scotland who vote in the referendum vote yes. It may be the case that voters who were customers of Miss Mones in the past, may decide to burn their Ultimo bras and decide not to partake of her products in the future if she does move away to England. Miss Mones financial cup may not runneth over quite as much for a time following such a move.

Miss Mone has recently split with her husband, as he was not keen that she had started to model her bras and underwear for magazine adverts. If you’ve got it flaunt it Miss Mone, stand up (or lie down, kneel or generally pose) for and stick out to your principles.

In truth there will no doubt be other business people, intellectuals, sports people and all manner of other people who will decide an independent Scotland is not for them. That’s’ fine. It’s natural that this should happen. It may also be the case that just as many people or more, come back to Scotland or move here for the first time following independence.

The drive for independence is not based on disliking the English, wanting to grab the oil, having a voice in the world, etc. It is about having the right to determine our own future as a country. Miss Mone should perhaps deal with the realities when they become actual realities. She is quite entitled to her views and her need to share them and I’ve no doubt that she has carefully considered the financial implications of her “threat”.

She will have weighed up the risks for her business as they currently stand and mixed in the potential risks following a positive yes vote in the referendum. It would make perfect sense for her to stay in Scotland and try to influence the business implications, which she seems to have identified at the moment as being negative. Good business people will do this.

One last thing. There’s no such thing as bad publicity, Michelle, isn’t there?


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