INTERVIEW | Nicola Donovan
Imagine juggling your university degree with part-time work, all while running your own business. Well, that’s exactly what Harriet Gerrard does, day in and day out. Studying a Bachelor of Arts – Media combined with a Bachelor of Laws, the 20-year-old also runs her own company – Shellshocked by Harriet. Specalising in woman’s swimwear, Shellshocked by Harriet focuses on creating affordable swimwear with unique designs. Here, we chat to Harriet about how she does it all:
What made you want to start your own business?
I started my company because my mother inspired me. She started her own
jewellery business, and her success as a woman and mother inspired me to create
How did your business start?
I started my business whilst I was on my gap year in between school and university.
I was sitting by the pool one day in my bikini, and the idea just came to me. I then
dedicated the rest of my year to forming my business, step by step.
How do you find juggling a business, part-time work, and your degree?
I would be lying if I said it was easy. I am the type of person that runs on adrenalin,
and if you saw my crazy organisational habits, it would scare most of you off! But, I
need my downtime too. Spending time with family and friends de-stresses me, and
they are great motivators for me to keep up with my work and study. I don’t think
I would swap anything for a night in cooking dinner and watching a movie with
my boyfriend. I honestly feel like it’s these other personal areas of your life that you
need to have in check, so that the ‘business and work’ side can perform at its best.
Tell me about how your swimsuit designs come to life
Normally, I will do some sketching, go out into the city to find colours, patterns or
inspiration, and then I’ll come back home, and redraw these images. After that, I
will go to my manufacturing company and work with them on how we can make
what’s on paper come to life!
What advice do you have for anyone wanting to start their own business?
I would say go for it! If you have an idea, something that you think could turn into a
business, look into it and see where it could lead you.
Harriet is kindly offering all Grapeshot readers a 25% off discount on all Shellshocked by Harriet swimwear only during Semester 1! Simply head to her website, choose your favourite design and enter this discount code when checking out: TD3GH1C1YVBY
You can also find Harriet on Facebook and on Instagram.