Nikki Hesford - The Kirkham mum behind the fashion label for big busted women

Nikki Hesford shattered the stereotype of young single mums and is now one of the country's<br/>most successful young entrepreneurs after launching Miss Fit UK Paul Mackenzie reports Photography by Kirsty Thompson

When a button popped open on her blouse during a job interview and she flashed her chest at the all male panel, Nikki Hesford realised something had to be done. It was one of 35 interviews she had been to without success and while that process was taxing enough, she also having a hard time finding smart clothes which fitted properly and weren’t liable to bursting open.

‘I’m not massively busty but if I was finding hard then surely other women were,’ she said. ‘Women are getting bigger busted and more and more women are having boob jobs but there are very few clothes designed specifically with bigger breasted women in mind.‘There are things for older women but not really anything sexy for younger women. I looked and looked and eventually I put not being able to get a job together with this problem I’d identified and thought maybe I could give it a go.’That was three years ago and Nikki is now owner of her own clothing, swimwear and lingerie brand and is one of the most successful young entrepreneurs in the country. She is also developing a reputation as an inspirational speaker – in March she will share the podium with Richard Branson at a major business conference in London.Nikki, who has recently moved from Galgate to Kirkham, is a former glamour model who dropped out of her A level studies as an 18-year-old when she became pregnant. For a time she was a single mum living on benefits – but Nikki, now 25, refused to fit the stereotype.After Oliver was born she completed her A levels, read English Literature at Lancaster University while working part-time for a international accountancy firm and then, in those boom days, launched a property development company. When the bubble burst she switched direction again, training as a mortgage adviser, but the bust – in both senses – was responsible for launching her current career.‘I began to reconsider the future and started sending my CV out,’ she said. ‘I had the qualifications and the experience and the interviews seemed to go well but when I mentioned I had a child, the interest suddenly cooled and I wasn’t offered a single job. I suspect if I hadn’t mentioned having a child I would have been offered jobs but that would have been dishonest and why on earth should I hide the fact that I have a son?‘It was while I was going to all these interviews and going out buying blouses that I realised how hard it was to find any that fitted properly across my chest. I’m a 32D, so not enormously busty and other women must be finding the same problem.‘I was just playing at it initially, getting blouses made for myself and I wasn’t really thinking about the big picture but people started to say they

When a button popped open on her blouse during a job interview and she flashed her chest at the all male panel, Nikki Hesford realised something had to be done.

It was one of 35 interviews she had been to without success and while that process was taxing enough, she also having a hard time finding smart clothes which fitted properly and weren’t liable to bursting open.

‘I’m not massively busty but if I was finding hard then surely other women were,’ she said. ‘Women are getting bigger busted and more and more women are having boob jobs but there are very few clothes designed specifically with bigger breasted women in mind.

‘There are things for older women but not really anything sexy for younger women. I looked and looked and eventually I put not being able to get a job together with this problem I’d identified and thought maybe I could give it a go.

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’That was three years ago and Nikki is now owner of her own clothing, swimwear and lingerie brand and is one of the most successful young entrepreneurs in the country. She is also developing a reputation as an inspirational speaker – in March she will share the podium with Richard Branson at a major business conference in London.

Nikki, who has recently moved from Galgate to Kirkham, is a former glamour model who dropped out of her A level studies as an 18-year-old when she became pregnant. For a time she was a single mum living on benefits – but Nikki, now 25, refused to fit the stereotype.

After Oliver was born she completed her A levels, read English Literature at Lancaster University while working part-time for a international accountancy firm and then, in those boom days, launched a property development company.

When the bubble burst she switched direction again, training as a mortgage adviser, but the bust – in both senses – was responsible for launching her current career.

‘I began to reconsider the future and started sending my CV out,’ she said. ‘I had the qualifications and the experience and the interviews seemed to go well but when I mentioned I had a child, the interest suddenly cooled and I wasn’t offered a single job. I suspect if I hadn’t mentioned having a child I would have been offered jobs but that would have been dishonest and why on earth should I hide the fact that I have a son?

‘It was while I was going to all these interviews and going out buying blouses that I realised how hard it was to find any that fitted properly across my chest. I’m a 32D, so not enormously busty and other women must be finding the same problem.

‘I was just playing at it initially, getting blouses made for myself and I wasn’t really thinking about the big picture but people started to say they liked my tops and that set me thinking.’

Her Miss Fit UK company now has three lines – clothing, lingerie and swimwear – and rather than try to take on the big name companies, has hunted out gaps in the market and found one in catering for petite women with bigger boobs.

‘It had never occurred to me until I got into the business but I did a lot of research and found this was a real problem for a lot of women, some even had to have bras flown in from America. The range goes from 28-32 and from DD to H cup. I liken the lingerie to killer heels – it’s not practical, functional, day time wear but it does look damn sexy,’ added Nikki who is now hoping to develop the business with a line in bespoke wedding dresses.

Her products are stocked at Woods of Morecambe and at Slinky Fit in Lancaster and are available to buy online. Nikki’s website – www.missfituk.com – has all the details.

But she suspects the business would not have been the rapid success it has prove without the help of Enterprise For All in Lancaster. ‘They brought all my ideas together and explained a lot of things to me. I didn’t really have a business background and I knew nothing about how to set up a business. I had an impression that business meant men in suits and I didn’t see myself fitting in that world.

‘I remember thinking “if only there was someone who could tell me these things” and that’s what I try to do with the speaking I do now. I don’t profess to know everything – I’ve only been trading for two years – but it’s going well. I didn’t like doing the speaking at first but I love it now. I didn’t go out pushing myself, I was asked to speak and then people who had seen me asked to other events and it’s just grown.’

The print version of this article appeared in the November 2011 issue of Lancashire Life 

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