I am absolutely honored and thrilled to have Emily Campbell, Owner of If Only If nightwear, as part of our Countryside Conversations series. I discovered this stunning UK brand on Instagram a couple years ago and quickly fell in love with the beautiful products, purchasing my own Julia nightgown. Enjoy learning more about Emily and her beautiful business! (All photos courtesy of If Only If)
Q.Would you tell us a bit about yourself and your business If Only If Nightwear? I’m Emily Campbell, and I run the UK nightwear business If Only If. I guess we are slightly unusual, as our sole focus in the business is on nightgowns. We create for every generation of women, focusing on beautiful craftsmanship, size inclusivity and ultimately making women of all ages feel beautiful and comfortable. The business was started by my Mum over 10 years ago, but I took over the business in 2020 – rebranding and relaunching. My mum is still very much involved in the business though, and our obsession for the humble nightie runs deep!
Q. What is your creative process when dreaming up collections? I’m lucky that the nightdress is a classic, seasonless piece in a ladies wardrobe so I am not governed by trends or need to create lots of new styles each year at a fast rate. I can therefore really take my time over each idea and design. Those first ideas can come to me from a variety of sources; a painting (I studied Art History and Italian at university and am endlessly drawn to the beautiful drapery captured in the Renaissance era), children illustrations and old botanical books! Anything deeply romantic and beautiful captures my attention and can spark the idea for a new design.
Q. What has been one of the most exciting moments in your career thus far? So many and in such a short space of time! To name a few; being asked by Fortnum & Mason if they could stock us there (my granny used to take me for tea here and it is such a magical place), Rosie Huntington Whitely packing one of our nighties in her hospital bags (and selling out of that style overnight!) and being in the pages of British Vogue have been moments I would never have dreamed of. But ultimately, it’s seeing how much we have grown our customer base. Considering we don't do any paid ads, that growth is down mostly to word of mouth and personal recommendations – that feels very special.
Q. What advice would you give to women wanting to start their own business? Go for it! But side note; get a great accountant, don’t go for the cheap website designer (you will regret it) and set work/home time boundaries from the offset (certainly a work in progress for me!).
Q. How do you define success? Having a clear vision for what you want to achieve and working towards that goal as authentically as you can.