News & Blog
Thanks to Harry Fowle for interviewing me in this Octobers StartUps magazine focussing on all things Women in Tech and Female founders. I”m happy to report that we employ 7 women and 5 guys in our Cotswold HQ and that’s across all functions- technical/finance/production/marketing.
It’s 2023 and still, women,’expect lower pay than men in the workplace’ and to see the words in print about something I experience daily yet can’t sum it up – ‘the hidden load of household work, where women perform more cognitive and emotional labour than men…’ resonated with me.
here is an excerpt below
CHAMPIONING WOMEN IN BUSINESS
With the focus of the magazine issue being on female founders, we were eager to ask Simpson about her own experiences, how she found herself in the entrepreneurial world and what made her pursue it.
Simpson initially had a rather successful background in fashion and design for most of her career, working on high-street clothing collections and designs, as well as working on colour theory and market trends.
She was able to marry these skills with her partners to move into the EV charging industry and create a unique and effective product. “I think women are incredibly good at multitasking, bringing empathetic approaches, and strong anticipatory and visionary senses,” notes Simpson. She examples: “Mothers for instance can envision what they hope their children will be like when they grow up and what kind of people they want them to be. You can bring this visualisation into a company. You can make that happen. You can bring in the culture, you can bring in the people. you can bring in the knowledge, and you can bring in that level of detail. You can always make it want you want.” Simpson strongly believes that it’s skills like these that many women possess that need to be better recognised as a whole and something that should be admired. “I’m a big champion of women in business because traditionally that isn’t where we feel empowered. But it can happen and is happening in almost every single industry,” she adds.
Importantly, Simpson wanted to make it clear that: “It’s not just about getting more women into the sector, but instead it’s about creating an environment where everyone can thrive and contribute their unique perspective and skills.”
Simpson & Partners: EV charging with charm
Mandy Simpson, Co-Founder and CEO of Simpson & Partners, alongside partner David Simpson, set out to combine technicality with aesthetics in their approach to home EV charging stations, offering a spectrum of choice whilst keeping things affordable and universal. Ever wanted an EV charger to match your architectural design, or perhaps colour sync with your car? If so, you’re in the right place.
A SOLUTION TO A PROBLEM
The idea for Simpson & Partners stemmed from one of those ‘I have a problem and I’m going to be the one to fix it’ moments, with the partner- led business being pioneered by their disappointment in the selection range and quality of home EV charging stations. Simpson explained:
“The idea originated after my husband decided to go for an electric vehicle, he came home one day and put forward all the choices for an EV home charger and it was here I realised ‘there’s an opportunity here.’”
“I couldn’t find anything from what he put forward that was actually appealing and effective; something that wasn’t going to end up being a cheap feeling eyesore on your home. Even worse when you realise you need to throw upwards of £600 on one of them!”
“It was here that I knew there was an opportunity for something different, something aspirational looking, something better value for money, and something that works.”
Simpson and her partner David, jumped at the opening, founding Simpson & Partners to fill the design-lacking void of the EV charging world.
Simpson expands: “If you’ve got a vision of what you want to create, you really know the quality you want, what you’re trying to do, and what your differences are, then you can make it work. We’re hugely focused on products with exceptional quality, yet maintain value-for-money – It takes hard work to produce, but there’s certainly a huge gap in the market there.”
DESIGNED IN-HOUSE, BUILT IN-HOUSE, FOR THE HOUSE
Simpson & Partners is able to deliver an EV charging product with high quality and design at an affordable price tag thanks to its in-house design and manufacturing process, based in the Cotswolds – from which it sources talent and resources locally. Whilst this is something that Simpson describes as ‘challenging,’ the outcome has been well worth the trouble, being able to ensure quality and price on the product side, and healthy talent on the team.
Design might be the driving force behind the product, with around 107 colour choices for the attentively designed charging box, but functionality is also of top priority, just “in as hidden of a package as possible,” describes Simpson.
“We have a tech team pushing for innovation, reliability, and functionality. It might not be my forte, but it is most certainly theirs!” The product is designed to not only look great, but also offer simple, effective, competitive EV charging – which is enhanced with the seamless smartphone app Simpson & Partners offers.
THE GROWING SIMPSON FAMILY
“At the very start, it was quite literally just me and David,” says Simpson. But soon after they realised the scale of the project, as well as its potential, more hands were needed. Within the first 12 months, the team went from the Simpson duet to the Simpson family, bringing in five members followed up by another four in the following six months. From here, the foundations of the Simpson’s endeavours could be realised, and more importantly, expanded upon. “We soon started gearing ourselves up for massive scaling, which is a big step for any company, but especially in manufacturing,” Simpson explained. To turn this into a reality, seven more people were brought in across the manufacturing, IT, PR, and technical teams bringing the grand total to 18.
“By far the biggest blow for us has been the semiconductor crisis that hit about a year and a half ago now, right when we were starting up,” says Simpson. The ripples of this echoed throughout the industry, so competition to get supply for established and startup businesses alike was rife. For Simpson & Partners, through maybe a bit of luck or smart planning, they benefited from moving to a region in the UK that “really supports manufacturing,” commented Simpson.
“We were able to get a SWLEP (Swindon, Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership) loan, which was significant for us.
“When you’re starting up, cashflow is horrible, everyone knows this, cash is king, but you need to maintain a long-term plan, even more so in manufacturing,” adds Simpson. Whilst this opportunity isn’t available to everyone, there are alternatives out there for each case and considering them in a smart manner can be invaluable to startups.
Read the full article here