Interview: Flis Weeks

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Fox & Kit is a new cafe, that will be opening in central Bath. The idea for this new cafe, is to be completely parent friendly. I was lucky enough to interview Flis Weeks about Fox & Kit.

Hello! Thank you so much for letting me interview you. How are you?

Really well thank you!

Can you tell us a little bit about Fox & Kit.

Fox & Kit is a truly parent friendly cafe space coming soon to central Bath. It’s a project born out of my passion for running great hospitality businesses coupled with my new-ish role as ‘Mummy’ to my little girl, and is set to be a brilliant addition to the city’s cafe scene.

Why have you called your cafe Fox & Kit?

I wanted the branding for the cafe to say ‘parent friendly’ but also be cool, to appeal to people who look after little humans all day and to non-parents alike.

I’ve always loved foxes - such clever and underrated animals - and a ‘kit’ is a name for a baby fox, so the combo says “carer and baby” without being too obvious, and it appealed to me personally which is so important when you run your own business. Plus, it lends itself to a pretty awesome logo design which my lovely friend Chris Hedley (@heds28) did such a fab job with.

Why is there a need for shops that are baby friendly?

When you become a parent you suddenly are presented with a bit of a logistical nightmare- this tiny little human still needs to be fed & changed at alarmingly regular intervals whilst you’re away from home, and this requires certain facilities which when unavailable can make a huge difference to how your day is going. Not to mention the amount of ‘stuff’ you end up carting around- trying to find a way into many buildings in Bath with a loaded pram can be a challenge in itself!

If there were no resource restraints, what would be your dream project?

What I would love to provide is a real community hub- space for classes and events, treatment rooms for wellness practitioners to work from, a room bookable for birthday parties etc, and ideally a building with some outside space and some parking of it’s own!

What events do you hope to hold at Fox & Kit?

I’m searching for a flexible space to allow the scope for a large range of baby classes, yoga, messy play sessions, storytelling...and lots of seasonal events in the main cafe space too. I’ve already been approached by some very talented ladies & gents who want to use us as a venue for their sessions.

Will the cafe be welcome to everyone?

Absolutely! I’m designing a space which I would feel comfortable in, and it’s first and foremost about the adults and their need for a bit of self care in their every day. Just because we are aiming to solve as many of the niggles associated with looking after kiddos as possible (from accessible loos to space for toddlers to toddle safely), that doesn’t mean it’ll look like a primary coloured explosion or a soft play centre! There will be toys and lots of cool stuff to allow little ones to be themselves, but if you like a good coffee and are partial to a delicious doughnut whilst sitting in a comfy chair...you’ll love spending time with us!

Why has social media been an important platform for you to use?

I’ve found that across my social media accounts I’ve been able to connect not only with other local businesses and inspirational people who have helped build and drive the project forwards, but also directly with my customer base. Having a huge group of people wishing and wanting you to succeed is an amazing thing, especially before you’ve even opened the doors!

Who inspires your work?

Probably a bit of a corny answer but my daughter is absolutely my inspiration for Fox & Kit - my journey into parenthood and spending every day with her highlighted the gap in the market and sparked the idea, but as it’s progressing I am building something I hope she will be proud of. My hope is that she will see her Mummy working hard, achieving and contributing to our family, seeing my husband and I as equal, and therefore seeing that equal opportunities not only exist in this world but that if she has a dream then that is something she can achieve in her future. Zero talk of glass ceilings and gender pay gaps here- I want her to see it working in real time, and know that she has the potential to be whatever she wants to be...which judging by her current obsession would probably be a train driver or a construction worker- she loves a digger this one!

What do we hope to see in this up and coming year for your Instagram and your new business?

Hopefully very soon we will find the perfect property and then you’ll see lots of exciting works to make Fox & Kit a reality - expect lots of insights into the design process, sneaky peeks of the refurb works, and looks into how I’m purchasing and repurposing some super cool furniture and toys!

What are you currently working on?

Right now it’s all about the property search and a hefty amount of sums going into the business plan - not the most exciting bit (!) but I do indulge in a cheeky Pinterest session every couple of days to keep adding ideas and inspiration for the end project goal to be as awesome as it can possibly be.

What’s been the biggest struggle in getting your business off the ground?

Definitely finding the right property in the centre of Bath, and weighing the costs involved in making any space work for our specific requirements with the need for a rather large square footage.

What are your design plans for the shop and cafe?

Design-wise we are looking to create a modern but comfortable space. Think Scandi styling, soft furnishings and quirky designs, coupled with practical clean lines and upcycled materials.

Do you have any exciting plans for this year?

Mostly to get open and welcome everyone in for a lovey hot cuppa and a spot of lunch whilst the little ones have a grand old time. That and Nola turns 2 in May so a party with all of our friends is on the cards for that!

Do you have any advice for anyone setting up their own cafe?

Know your USP- you have to have someone which makes your offer unique to stand out from the crowd. It’s a heavily saturated market which is a lot harder than it looks. Be prepared for many long days, no time off for a fair while, and to really get stuck in to the hard work. It’s an amazing industry but you’ll never survive if it’s not your passion.

What advice would you give to people looking to define their own style?

Try not to get swayed by trends, and trust in your own opinion. You might not know why you like something but if you like it then that’s great. And if you aren’t sure how to pull all of the things you like together and make something which doesn’t end up looking a mess, find a brilliant designer/stylist to help you translate your style into reality.

What’s next for Fox & Kit?

Once we find a property then it’s go, go, go! Refurb, buying, making, last few bits of supplier sourcing, and open!

What's the best piece of creative advice you've ever been given?

My lovely husband always tells me to ‘keep going’ and never to be afraid of failure. It’s not the most poetic quote I could have found to write here but honestly, that’s what being creative is all about- failing allows you to learn, so just keep going, keep making, keep creating what makes you happy, and odds are other people will love it too.

To keep updated about this wonderful new cafe, please take a look at their website ‘https://www.foxandkitcafe.com’.