Name: Amanda Hancox
Business: Wears London
Location: London, England
Industry: Apparel & Accessories
Reason for starting? I identified a problem: Lots of fabulously talented people were starting their own brands of clothing, accessories or jewelry in London, and they were having to become a master of everything — designer, buyer, accountant, marketer. On top of this, people were often fighting for rare and expensive space at pop-up events and struggling to find permanent or ongoing space, which meant that their customers couldn’t connect with them again.
I wanted to provide a low-cost solution that meant that they could be found online alongside similar brands as well as offering them space in my shop, which promoted independent local brands.
How do you define success? I’ll feel successful when I have connected these brands to their customers successfully and am doing them justice with both sales and promotion.
Biggest success: Opening the shop. I felt that a Brick-and-Click offering could work well. It was initially a one-month pop-up, but it completely exceeded my expectations and, two years on, we’re still there and going strong.
My aim is to have 150 independent brands working with me by the end of the year and a significant increase in website traffic. I’d also love to have some more space outside of London.
What is your top challenge and how you have addressed it? I have a financial background, so the bit that most startups find difficult has been second nature to me. It’s been the marketing that I’ve struggled with most. There is so much information available, but it’s working out what is good information and where to spend your time… You can find yourself become inefficient and going round in circles if you’re not careful.
In an ideal world, if I had been in a position where I could quit my day job and go for this 100% from day one, employed people in the areas that were not my expertise, then I’d be in a very different situation, but that was never the case. I’ve had to balance my business with continuing to freelance since the beginning, because I didn’t have a chunk of money or investor to allow me to do anything different.
Who is your most important role model? I can’t say I have one in particular. Every week I meet another person that blows me away. Often I meet full time mum’s who have struggled to source something, and so they start making it them themselves and then it becomes a business. I am often amazed at where they find their time.
Edited by The Story Exchange