Louisa Rogers set up a curated vintage website and showroom called Trendlistr when she graduated from University.
She feels very lucky to have found her career at such a young age but Louisa enjoys nurturing her love for fashion and beauty every day.
When and how did you start your business?
I started my business when I graduated from University. I always loved vintage clothing and finding unique items, so my wardrobe began bursting at the seams with all of my pieces! I began exploring avenues for selling online, and found a gap in the market for classic vintage, styled for modern wear, that focused on unusual and unique pieces.
Why did you decide to start?
I loved the idea of being my own boss, and knew that I would give 110% working for myself. I have worked for others in the past but generally I have always freelanced and kept a degree of control and autonomy in the way I earn. I like to have that flexibility – even though it means working even harder than ever!
Can it be hard to be your own boss?
It can be lonely. There’s not a lot of transparency in the world of start ups, so its difficult to know when you’re doing ‘well.’ Sometimes it can be inevitable to compare oneself to others which isn’t always productive.
How do you keep yourself motivated?
My business motivates me by nurturing my love for fashion and beauty every day. It sounds like corny, but I get a very homely feeling when I know that this is what I should be doing with my life. There is no feeling of displacement and that is very comforting. I actually feel very privileged to have found my calling so young!
Are there any challenges owning your own business?
Absolutely. The financial pressures are huge. I’ve been lucky to have been helped with a start up grant, but I am still working part time freelancing. I want to be able to sleep at night, and I haven’t quite reached a level of security to be able to do that easily without working for others alongside the business!
Is there a right time to start a business?
Never, but when you have less responsibility and more energy is probably the closest you will get. I’m not married, I don’t have children, and I can travel wherever I need to whenever I want to. I wish I could envision ‘doing it all’ but the reality is I will probably have to see if I want to sacrifice my business for a family down the line.
As your company expands, I guess it may feel overwhelming- how did you keep it together? Do you employ other people to support you or do you manage it all on your own?
I have a great little team of people that help me at Trendlistr HQ. My e-commerce manager works with me two days a week and deals with quality control and customer queries, and I have two interns working in digital marketing and editorial styling.
Have you noticed any changes in the world of business ?
I think people are much more open to collaboration. The sharing economy has really changed attitudes towards transparency and businesses working together and that is really great. When creatives come together, great things happen!
What is the best thing about being your own boss?
I like being able to be creative in my day to day working life. And although taking on a business can be challenging, I am never bored. My biggest fear is to lead an average life!
What is your advice to any young woman who want to start a business ?
I would advise young women to take any advice given to them with a pinch of salt. To follow your gut instinct, as you will be hearing a lot of different advice from a lot of different places. And know that you are capable of anything.
How does it feel to be a woman in charge?
It feels good, but what makes me the happiest is the friendly atmosphere we have at Trendlistr. It never feels like one person is ‘in charge’ and others run around to please them. We all muck in and my small team know I would never ask them to do anything I wouldn’t do!