Meet Rebecca: twenty-two and a graduate from Loughborough University English and Drama Department. Five months after graduating, Rebecca and her sister Charlotte have launched wantherdress.com, a family business selling clothes to fashion conscious women at affordable prices.
I caught up with Rebecca to find out more about the Want Her Dress brand and how it came to be, whilst managing to get a great offer for Label readers.
How did the idea to launch your own online shop come about?
The inspiration for the online boutique started with a ‘what if?’ jokingly discussing the possibility of creating a fashion website. Slowly the ideas developed and we soon realised this was something that could become a reality.
You studied English and Drama at university, so what made you decide to go into fashion?
Despite loving fashion, if you had asked me a year ago I would never have imagined having this as my career. After studying drama at university I thought I would stick to that environment, the one I thought I knew best. It soon became clear to me that the fashion industry was the way forward, since all my interests were within it. Now I couldn’t imagine myself doing anything else. What I have learnt is that you don’t have to stick to what you have studied, there are so many opportunities out there and you can adapt your experiences from university to suit the career you love.
How did you go about setting the business up?
Sourcing the clothes for the website started with a lot of research and we also had some contacts, which was extremely useful. We visited wholesale events and multiple showrooms until we found the perfect items for Want Her Dress. It has taken around five months from the initial idea to the website launch.
Social media has been the most crucial part of launching Want Her Dress. Both of us constantly use Facebook and Twitter so can see the advantages of social networking for businesses. It is surprising to see the amount of contacts you meet through these sites and this has been essential for us.
Have you encountered any problems along the way?
As young women we have found that sometimes it is difficult to be taken seriously by the people we deal with. We have now built more confidence when dealing with suppliers and other partners to ensure that we are receiving the best service from everyone. We’ve definitely had to get a lot tougher!
How do you find working with your sister? Are there disagreements?
Working with my sister is both fun and stressful at the same time! We have such a great time working together and watching the business grow, but of course there are times when you can’t help but disagree. The best thing about working with your sister is the ability to be completely honest and to always have support no matter what.
How did you find the models for your website?
All of our models are friends who have had experience in modeling. It was so important to us to use friends, as this is the very point of Want Her Dress. You asked us how we would sum up the Want Her Dress girl and they ticked all the boxes. They are all friendly, funny (the shoot day was so much fun!) and not to mention, absolutely gorgeous. You might recognise two of the models as graduates and students of Loughborough!
The clothes on the site look fabulous! What are your favourites?
My favorite pieces from the current collection arethe ‘Skylar’ sequined black low cut dress for a big night out and the ‘Mabel’ mini bow boucle jacket is such a classic. Charlotte loves ‘Safia’ sheer pleated maxi dress and the ‘Trinity’ tux boyfriend blazer.
How does your brand appeal to the average consumer?
The Want Her Dress girl isthe girl you see out, whether passing on the street or a night out, she’s sociable and stylish, the one that makes you think ‘I want her style’; ‘I want her dress’.
Do you have any advice for current students wanting a career like yours?
Our tips for students seeking a career like ours is that interning and gaining work experience in fashion is invaluable. This not only gives you experience and the potential to find a career, but it also allows you to meet contacts in that field.
We’ve mentioned the importance of social media to us and this also applies to this question. Don’t be afraid to contact companies on Twitter and get involved socially as this can get you seriously noticed. Also, personally, using all the support around you from friends and family is priceless.
You have put in a lot of hard work so far – what are the rewards?
The most rewarding part of being my own boss that being able to watch the business grow and to surprise ourselves with how much we can achieve, which is something to be proud of.
What do you see for the future on Want Her Dress?
Coming soon for Want Her Dress is us fulfilling our aspiration to design our own line for Want Her Dress and for the website to become a social network for girls to share their fashion experiences, style tips and photos to encourage others to Want Her Dress.
Rebecca and Charlotte have offered Label Style readers an amazing exclusive offer for their website, available for a limited time only!
Just enter the promotional code "LABELMAG10" at the checkout to receive 10% off of your entire order between 12/12//11 until the 21/12/11. Along with this, you will also still get the free UK next day delivery that the website offers. So head to www.wantherdress.com to make the most of this special offer.