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From fashion blog to £5 million fashion empire at 28, this is Sarah Ashcroft's inspiring story

Today we’re learning from That Pommie Girl, Sarah Ashcroft. If you know her, you’ll know of her super cool blog called That Pommie Girl she started in 2013 that’s lead her down a path of exciting entrepreneurship.

After working on her blog for a number of years Sarah started SLA The Label in June 2019. Originally born out of Sarah’s love for airport outfits, she had become known amongst her followers for her travel looks across all her social media platforms. As a result, when launching SLA The Label’s first collection it felt natural to start with loungewear. Followers and fashion fans fell in love with the collection which saw the first drop sell out within 24 hours making sales of £60k and in just three years it's turned over almost £5million in revenue.

In this episode, we get into those early steps of founding a fashion business. That first year you've decided to take the plunge and are first starting to navigate the space. Two business tips stood out far from the rest, and I'll share those here as a little taste of what to expect in this episode.

Firstly, do not rush the process. Sarah remembers rushing the beginning of her entrepreneurial journey with SLA. When launching their first collection she was nowhere near where she wanted to be for the launch, but impatience got the better of her.

Impatience with launching a new business is a great sign. You're just excited for this thing to be out in the world, and to be able to share your creation. But, there's a but there, it can also mean you push your business out into the world a little before it's due. And that's what Sarah believes happened here. Her tip is to give yourself the time to feel that you are 100% ready to launch. There's just so much that can go wrong, and if you're not fully ready for those consequences it can be pretty detrimental for your business (and with that also you!).

The second tip she shared revolves around the idea that it's a better idea to launch with a (or a couple) of key products. In other words, don't expand your products and offering too quickly. It can work out better for business in the long term to stick with your small launch collection for a year, and to really nail that down. Sarah believes the result would be far fewer. Nailing that thing, doing it well, getting a good customer base. It's the way to go.

This episode is a fab one for the fashion girl. I was so surprised at her highest performing marketing channel and I think you will be too.

Please note, this transcript has been copy pasted without the lovely touch of a human editor. Please expect some typos!

Sarah. Hi, welcome to the female Startup Club podcast. Hello, thank you so much for having me. I'm very, very excited to be here. I'm very, very excited too and congratulations for your launch yesterday.

00:02:31Edit I've just been having a quick peek on your website and it is so fab. Thank you. I know, I feel like this one was one of my favorite ones that we've had so far, just because it's like a sequin explosion. I mean, SLA Is a secret explosion, but this one somehow just seems even more sparkly. I think we're just, just every time we launch something, I'm like, can we really get any more sparkly? And then we do. But I love it. I mean, I'm all here for it. I'm just like, yes, be more sparkly. I know that I feel like that should just be a motto in life. It really just could work in so many different ways. Couldn't it just be more sparkly? Yes. Yeah, I mean you're speaking my language. I feel like that's my motto. Keep sparkling. How did it go? How was the, like feedback? And the reception from last night before we jump into the story. It was really good. We always, it's always nerve wracking before you launch anything because you look, I mean, obviously you always love your product, but they're always always that fear that it might not go down well, but I feel like we are slowly but surely really understanding our customer and just I know that if I'm just in love with something nine times out of 10, it will sound really well and it has done so far.

00:03:44Edit So let's just pray that stays, Oh my gosh, I love that. That's so cool as well to be like, I just have that instinctive feeling. What about the times where you're wrong? Have you been surprised? Oh, I mean, oh my God, there's been there has been some serious times. And to be fair, it's funny because the biggest times that were wrong is when we do something that is to like normal, too boring, like, you know, something that's a bit more plain or as something that was basically something you can get somewhere else. Like we've realized that the S. L. A customer comes to us for that crazy out there outfit now, whether that's the color of it or the fabric, but if we launch something in a really mainstream kind of like, just that sort of yeah, just typical thing that you could get in your racehorses. Usar and all that sort of stuff, they don't want it, they just don't want it, oh my gosh, that's so interesting. And and we've learned the hard way. I must just say, okay, let's first go back because I feel like I'm jumping ahead of myself.

00:04:45Edit Yes, no, go for it. I can get into that, I can get into it. It's fun. I feel like, yeah, I'm jumping the gun. I want to like, stay on that trend, but I want to come back to that. Let's go back to like, your early career when you were Starting the blog, I think I read, it was circa 2013. Can you talk us through from this point of like, you know who you are, what your vision was, what was kind of happening for you in life around this time? Yes. So in 2000 13 I've just finished fashion college, so I did a year at the fashion retail academy in London. I didn't go to university. It wasn't, I just knew it wasn't gonna be for me because I've always been sort of like, I just want to make money. It's just been me since I think literally since I was probably about five, I've always been very like, I need money. I'm very like, just money driven and I'm going to be super honest about that. So I left the fashion retail academy wanting to work in Fashion pr and it basically turned out to get myself a job having a blog alongside of that when I was in interviews, was desirable to the employer. So I started that pommy girl as it was once called, or was called, I said it doesn't, it doesn't really exist anymore.

00:05:54Edit It's kind of sad. Um, and yeah, and then within sort of six months of starting it, it sort of grew and just out of nowhere. Um, and I think it was about six months and I started earning money from it and then I left my then sort of retail job About 10 months into the blog and then was doing it full time and then everything's just gone from there. So it is crazy how it started, but I do put that down to the success of it because I wasn't trying to do it, if that makes sense. It was honestly so natural and organic because I didn't, I wasn't trying to be a blogger or influencer, influencer, wasn't even a Word in 2000 13. Um, it was just something that I was doing to get myself a job. It was, yeah, crazy. The authenticity of what you were doing, really resonated with everyone obviously, and obviously at that time when things, yeah, we're really becoming influencers were becoming a term and this was becoming a job. Very cool. So were you always thinking about launching a brand or were there a few moments in the lead up that made you be like, okay, I'm going to start my own, well second company.

00:07:04Edit I'm going to start my second company and start a fashion label, I think for me it was probably around about two 1,018, which I think was about six years ish, maybe a bit more, but let's cut to the math. Um have of having this blog influencer career, whatever you wanna call it, that I just had this feeling, it was almost like every morning I woke up I had this like kind of like a gut feeling of just knowing that there was, it needed to be more because you know when you spent six years like creating and nurturing an amazing following and like this marketing platform, essentially I was like there's got to be something I can do with this to turn it into something more than what it was. And also like with anyone who does something that is the same for a long period of time, you do get to a point where you feel like you want to change it. And obviously, you know, as lucky as I was because no day was the same essentially it was, you know, if you just take it all the way down back to like the roots, it's literally going out and taking pictures and uploading content and that's what you're doing all the time and I just, yeah, I think I just wanted to do more.

00:08:10Edit So that was definitely like the main reason for starting S. L. A. But I would say I was lucky enough to have different collaborations with other online fashion brands and that was so amazing for me because it really made me understand my own selling power. So when it came to starting S. L. A. It was obviously scary, but I knew that I could sell, you know like a huge amount of product which then gave me that confidence I think to start the brand because that obviously is always scary, isn't it? When you start a brand is thinking is this going to sell? So I think I was very lucky to almost have that confidence. Well I say that I didn't know for sure, but I had a little bit more of an inkling that maybe some people do have totally how Big was your audience on social media at that time? Like 20 18 2019? I think I was just under like a million followers. I think I had like 900,000 or something like that. I can't remember exactly but it was it was big, It was yeah, I mean I remember at the time just thinking this is crazy.

00:09:14Edit Yeah, you'd clearly pop kind of thing by that point. I'm wondering like to your audience because obviously you had a huge following that's amazing. But were you pulling them and like asking them specifically what they wanted or were you kind of thinking I already know what I want and I'm just gonna like launch this with a bang. It's funny because I often get asked that about like did you do you do like market research with your followers? But I think for the whole of my career, I have been, I've been like a sponge without meaning to. So I've been learning so much about what my followers loved from just the reaction you get from your post, you know, or your videos, because you know, when something does well and when something doesn't do well and so without even meaning to, I was literally gaining this knowledge of what people loved wearing and then when it when it sort of came to putting that down on paper to assad, it was kind of like I just had this knowledge without having to ask people, it's kind of bizarre, but I do think it was, it was like, I just unintentionally had all this market research within my head, which was amazing because I just knew, you know, I mean, most people do know that S L.

00:10:22Edit A. Started off as predominantly loungewear and that was because I was so known for my airport attire at the time, it just becomes such a everyone was like well what you're gonna wear to the airport for your next trip. So it was so natural for me to start with loungewear and it was because of the response from followers, you know, that it's almost like that it's kind of like didn't have to ask them, I just knew because of the way they responded to my airport outfits that they were gonna love loungewear. So yeah, it's it's it's quite I felt very lucky to be in a position like that because having that kind of direct to consumer contact that you didn't even realize you were having. It was amazing. That's amazing. And how did you go about getting the brand started in terms of if you have to break down those early steps and tell someone who doesn't yet have a fashion label but wants to get into fashion, what are the kind of key moments to getting the brand ready to launch or what's that like early first year? Like basically I mean I always say this and I wish I could go back in time and tell myself, but number one is do not rush because I rushed.

00:11:27Edit I think I rushed the beginning of S. L. A. And actually when I look back on it I don't cringe at the way it was when it launched. But I kind of do because it was nowhere near as what I maybe would have liked it to launch as it's it's an odd one. But I think give yourself The time to feel like you are 100% ready to launch because there is so much that could go wrong and if you're not ready that can actually be like quite detrimental because I feel like I was lucky enough to be financially you know stable from my influencer career to be able to like manage anything that might have come my way from launching too early, but some people might not be, so I think number one is don't rush and then I always say as well, which is one other thing I would have loved to tell myself is launch with like a key product, don't expand your products and you're offering to quickly um because I sort of wish that we'd stuck as just what we launched with, which was like a little crop top, a jacket and joggers for like a year and just nailed that down because I think there would have been a lot less struggles if I'd done that, but I was just like, I want to launch more, I want to bring out more because I've seen success and I was like, I want to try this, I want to do this, I want to launch more products and actually I think nailing that thing and really doing it well and getting a good customer base who come to you for that thing before expanding is just what I would say to anyone now, so what did you launch?

00:12:58Edit That didn't go well in those early days? So we launched In June 2000 19 and we launched, as I said with the sweats, the little crop tops and things and we launched with some slogan tees um and they All sold so well, we sold out in 24 hours, it was amazing and we got restocked back in and that sold out and then I randomly, I mean it's kind of random, but I was like, we gotta do swimwear, we gotta do swimwear. It was coming up to summer bearing in mind we launched in june and I'm now like, we need to get some, we need to get bikinis online. I was like, where am I finding these bikinis? So I rushed the manufacturing process, I rushed everything and had this swimwear collection launched and I ordered the same amount of units that I had for the loungewear and it flopped. Like literally we sold maybe 150 units of each item, which obviously was good, but not compared to what we ordered. And I just remember thinking at the time, like that money should have gone on lounge sets because that was what my customer wanted and I just, you know, almost wasn't listening and just, well, you know, I'm new to, I was new to it, I wanted to try everything because also I'm a big believer in nothing is ever a failed because actually it taught me that that's not, you know, the customer didn't want that or they weren't ready for that at the time.

00:14:15Edit So I learned from it. And then we just really went down the loungewear route and it was great. So without doing that, I would probably would have always been like, what if and would have done it anyway, You know, I would have always tried to swimwear route, but yeah, it just really wasn't good for us and I just think it was way too early. We were probably what, 34 months old before I launched swim where it was just really odd. Like it didn't didn't match up. I don't know why it happened. It's bizarre. But how were you able to manufacture so quickly? I feel like every time I speak to anyone manufacturing anything, the process is just so long and arduous. So for us and whenever I always say, as I say us because escalate to me is just like a I can't say it for me, it's if it escalates and it's like a plural. So we we had two airship everything from the get go number one because of me rushing. Hence why I say don't rush because air shipping is stupid and cost so much money. But the problem that we had in the beginning was constantly selling out So whenever you produce more we have to airship it in because otherwise the customer, we're waiting up to like 13 weeks for a restock, which just made no sense to me.

00:15:28Edit So because we were air shipping, it kind of in my head, I was just like yes let's get these bikinis made and we'll just airship them in and it takes you know, one, 25 days. So that's why I was able to get it in. But now obviously we see ship and it takes so much longer, but that was why we were because it was just for me that was, but obviously in the fashion industry, air shipping is not what you do. And I've learned the hard way because the amount of money that we've spent on it is crazy. But it was also We kind of didn't have a choice because as I said, we were buying so much product and what we thought was enough, but it was selling out and then I was like I can't make, I cannot let a customer wait 13 weeks for a restart because they probably might not want it. So it was a real like kind of, we were going around in circles. I was, I don't know how we get out of this sort of like rat race of constantly paying for air shipping. But with three years, almost three years down the line, we're finally seeing the end of it. So when you say you were ordering so much stock, what's an example of how many units in the beginning or in those early times you'd be ordering per skew.

00:16:36Edit So our First launch, we had three 150 units of each item. So we had, so that was like, so for example the jogger the crop top and the little zip up top that came with it. And so we did and I think we launched with, I think it came in four colors when it first launched, maybe three. Um and then the next week when we did the restock and we ordered 400 units. So it was quite like, you know, well I was pretty pleased with what we were selling but I didn't want to go any bigger because I thought God I don't want to be, but actually looking, looking back on it, it annoyed me. So I thought God I could have probably sold like thousands of units in the beginning, but obviously I was new and it costs money to buy this, buy the product. So I was spending what I could afford to spend on stop and that was actually what I found really sort of hard to deal with at the beginning was because I was like I need more money because I know this product is going to sell but I can't pay for the product. So that was I think that that was basically supplying the demand. That was really difficult for us in the beginning the struggle of every entrepreneur and aecom or in physical products literally and and also you literally need a crystal ball in the aecom world because you just have no idea how much you're going to need and whether it's going to do well.

00:17:52Edit So yeah, if anyone ever finds out how you work that one out, please let me know because please give me the crystal ball yeah, when you say you know the price difference of shipping by boat verse shipping by plane, can you give an actual example of how much it would have cost to ship that first order by boat and how much you actually paid to ship it by plane. I've never known this split. Yes so I can give you an example of because that one obviously we wouldn't have even worked out but I can give you an example of a collection that would have launched like more recently. So if we air shipped it it would have been around I think it was around 17 grand if we see shipped it it was like 6 1/2. So the difference is huge, huge difference. It really is like and sometimes it can be depending on the time of year the the air shipping I mean I remember we air shipped in a collection for I think it was to be a restock to be there in time for black friday you know I think It was in 2000 and No it would have been 2,019.

00:19:03Edit Yes so the Black Friday of our year of launch we I was like we've got to get more stock in, we've got to do it and I think our airship was like 22 grand. Oh my god it cost us to ship it in bearing in mind the product was worth like it was stupid so you can imagine yes we were selling out and yes we're making money but our profit margins were severely reduced because of the fact that we were air shipping everything. So it's Yeah, that's that's that's the thing is it's like you can make X amount of money but it doesn't mean you're making huge huge amounts of profit. So yeah, and I feel like though I've heard this before, it's like especially in the beginning where you're trying to sort that things out, it's like do whatever you can at all costs to just make it work. Like do the things that aren't scalable, do the things that are expensive, just do the things that are great for the customer first and figure out the rest after once you've kind of locked down your true fans 100%. And actually, to be fair, like I looked back and I say all this stuff and I'm like, I wish I did this and I wish I did that, but I'm such a like go for it kind of person.

00:20:07Edit I don't really think things through. I'm very like, just yeah, I'm very impulsive, so impulsive. So that's just my nature. So I could sit here and say, I wish I'd done it slowly and I wish that that was that's not me, that would have never happened. Even if someone had told me it, it still wouldn't have happened. So, you know, it's part of your story isn't as as a business owner there's always some story that starts you up and this is ours, that things were basically a little bit of a bit of a bit of a nightmare in the beginning, but we're here, it's fine. Bit of a ship show, literally, Oh my gosh, it's funny because people looking in from the outside would see someone like you and be like, oh, she's like clearly got it all together, everything is really working well. And then when you hear the actual reality and you're like, yeah, I still struggled with building the business, especially in the beginning, it makes it be like, okay, like, so anyone really can do this then literally, I mean I laugh with people all the time and I say, even to this day, I have not a clue what I'm doing, Like literally not a clue.

00:21:10Edit I still feel like I don't like I'm, you know, I've now got people that work for me and they come in and we have meetings and we sit around and they're saying things because genuinely they are more intelligent when it comes to business than I am, but that's only because I've read so many business books where they keep saying employ people that are cleverer than you, which definitely is the thing to do, but they'll be speaking to me and I have to stop them and say, can you just actually explain to me what you what you're talking about, But I think that's actually really important in running a business or doing anything, it will kind of yeah, it goes across all life. Don't pretend you know what you're doing because actually if you're just honest and you say, do you know what, I don't understand this, Can you explain or can you help me? You get so much more back from it? So I think I'm not ever, I don't ever act like I know what I'm doing because I'm the first person to admit that I don't I'm just winging it, but I think, I think everyone needs to some extent, I love that I think and I think that's so true. There's a lot of this industry that's very like smoke and mirrors fake it till you make it like just kind of get on with it, make the decisions and then one day you're gonna wake up and be like, oh yeah, it's all worked out, we're all good over here 10 years to overnight success.

00:22:18Edit Yeah. Honestly, I've never heard a truer statement in these digital times. Almost all consumers tend to search online for a product or brand before making a purchase. So it's never been as important as now to have a home for your brand or your online business if you've been thinking about taking your business to the next level and going online with it now is the perfect time to start building your website with zero, Zero is the most affordable website builder on the market with beautiful designer made templates, Simple drag and drop editing and business tools like a logo maker and ai rider which will save you hundreds of dollars per year that you can reinvest into your business and create your own website without any coding knowledge. Go to zero dot com forward slash F. S. C. That's Z. Y. R. O. Dot com slash fsc. Or use our code F. S. C. to get up to 70 1% discount plus three months free and a domain with any yearly plan. What kind of money did you actually need to invest to start the business?

00:23:24Edit And how are you financing in the beginning slash like thinking about funding and the working capital piece. So in the beginning I used a lot of the money I've made throughout my influencer career, which obviously was amazing because a lot of people don't have that. So I felt really lucky to be able to fund the start of it myself because I know a lot of people have to get outside money. Um But it's quite funny because I know having again learn more over the business world as I've gone, people always say do not invest your own money, spend other people's money. And so I sort of look back on it now because like I cringe I put like I think something like £55,000 worth of my inheritance from my grandparents into S. L. A. Which like my sister, she went and bought a flat in London and all this sort of stuff and I'm like oh sh it did I do the right thing but I have full faith that S. L. A. Is going to be amazing. So for me That was the right thing to spend that money on. And I know that my grandparents if they were still around they would have said the same thing but probably looking back at it now I maybe wish I would have gotten like a 55 grand loan from the bank because it would have probably been nice to have spent alone rather than my personal money.

00:24:39Edit But it's just one of those things isn't it at the time that's what you spend on and luckily it's been well so far a success. It's stressful but it's a success. So yeah I think it was only in the last like towards the end of last year when this demand was so high and we were really struggling to supply because we did go around in this sort of circle of you know just ordering what we could afford which was about 3 400 units and I was like the demand is there but we need to order more. So I was like how do we do this? So we actually went to a platform called clear code. Have you heard? Yes I love Clear Co that's so great. Yeah so good. Hey so so great. So my my boyfriend who was actually also a business owner, he introduced me to the sort of premise of clerical and what they do and I was like this sounds exactly what I need. Um So yes, we got a loan from them about what do we get? There was 100 and 100 grand and that was huge for us because it was what number one?

00:25:40Edit It was the most amount of money that I've ever seen. Like in Alone, I was like this is crazy, it's quite scary but it was so big for us because it meant that our christmas collection, we just had so much stock and we could just do more and that we weren't selling out. But like that was a good thing, like we were selling out but we were selling out after like a week rather than an hour. So it kept the customers happy. No one was getting angry when they were shopping on the website, like the consumer experience like on there was better. So it was huge for us. Really huge for anyone who hasn't been formally introduced to clear co could you in your words and like your experience explain the process how quick it was to sign up and kind of like, you know, just your insights into it. Yeah. So basically we had like a zoom meeting with one of the guys who worked there sort of explained S. L. A. You know what it is, what we're doing, why we wanted the money. Um Just all that sort of typical loan sort of style stuff but I must just say there are a lot less scary than like going for a bank loan because it is different in the sense where like you you pay it back, they take like a percentage of how much you make on your Shopify like every day.

00:26:56Edit So it's just easier somehow than going for a loan where they're just a bit more scary. I don't know, it just was a nicer experience. And so yeah I think it was after that we sent over all the sort of financials and you know that just to kind of verify everything and then I think probably 48 hours later we had the money in the clear coat account. So it was so and that's what obviously they say don't think it's like you can get it quickly. Crazy. So crazy. And it's just as I said, I think for us, the nicest thing about using something like clear coat is because they take the payment daily from what you make. And also it's great because you can always afford to pay it back because they're only taking X. Amount of like what you've made that day. So if you've only made £50 that Day they're just going to take 1920% of that £50. But if you've made 50 grand that day they will take 19% or 20% of that. So you've always you can always afford to pay it back, you know, which I think is huge and it's nice that it's just automated and then it just gets paid off and then you don't have to worry about it and it's done.

00:27:58Edit So for me, I just, I'm a big advocate for it, I think it's great and it's just can help so many people I think. Yeah, I think it's so amazing. It's something we've spoken on the show about a few times now and I actually met with them when I was in new york to kind of like truly understand the process a few months ago and what was also really interesting to me is that they will fund any, well not any brand but you're eligible to be funded if you're making as little as 10K a month through your Shopify store. So it really is an achievable kind of like company to get funding through without, like you said having to go to a bank, which is really scary. I feel like any time you think about applying to a bank loan, you're like oh I'm not going to be approved or like it's gonna be this huge long process which is which is really interesting. So I'm so glad you brought them up. I think that's so great. The people who work there are just so nice and so lovely. They're very cool as a company. Yeah, they are and I think you know anytime you do anything financially related in a business it's so scary.

00:29:01Edit So to be able to actually just talk to someone who feels like a human and someone who's nice and not as you say like a scary bank, that's such an important thing as well. So yeah, as I say I can't recommend them enough. Amazing, I love that. So Okay, since you've launched in 20 19 You've obviously done so well, you've been selling out restocking, trying to like understand your supply chain so that you can invest more in your stock and forecasting and things like that. But what's been working for you outside of your own community or are you still in the point where you're kind of only having to advertise or do anything within your own community. So we I basically grew the brand off of the back of Sarah Ashcroft up until I would say the eighth of august 2000 and 21. So it was literally just last year which was crazy because obviously having a platform that you were able to just solely market it through yourself was incredible. But then we reached a point where I was like to grow this I need to grow outside of me because I just think you know obviously not everyone has a clue who I am.

00:30:09Edit So it was like trying to build that so that's when we found we work with this amazing marketing agency and they do all of our sort of like ad spend and all of our like google shopping stuff and for me that was huge because it was the first time we've done it and it's crazy then return on and like investment you get on that because It's just mental like I can't believe I think we're sitting at something like every £1 we spend we get £5 back. And I'm like this is wild, let's keep spending money. Mm hmm wow. Yeah. That's amazing. Holy moly I feel like also that's you hear since the Iowa's changes with apple and you know that affected facebook and instagram ads and things like that everyone's return on investment or the rowers went right down and kind of like changed in the blink of an eye so to hear that for you it's still going like unbelievably well is amazing. Yeah. But you know why I'm honestly there. It's actually a friend of mine who works at this marketing company so we've got really lovely relationship and I think that's why I just I'm such an advocate for working with people that if you know them it's just a better relationship and so we have very honest conversations and she tries every single angle for us and our best performing social media platform is Snapchat which is wild because what That's so random.

00:31:25Edit So random, right? I didn't even know that Snapchat was Like still a thing and neither and you know what the most wild thing is, it's not even the young, like audience that's coming through from it. It's like my age range. So it's like 25-35 because I thought I was like, surely we're talking like, you know, uni students, because I just assume that they're the only people that use Snapchat because I don't use it. Yeah, that's what I thought Snapchat was. But no, we've got like, yeah, about 25-35 and we just see such an amazing like response from our snapchats, that's so cool. What kind of ads do you put on there? Like what's the style of content on Snapchat these days? So the most important thing is with any ad platform that you're deciding to do it and you really have to pay attention to what that platform, which I think is probably why I'm were quite good with our ads because I am a social media influencer. So I understand each platform, so with the help of the marketing agency as well, because they're always like trying to tell us that this will perform well, you need to create this style content for it.

00:32:28Edit So Snapchat, the ads on there are very, you know, like video focused, you know, so almost like you feel like you're watching someone's Snapchat story so that it doesn't feel like an ad, so it's trying to, you know, like change your ad to fit where it's being shown to get that response I think is really important. You can't just put the same ad across all platforms. It's not gonna work because every platform now, more than ever, they are so different. As much as instagram is trying to be like Tiktok, it's not working, stop doing it. They just, they're all so different and I think your ads have to kind of like mirror that. Yeah, they really need to be native in the platform and kind of mirror the experience that you're having as a consumer scrolling on that platform or swiping or whatever you do on Snapchat. I'm not too sure does Tiktok work for you as a channel. So Tiktok is slower for us. But I think it's because we've only just started on there and I think adds take so long to grow and learn and like, you know, get within the algorithm and try and so I think will probably, I would have a better answer for you in like six months time as to whether Tiktok's working for us.

00:33:38Edit Um, so we'll see, but it's not at the moment, it's not as strong. Yeah, wow, gosh. And so with all of this in mind, everything is going really well. It sounds really cool. You're smashing it on all the channels. What is the vision for this year, What exciting things have you got coming up that you can shout about and tell us about. So I think the thing I'm most excited about, which is what I've just got back from my beef to that brown was shooting was, believe it or not, swimwear, it's back, which feels funny saying that now because obviously it was swimwear two point Oh yeah, guys get ready, I promise it's better this time around, but it just feels, I mean, I'll eat my words if this stuff doesn't sell, but it feels right now because obviously we launched sl a luxe in june 2000 and 21 at the end of 2021 it had made up 61% of our sales. So the shift away from loungewear was huge and now more than ever, we're seeing customers just really are coming to us for our luck's so I'm not even like, I don't even know whether our loungewear will continue for much longer, but like, we'll see anyway, but then just kind of moving on from that, it's like, I still like that customer is now there who wants that like, chic beach where, you know, looking amazing by the pool.

00:34:56Edit So I have faith that it's good and it's amazing if I do say so myself, it's a dream, the collection. So that's exciting. We also are hosting our first ever influencer event next week actually, which is crazy because, you know, I'm like, the fact that I go to so many of these and I'm having my own one, I'm like nervous, but super excited, which is a big thing for the brand because having, you know, your first event is wild, um and then, yeah, it's just more of the same, like we've got so many products that just launching that I'm so excited for, we're kind of expanding a little bit into the accessory space, we've got a really amazing black bag that's coming, which I'm obsessed with, but I won't say too much about it because it's still very much in production, um but yeah, yeah, just so much I cannot wait to share. Oh my gosh, I'm so excited. When does the swimwear come out? So the swimwear launches on Friday, May, so next Friday, oh my gosh, no, thank you. How fun, What is Your key piece of advice for entrepreneurs coming into 2022, who were, were not coming into 2022, but in 2022, who are in that fashion industry space?

00:36:11Edit So are we saying is in people who want to start a business or have a business or mixture mixture of both. Oh, I would say um one thing I would say is weirdly enough is Tiktok Tiktok, even personally for me, I feel like that platform for businesses is the only platform that is around right now where you can really get your business out there because it's so if you can understand how to create a video that will go viral, you can go viral really easily on that, and if you can get A video even to just reach like 50,000 views, that can be huge for your business. So I think if you're spending a lot of effort and time on your instagram just stop because I think Instagram is dying out like the engagement and the reach on there is just painful. But I think Tiktok, you can just, I actually have a friend who's got business called partner and wine and she launched it in lockdown. Oh my God, I bought it and I bought it through Tiktok videos, go viral and stop.

00:37:17Edit I've actually seen her before in Soho works and I went up to her and I was like, I saw your video on Tiktok and I bought it and like I love that you know this, that's what he said. That's my friend lucy so lucy started that and then she said she woke up, my God and this video had gone Viral and she literally, the sales were crazy. So honestly if I just say anything in the 2022 social space, tick tock your heart out because and upload loads like keep uploading, be really like consistent on their upload, even the mundane things like it hits you in the office or you're packing orders or because what's mundane to you is not mundane to other people because they don't see it every day and you just don't know what could go viral and if you go viral, it could be huge. So yeah, I think that's my biggest piece of advice. I mean, I am so with you, everyone listening to the show right now is like, yes, okay, we've heard it a million times. We need to start Tiktok, I just can't shut up about it because it's so like, there is no other platform.

00:38:18Edit This is like instagram 20 16 where like you have the chance to really grow, Every video has the chance to go viral. Every video you have the chance to get in front of hundreds of thousands of people. It blows my mind. It actually blows my mind literally. And if it makes anyone feel any better, I'm officially like, I'm a fully fledged influence, a social media influencer. And I actually only started my tiktok in february this year. So I am also one of those people that was like, I don't want to, I'm not going to do it. And I did and it was the best thing I ever did. So just do it. Oh my gosh, that's amazing. So if you have a Tiktok video go viral, Do you see like instant kind of sales or is it that people then come to your instagram? Like what's the impact of a video going viral for you. So for S. L. A. I mean it's weird, we haven't. So for example, let's use a video that just recently on my, my personal Tiktok got like 500,000 views. Um, and I was wearing this new p address that we've just launched and that was The # one best seller of our launch yesterday. And I put that down to the Fact that Tiktok had 500 1000 views because the other ones are all equally as amazing Products.

00:39:27Edit But that video has got 500 1000 views and that dress has now been seen. So it's just like, you can just tell, you know? Yeah, Yeah. Oh my gosh, that's amazing. Oh gosh, it's such a crazy platform. It's also so much fun. I really like being on there. Whereas I feel like instagram drains me a little bit. Oh my God, I honestly come off instagram being like passed me a bottle of wine and I'm just gonna go sit in a dark room like that's not fun. Why are we coming off platforms feeling like that? You know, like that's not how it should be. I know, I hear you, gosh, this has been so much fun. Thanks for listening to this amazing episode. We are testing out something new here for the next while and we're splitting up each episode into two parts, the main interview Part and then the six quick questions part to make them easier to listen to. So that's part one done, tune into part two to hear the six quick questions.

Question number one, What is your, why? Why are you doing what you're doing? I would say my wife is definitely because I just want to live a life that I wake up to and I'm excited every morning. Like genuinely that's everyone's dream, right? But that is literally what I'm doing it because it's my passion and I just love it. Like I just want to be excited every day. Oh my gosh, I love that. Yeah. If you don't love the journey and you're not loving the day to day, you've lost, you've definitely lost. Yeah. Question number two is what's been your favorite marketing moments so far? Is that with S. L. A. Or just in general with S. L. A. Like, you know, maybe an influencer wearing a piece of the product or a specific customer review or just something or campaign or something like that. Oh that's an easy, easy, easy answer. So Nicole Scherzinger war S. L.

00:01:13Edit A. She was the first big celebrity to wear it. And I was like, my inner pussycat doll was screaming in a in a in a pussycat doll. Like I'm in the band, my inner pussycat doll fan there. I am. I think I am one. I'm like, oh my God, yeah me. Yeah. Crazy. Oh my gosh, that's so exciting. Did you know she was going to wear it or you woke up one day and she's wearing it and you're like, what the heck, no. So we have a pr agency in America who are amazing and the stylist came in clearly and pick the suit up and my PR messaged me in the morning was like, Nicole is wearing a suit and I was like, oh my God, it's wild. That's so cool. Amazing. Question Number three is, what's your go to business resource when it comes to a podcast, a newsletter or book? Oh definitely podcasts. I feel like, oh, I have had quite a few, but I do love the more sort of, I'm over a business business podcast, but I love these sort of style ones where you get like, it's a bit more just relaxed and chatty, you know, but because I feel like you learn more so I do love the podcast.

00:02:17Edit I would try and say I was into like books and you know, articles online, but it's just not me. I don't also don't even have the time to sit down, whereas a podcast, I can put it in and like walk around while doing things. So podcast is just amazing. 100% speaking my language question number four is how do you win the day? What are your like am or PM rituals and habits that keep you feeling happy and successful and motivated? Do you know what for me? I actually think to win the day it's, it's my to do list and doing it. I never try and make them to like unattainable. I want because I want to be able to do and I think that's really important. So just like just that sensation of taking something off and feeling like you've accomplished it I think is important because you can get so bogged down when you have a business. And I think writing those little things down on the to do list makes me feel like I'm like, yeah, I've done something today and I can go to sleep happy. You know? Yeah, kicking your goals. You're taking everything off the list. I feel the same. Yeah. Question # five is what has been your worst money mistake?

00:03:25Edit Well, I mean, it's gotta be the swimwear, hasn't it? It's gotta be, I feel like, although the potentially is, as I said, launching those items that like are too boring and we've just wasted money. They just haven't sold. So yeah. It's just there's been a few but it's just products I've just gone so wrong really. Because not everything works. Not. There's just if anyone says it because they feel like they're lying because it doesn't when you think about like this one where just side question here, how much do you think that cost you if you have to put a dollar figure to it? I think it cost me $34,000 us. Yeah, that stings that's really sh it So it was like, Yeah. And we probably only made like 12 Grand Dish. But then obviously remember we had the shipping cost on top of that. So it was probably about 40 something. And then we only made 12 grand. So it was like, you know. Mm hmm Yeah. Gosh, Crazy. Last question question number six is just what's a crazy story that you can share from the journey of building this business.

00:04:34Edit Good bad or anything in between? Trying to think. I feel like there's so many. I don't know. I'm not sure how crazy they are. But I suppose for us like it's not even crazy. But I would just say how many logistics centers we've been through since we've launched. Which to me is crazy because we have literally been through so many and I think outgrowing your logistics center, If anyone has done it will understand why I think that is crazy because moving logistics centers is crazy. Um So I would say, yeah, just trying to get your logistics and your infrastructure behind the scenes in place is super important because otherwise it will end up being a crazy story. That's a whole other podcast if I went into that. So I won't. But just yeah, how many have you been through? So we're on our fourth now in less than three years And it's yeah. Wild. That sounds like a lot. Damn. Gosh, not fun. Hate that for you. Hate the logistics sarah. This was so much fun. Thank you so much for taking the time to come on the show and share your story.

00:05:40Edit I'm so excited for you for next week. Good luck with your event and my eyes out for the swimwear. Thank you so much for having me. I really enjoyed talking about it. I'm an SLR because it's my baby. I'm so excited.



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