What I wish I knew then: with e-commerce fashion designer Michelle Lowe
6 months, 20 years, start-ups or global giants – we love getting to know passionate entrepreneurs the world over. This week we're in conversation with a brand new travel-inspired online fashion brand, Discover Boutique, which launched six months ago. The label, founded by intrepid traveler, Michelle Lowe, is based in Barcelona's Gothic Quarter, and the clothes are ethically made in Bali.
We sat down with Michelle to talk business, passion, travel – and taking a leap of faith to go it alone.
Question and answer
This is your first ever business – what drove you to start it by yourself?
'I spent five years working on private yachts – traveling around the world for a living. I was so inspired by everything I was seeing and experiencing; the range of different unique styles from country to country, from the Caribbean to the South of France. I started styling a few of the onboard guests too. Being so passionate about that – that’s what made me realize that I wanted to start my own business. So I started saving.'
You launched Discover Boutique in December 2017, how did your first three months go?
'It was a very exciting time, everything for me was new and I was learning so much, in which I still am now only six months in to it. Everything at the start is a learning curve – especially for me, I taught myself everything from scratch. I didn't do business or marketing at university. Friends were and are still are my biggest supporters which I appreciate so much.'
What would you tell your former self if you were to start again? 'I would tell myself to do a beginners business course before, as not only was I new to designing but also running a business, thank god I had my sister who has a degree in business and marketing by my side. She was there at the start to help me out with everything business related, she literally gave my business a leg to stand on.'
'I would tell people 100% believe in yourself and your passion and you will do it, there are too many people that give up too quickly. It is definitely hard, there are tough days but keep you have to keep telling yourself. You can do it!'
Was there a moment where you thought ‘yes, this is going to work!’? And when was it?
'Yes definitely, There are so many moments. When I first got my clothes samples and everything was exactly as I designed and imagined them to be. And they fit great. The next moment was when people first tried on my clothes and talked about how nice the materials and designs were. It was amazing.'
What keeps you inspired?
'Knowing that I am organically growing a family-run ethical factory in Bali. Meeting more and more ethical bloggers and supporters. The places around the world I have been and experienced and am still experiencing. Also the people I am having the pleasure to work with, I've been surrounding myself with creatives who have been in the industry for a long time.'
Which other brands do you think are killing it online right now?
What's been the most effective way you've connected to new customers or followers? 'Instagram and Pinterest, absolutely.'
If you'd like to discuss your own e-commerce ideas or have any social media marketing questions – talk to us!