#SelfStarterStories: From being a Graphic Designer to becoming the Founder of an eCommerce Fashion brand
This week's #selfstarterstory features Jill Rowbotham, Founder of Livvy and Rose.
"We wanted to set up a unique online shop where beautiful clothes, scarves, jewelry and bags could all be found at prices that are cheaper than the high street but with quality to match."
#PickYourselfUK caught up with Jill to learn more about her entrepreneurial journey.
What was your last job?: A graphic designer for a national media company - I still do this part-time.
When did you choose to PICK YOURSELF instead of waiting to be chosen by someone else?: I have always wanted to have my own business and two years ago decided to go for it. In January last year, I finally launched my own business alongside my day job as it's the only way I could fund it.
What was the most challenging part of starting a business?: Knowing where to start and what to do first. Also having the confidence to do it in the first place, investing my own money felt like a huge risk and not knowing if/when I'd make the money back was scary.
What is your favourite business book and why?: I haven't read any business books but have read hundreds of different blogs, websites, and forums to get advice and information on all areas of running a business.
Do you do everything yourself? What do you outsource?: I do everything from designing the logo and website, social media, photography, finance, PR, marketing, buying, and sales.
What is your favourite marketing tool ?: I have contacted bloggers who have written about my business and reviewed clothing and accessories. I love seeing my products on 'real' people and seeing what they think of them. They also, in turn, share my product with their followers which is a great way of gaining a potential customer's trust in your brand.
How do you market your business?: Through social media and by using bloggers to review and write about my products. I also do stalls and pop-up shops at fashion shows and events to keep my business in front of the customer and to promote my brand.
When you first launched, how did you get your first paying customers?: I held a launch party at my house and invited friends and family over to see my products. I also did a fashion show and sold lots of products there.
How did you get your first traffic to your website?: I rely on people clicking on my social media sites through to my website so used Facebook ads for a couple of months with a visit website link.
Nominate one person/friend who believed in you from the start, and what would you like to say to them today?: My husband - thank you for helping me follow my dream.
What would you say to someone who is toying with the idea to start a business but haven't yet?: Just go for it! Do your research and only launch when you feel ready to deal with your first customer. Arm yourself with as much information as you can so you're prepared for anything.
If you could have dinner with one entrepreneur, who would it be and why?: Theo Paphitis - I recently won his #SBS Twitter award and would love to get business advice from someone with so much success and experience.
To stay up to date with Jill Rowbotham's entrepreneurial journey, please find her on Facebook below:
Jill Rowbotham has qualified for the #PickYourselfUK Small Business Entrepreneur of the Year award 2018. If you'd like to enter yourself or nominate a small business entrepreneur for this award, please submit your story below.