Louisa Rogers: Trendlistr
Wanting to share her love for one-of-a-kind clothing, and to become her own boss, Louisa Rogers started Trendlistr, a curated online platform for vintage clothing and accessories.
The store, which was shortlisted for the ‘If We Can You Can’ award in 2016, offers a range of high-quality and designer vintage clothing for men, women and children. Unlike most online marketplaces, Trendlistr requires sellers to apply or to be invited to become a part of an exclusive community, therefore ensuring that only products of the highest quality are sold through the site.
On reflection of her first few months in business, Louisa admits that turning her idea for Trendlistr into a reality was a challenge. With only limited technical knowledge, she sought a digital solution which she had to quickly abandon: “For the first 6 months, I pursued a software solution that couldn’t work for me, and had I known earlier, I could have save a lot of time and money.”
Louisa is nevertheless optimistic, viewing the business mistakes made in the first few months as learning curves: “I spent 6 months working on something that failed - I could be upset about that or I could view it as a learning experience, something that I won’t do again.”
With her new website finally up and running, Louisa is “fulfilled and happy” in running her business, noting that “every day is new, exciting and unsettling, in a positive way”. She credits her website launch as one of the biggest business achievements to date – with Trendlistr’s feature in Bdaily’s ‘5 North-East Start-ups to Watch’ list a very close second.
Louisa turned to PNE Enterprise for support in managing her business and regularly attended the PNE Enterprise ‘Start Your Own Business Course’ workshops. Reflecting on the workshops, Louisa states: “The resources and tools shared with us in the workshops have been so useful, especially the market validation techniques. I would recommend the workshops to anyone with the seed of an idea in mind that they might want to pursue!”
When asked what other advice she would give to others thinking of starting their own business, Louisa was honest, commenting: “Be prepared for the bad stuff. Be prepared for it to be as bad as it is good. It’s a 50-50 split. It’s a lot of unglamorous work, sending out emails, putting money into advertising techniques that don’t come off. But remember that for every bad decision you make, you get closer to the right one.”
Now, Louisa’s focus is on growing the Trendlistr community, making it an enjoyable experience for both vintage buyers and sellers: “I would like to be overseeing an established community of sellers through the platform, focusing my own energy less on selling stock and more on creating great content for our sellers and buyers. I’d also like to help more independent vintage retailers to maximise their sales.”