As a little girl growing up in the eighties, most weekends I remember my Mum and Gran pulling me around as many market stalls and jumble sales as they could find. Given any opportunity, Mum would also take me to all the high street sales for an affordable fashion fix. Driven by a lack of budget clothing brands at the time, my mum raised me to shop smart, find bargains, and restyle old clothes. I loved it! I had no idea then that, when she passed away with breast cancer when I was 19, sadly also followed shortly by my Gran, that their spirit and love for Fashion would stay within me to become a passion of mine that would live on forever, always looking to be fulfilled one way or another.
As I grew up, I studied European Fashion Design at university, with a year in Milan, starting my first role in Fashion buying in 2004. Forward to 2019, with 15 years of experience in Fast Fashion as a buyer and trend forecaster, I decided to change my career path, take inspiration from my roots, and focus on a healthier more sustainable approach to fashion. It became essential for me to channel my experience and energy into a fulfilling role that was less damaging to the environment, and questionably people’s mental health, to promote a positive mindset within the retail industry.
Another reason I founded NAAMe was to create a happier work-life balance for myself and my family. As a mother of two boys, I had survived 6 years as a mum commuting, working late, with regular travel around the world. It was a dream job for me, pre-children, and a career path I chose to stay on when I had them, but not one I could easily sustain mentally and physically when I couldn’t see enough of them.
In 2019, before the pandemic, working remotely or part-time for me, felt practically impossible in my line of work. Remote working and flexible hours are now becoming a priority to businesses globally, making it feel like the impossible has become possible, opening up opportunities for myself and many other people. Not every business can operate with flexible working, and not everyone will want to, but I hope for those that can and do, that it is able to become the “new norm” supporting anyone who needs it to continue with their career path as they wish.
Launching Sible and my journey during lockdown.
Another venture, I am delighted to be part of is a small start-up business called Sible. In 2019 a very good friend of mine, Verity Barrett, approached me to start selling sustainable, collapsible coffee cups. It was perfect timing, an idea I was passionate about straight away and a great way to focus my energy, setting me on the path I’d been looking for.
We launched Sible Ltd. in May 2020 during the lockdown, and despite the launch timing being an additional challenge in itself, thankfully, it continues to be an exciting part of my journey so far. As you can imagine, like it was for millions of others, homeschooling, creating NAAMe, and launching Sible Ltd. during lockdown was not easy. Notallaboutme.com has launched later than originally planned, but still, the resilience, patience, stronger relationships with my children, and massive amount of skills and knowledge I have gained by starting a business, have been invaluable and helped to make the next step in my fashion career much clearer.
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