They say time flies when your'e having fun, doubly so when you are incredibly busy and that certainly seems true for us at Gather&See. This week is exactly 2 years since we first went live and started on our journey to create a unique retail site offering the very best in ethical fashion.
Photo for Fashion Revolution day #WhoMadeMyClothes
We started with a modest amount of our own savings, a crowdfunding campaign and a lot of support from our friends and family. The excitement of our first stock arriving is something that will always stay with me, along with the scary realisation that we had to sell it! The two of us put our hands to everything from marketing to content creation to packing and distribution. Experts we were not but what we lacked in experience we certainly made up for in enthusiasm. It wasn't quite wing and a prayer, but pretty close.
Kowtow's Oversize Building Block Dress
2 years down the line and to tell you the truth, part of me is just relieved that we are simply still going. We have seen and heard of so many small businesses failing and retail is a tough game to crack. The fact that we now stock over 30 brands, have sold to over 20 different nationalities, have visitor numbers increasing every month and have been featured in some of best magazines and newspapers makes me immensely proud. The strong relationships we have built with both brands and customers alike is something we are so grateful for and something that I think is quite unique to ethical fashion. The sense that we are all working towards one common goal of a fairer, cleaner, safer fashion industry is inspriring and helps rally spirits when times are tough.
Make no mistake, there have been tough times. In some ways year 2 is easier - you know your customer that bit better and are better equiped to deliver. In other ways you put yourself under that bit more pressure, you need to be more and more creative and as we have grown there have been the inevitable growing pains along the way. On a personal note, becoming a mother half way through our second year has been a huge change. Juggling my work baby and my real baby has been a greater challenge than I ever imagined and something that I'm still trying to figure out. It has made me accutely aware of why it is so important that we support the millions of young Mums working in the garment industry and demand that they receive a Living Wage and fair working conditions and reiterated to me why it is so vital for us to continue to make Gather&See a success.
Gather&See Pop Up at Bias, London
So what for the future? I guess it is continuing to keep sight of what it is that we truly want achieve with Gather&See. Continuing to bring to our customer the unique clothes they crave from these brilliant designers, who are leading the way in ethical fashion. We will keep pushing our message out there anyway we can to make sure that the fashion industry listens. Now is the time that we can really make a difference, year 3 is all about making that difference even greater.