Day in the Life of...an etail entrepeneur

Thursday, 12 May 2011
Day in the Life of...an etail entrepeneurIn a new series, FashionUnited brings you a ‘Day in the Life’ feature talking to insiders from every different walk of the fashion industry. Here they reveal how they got started, work on a day to day basis, and why they wouldn’t swap their fashion choice for anything. Today we are featuring Richard Salmon, founder of recently launched niche independent fashion e-tail site, Independentboutique.com

Day in the Life of...an etail entrepeneurFU: How did you come to launch Independentboutique.com?
RS: Independentboutique.com was started through various conversations with my now business partner. She owns her own brand and has been successfully selling wholesale. My background is business consultancy and we would discuss ways to increase retail sales for her brand. Research showed that for press opportunities for smaller brands were difficult and also making independents accessible to retail. We saw a niche specialising in luxury womens fashion and accessories from independent brands and independentboutique.com is the result.

What we now offer is twofold; independent brands the opportunity to sell through a robust ecommerce site that sits similar brands together to reach a wider audience and we also offer the consumer the ability to shop for items not usually found in one place.

FU: Early Morning consists of...
RS: working through the analytics on the website to see what activity has happened - where consumers are finding the site and how they are interacting with it. Checking and replying to emails. – from brand owners and consumers. And constantly checking the site is working well.

FU: Late morning consists of...
RS: Discussing what PR we are doing and a run through with our SEO company to ensure that all areas of the business are pulling in the same direction. Although we like to outsource to a specialist, it is important that these areas fit with our business strategy.

FU: And Afternoon...
RS: Discussing strategy and planning campaigns/emails to our database of customers. We will also keep a keen eye on competitors to see what they are doing well compared to ourselves, this has to be an ongoing concern.

FU: Daily Objective...
RS: The highlight of the day is when we see sales coming through, this is obviously great for morale. The other potential highlight is securing new brands – for instance, yesterday, we gained agreement from Rae Jones to sell through Independentboutique.com.

FU: Why you chose online retailing?
RS: We are championing brands that are sometimes not best placed to take advantage of online retail opportunities and for us we feel the ability to showcase the wealth of creativity within UK Women’s fashion is a great place to be.

FU: What you would recommend about online retailing to...a fashion graduate?
RS: I would recommend it but with the caveat that it is a hard industry and will progressively become more competitive as time moves forward. There are a lot of websites selling fashion and finding a point of difference in order to stand out is the key.