Victoria Prew’s Tips for Aspiring Entrepreneurs

After a few months off, I’m back with a brand new instalment of Clothes & The Rest! This week’s episode features Victoria Prew, co-founder of wardrobe rental site Hurr Collective.

Victoria and her co-founder Matthew Gelet spent years prepping and preening the business before its launch in earlier this year. As a result, Hurr entered the market with a flurry of press coverage and now has a growing waiting list.

Here, with Hurr’s launch success in mind, Victoria shares the lessons she learnt when she made the leap from person-with-good-idea to entrepreneur.

“For me, an idea is just an idea. It’s important to prove your concept. Don’t jump ship, don’t leave your job, don’t raise money, don’t do anything until you have proof of concept.

I think that’s what most people shy away from. Saying “I’d love to rent on Hurr,” is very different to actually transacting on Hurr, so until you can prove that people are going to use your product, you don’t have a business. For me, and for the companies I mentor, that’s the most important thing.

Before we started building anything, we spent around eight weeks doing research. In that time, we did some serious focus groups and tested the product in a very un-glamorous, un-sexy way. We were really asking “do people want to rent clothes?” and “how are we going to do it?”. Testing your concept in real life is key.

For us, mentorship has been really helpful. Our mentors and advisors are absolutely crucial to where we are today and, hopefully, our future growth. I have mentees too, and I always think: if I can give someone one piece of advice that changes their path into something more successful, I’ve done my job!

Sara Arnold on Supporting Extinction Rebellion

“The International Rebellion starts on 15th April. The idea is to block streets and major junctions, bringing cities to a halt.

In the UK, everyone is making their way to London – there is currently a 70 year old walking from Cornwall. We’ll stay on the streets until the government negotiates. And we’ll have a party!

“If you think about social movements in the past which have achieved political change, it is through masses of people coming out on the streets… and staying there.

“A huge amount of research goes into the methods we’re using to create these changes. A really important aspect of Extinction Rebellion is that we’re non-violent. Once you have violence, you stop holding the moral high ground.

“We train people in non-violent direct action. The number one piece of advice we give is, if someone’s angry, let them vent their anger – don’t try and fight back. Nod your head and be compassionate. Only once they’ve calmed down should you start saying your point of view.

“Sometimes it gets to the point where we’re sitting in the middle of the road, and the police want to drag us away, so we do practice runs. It’s important to think about what you would do in those situations.

“But you definitely don’t need to be prepared to be arrested to be part of Extinction Rebellion! We need masses of people to do a myriad of other roles – just being there is a great start.

“If you want to help the Rebellion, be there on 15th. Book time off work and help us take action.”

Listen to Sara’s episode of the Clothes and The Rest podcast to hear more about Extinction Rebellion, as well as Sara’s incredible clothing rental company, Higher Studio.

Wardrobe Re-Discovery with Emma Slade Edmondson

On the Clothes & The Rest podcast this week, I chat to Creative Consultant Emma Slade Edmondson. We talk charity shops, freelance life and the accessibility of sustainability – please check out the full episode if you haven’t already!

Here, Emma casts her mind back to her Back of the Wardrobe styling days to share some advice on how to re-discover what we already have in our wardrobes:

“Something I always used to say to my Back of the Wardrobe clients is that you should have a night in with your wardrobe. Treat it like you’re on a date with your wardrobe and you need to get to know it again. Put your favourite pyjamas on, play some good tunes, and pour a glass of wine (or whatever your vice is!). Take the time to get to grips with what is actually in there.

“Do it alone! Would you take your friends along on a date? No. Kick everyone out of the house and spend some one on one time with your wardrobe.

“Try things on and figure out how you feel. It’s really as much about how comfortable and how confident you feel in pieces, as it is about eventually pulling looks together.

“Sometimes, we have items in our wardrobes that we haven’t worn for a long time, and it’s good to discover why we’re not wearing them. Often with my clients, it was down to a fear. They were scared that the reality of what they looked like in a piece wouldn’t live up to their aspiration, but sometimes those negative thoughts were about a body hang up, rather than a reality about how the piece fitted or appeared. Often those sessions were as much therapy as they were styling.

“It’s really helpful to have some knowledge about how to create silhouettes. Often people will let t-shirts hang out because they are concerned about their tummy area, when in reality, having a baggy top is sometimes the thing that will draw attention to an area you may be insecure about. Tucking in instead might actually give you the silhouette you’re looking for. Similarly, nipping in your waist with a belt is sometimes a good idea.

“Ultimately, be confident! All bodies are beautiful bodies and styling is about working with what you’ve got. You’re supposed to have a fun relationship with your clothes, so create one!

Find Emma on Instagram and on her website, emmasladeedmondson.com