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About Emma

My Journey Here

My journey working with creatives and entrepreneurs has taken me on a varied path as I have followed my own curiosity with fashion, lifestyle and social impact businesses.

Fashion Designers

Incubators and young fashion brands

Working with fashion start-ups before they were called 'start-ups'.

Image by Viktor Bystrov

Scale up to exit

 

Scaling Rapha from £20m revenue to £200m exit. A cycling lifestyle brand. Leading the brand and lifestyle category and cross-functional teams.

Image by mahabis footwear

Rebuilding a start-up

 

Rebranding and rebuilding product range and positioning for Mahabis.  A wellness focused footwear brand.

Image by Alice Donovan Rouse

Burnout recovery, studying and life after Covid

 

Taking on 100 new things to test myself, experiment, learn and find new passions, skills and stregths. I also discovered the stregths of my neurodivergent brain.

Image by charlesdeluvio

Portfolio mentor/advisor/ consultant/ Chief of Staff

 

Combining all my experience  together to help neurodivergent people, creative and social impact businesses grow and thrive.

Experience

10+ years scaling fashion, lifestyle and sportswear brands

Learnt from the best brand creators at Rapha and scaling other D2C brands.

Leading and building cross-functional teams

Grown teams from 3 to 20 people, lead cross-functional departments and managed external stakeholders.

Entrepreneur and Intrepreneur

Known for being a change maker within the companies I've worked at. I've also started businesses and help others to grow theirs.

D2C and omnichannel retail

Built and developed processes and systems for ecommerce, retail and marketing functions.

Global perspective

Worked on international brands and living in EU, UK and Australia.

Start-up builder and advisor

Consulted and suported multiple early stage companies in scaling, customer growth, marketing, product and services.

My Super Skills

My toolkit I use to help clients build their unique path forward, be customer first and achieve ambitious goals.

Creative
Connecting the dots

Trained in creative processes and design thinking to solve problems

Spotting opportunities to make improvements and create value

Analytics and insights
Future thinking
Organisation and planning

Seeing patterns in data and communicating actionable insights

Trend forecaster by heart and always exploring what is coming next

Project management and critical path planning to setting OKRs and company wide goals

People leadership, mentoring and coaching

Able to bring people together behind a common mission

Fast learner and adaptable

Able to grasp new concepts and tech quickly and apply them in practice

My Full Story

 

The Beginning

 

I’ve been obsessed with fashion and the stories and meaning behind products since before I can remember. By the time I was looking to start my career I was never going to do anything else but be in fashion, whatever it would take.

My curiosity for fashion has always been so much wider than just the clothing. I’ve joked before that often on the surface generally people just see studying fashion as looking at pretty pictures but for me it’s the lens I view the world through and see how everything fits together and becomes something we put on our bodies and express ourselves. Through fashion I’ve studied anthropology, psychology, history, economics, engineering, chemistry, politics, finance, environmental studies, international trade and development… and design. I could go on!

During my studies and early work experiences I was fascinated by the emergence of new brands and how they could go from 0 to 100 in a few short years. I even wrote my dissertation on it and researched how London was an incubator for emerging talent and what it took for brands to create staying power and scale. TLDR; best to get experience in a larger scale-up before starting your own thing.

Early Career

I started working with fashion start-ups in wholesaling and incubators before 'start-ups' were a thing but the experience highlighted how exploitative and wasteful the industry can be and I wanted to do something more meaningful and make products that had a positive impact on people's lives.

My career during my 20s saw me stepping into the sports fashion world in cycling where I built my career at Rapha from the bottom up to a new position leading the lifestyle and brand collection. I was surrounded by people who shared the same passion for high quality products that were the best and most desirable in the industry. The energy was amazing and my experience here was like an MBA in scaling a company. Working with the whole product lifecycle enabled me to build my knowledge in how all business functions work and connect together, create strategies to engage customers and build a company with so much brand impact that people would literally tattoo themselves with it.

After six years I had achieved everything I could have hoped for and decided to take all I had learned at Rapha and observe changing in the world to a new company that I could have a bigger impact on, and take on a broader and more hands-on challenge. I joined Mahabis at a difficult time after it had gone through administration and a complete change in staff. I could see it had enormous potential and was ready to bring back more of the unique elements of the product, build the brand and product around wellness at home, more agile and higher quality suppliers and ensure our products were sustainably made. Then Covid19 came along.

Covid was a great and a bad time for the brand. We had the right products and brand story at the right time but as a start-up, getting further funding to grow was a challenge and so investment into new products stopped and it was time for me to move on. For me personally, I was also extremely burnt out and needed a break from a super difficult period. Covid exposed a lot of challenges for a lot of people and I was no exception and I was struggling to be inspired to create more products when the sustainability challenges for making things seemed enormous and so wasteful to be adding to the problem. I could also see that the ways of working were changing fast and felt so disconnected with my purpose that I needed to find new ways to reconnect. This was a difficult thought to process as I had only ever pictured myself working in fashion.

Career Pivot

I had no idea how much of an adventure and growth experience taking an extended time off from full time work would be. I didn't know exactly what I was going to do or how I was going to get back to feeling like my true self and find my purpose again. The thought of never getting there was pretty terrifying and I doubted myself many times and thought I needed the security of a regular stable job. What I did know was that I had to work on myself and open myself up to new and challenging experiences that would light a fire up in me again. I knew that pursuing a portfolio of work and also an entrepreneurial direction was the answer as I have so much to give, why should I just work for one thing? I also knew from experience that just having one perceived ‘stable’ job no longer was the future of work and I needed to find new ways where I can take the lead on what I do, how far and fast I go and more flexibility. 

I have literally tried 100 new things. Too many things to list here but I took each part of my life and found ways to grow, bring myself joy and learn. I studied business leadership and about the brain, completed new physical challenges, started dancing again, writing and journaling. I reconnected with my relationships, found new friends and joined communities where I met like minded entrepreneurial people. I took on learning opportunities for some gaps I had in finance for early stage business, angel investing and marketing. I worked on my own projects and start-up (decided it was not the right business for me to pursue leading). I got involved in new industries like web3, I mentored young companies and took on board advisory positions. I followed anything that would get my curiosity and excitement going again, would dive straight into and make things happen. It didn't matter if it was something I didn't end up pursuing, I just wanted to learn, feel connected to what I was doing and open new pathways. In the process I also discovered my neurodivergent profile and this has significantly impacted my approach to how I work and taught me that I need to prioritise my health above all else; and now I want to help other neurodivergent people fulfil their potential too.

The Next Phase

Piece by piece things have started to come together and I can see now what my purpose is and why I am here and what my next chapter will be. I get the most joy from helping people achieve their goals and I thrive in figuring out problems and how to get from A to B. I can't make the world more sustainable by myself - but I can help the founders and creatives to do their part by growing their businesses. I can't make the world fairer, improve social mobility, be more creative and empower every person to fulfil their potential by myself - but I can help the businesses working to solve these problems with how they operate, scale their businesses, develop products and connect with their customers.

Let’s Work Together

If you connect with my story and are a company or individual looking to reach your next goal then I would be delighted to hear from you. 

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