Believing that analytical skills are vital in any online business, Petrow used the knowledge she developed in crowdfunding to open her own enterprise, Mamoq, a fashion company designed to make a difference. (1) You were an analyst before launching Mamoq – why did you decide to start your own business? I worked as an analyst at a crowdfunding platform because I wanted to get involved in the sector and learn about early-stage investment. Initially, my plan was to take this knowledge back into the international development sector and help social enterprises secure funding to grow. However, after reading through so many business plans every day, I was inspired to give it a shot myself! (2) Has the analytical background served you well in terms of running a company? Having analytical skills is really important in any online business. You need to constantly monitor your online activity and marketing channels so that you can properly assess and modify your strategies. It is important to keep watch of your KPIs, and respond to the story the data tells. (3) Would you say there have been any key challenges out of the starting blocks? Neither my Mamoq co-founder nor myself have backgrounds working in IT, so it was a challenge to find a development team capable of executing our vision – that was within our very small budget. I think my co-founder spoke with over 300 development agencies before we narrowed it to 50, and then down to one. If you are going to outsource something integral to your business, it is crucial to do your due diligence, and find the right team. (4) How would you describe Mamoq in your own words? Mamoq is an ecommerce marketplace that provides a thoughtful alternative to mainstream fashion by offering a vetted selection of style-forward brands committed to sustainable and ethical production. (5) Who are your target customers? The millennial generation is the most engaged consumer when it comes to shopping with ethics and sustainability in mind. We were expecting to see much more interest from women than men, but were happily surprised to see a relatively even (60/40) breakdown between genders. (6) Why do you believe mindfulness is so important for purchase decisions? Being mindful is essentially our whole philosophy. It is important to evaluate and critically engage with the things that we buy in order to truly understand their impact- both negative and positive. (7) What reception has the fashion business had since launch in December? So far, the feedback has been incredible. Ethical fashion is an exciting space to work in, and it is really motivating to get such positive feedback. Of course, not everything has been perfect and we take on board all of the critical feedback that we get from our customers and work to constantly improve our user experience. (8) Having launched at the end of 2017, what are your key objectives for growth in year one? We have internal KPIs such as visitors/month and customer conversation statistics that we are continually monitoring and working towards. Outside of the more standard KPIs, we are really excited about launching our first pop-up store in 2018. (9) Where do you expect the business to be in five years? We really want to position ourselves as thought-leaders in sustainable fashion. In addition to seeing healthy growth in sales, we hope that in five years’ time we have cultivated a wide-reaching community surrounding sustainable consumption, and inspired people to shop more purposefully. (10) Do you feel like companies across sectors should be doing more to give back? Definitely! More people are interested in supporting businesses that pursue triple bottom line goals or the 3Ps: People, Planet, Profit. I think that if we start voting with our wallets, and choosing to only support companies that make an effort to share the benefits of their profits, then we can really catalyse a market transformation that demands more from business. (11) Are there any companies you think that leaders can learn from in terms possessing a philanthropic outlook? I think that a lot of really big companies have substantial CSR initiatives, but normally CSR is not integrated into the core mission of the business- it is something on the side. I think the businesses to truly learn from are the ones that make having a positive impact part of their core identity and ethos. We work with a brand called Elvis and Kresse and they rescue decommissioned fire hoses in the UK that would otherwise be thrown away. They create beautiful (and durable!) products from the fire hose, and then share the profits with charities that help support firemen (and a few other causes). This circular (and profitable!) business model is truly an inspiration.
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