The duo met while working at top law firm Clifford Chance. They decided to launch the venture, which also includes a members’ club and events division, in May 2007 after identifying a niche for the service through talking with colleagues and clients.
“We can’t do everything ourselves,” Rous admits. “But finding the right people to help us is tricky. So far we’ve found a PR agency – M+M Management – that we trust and so have handed over media control to them, we’ve also got a good logistics team to suss out our orders and an amazing assistant who is the first point-of-call with all our customers.”
Rous Iland has a showroom in Holland Park where members can come for a one-on-one style appointment and view items from current collections. Anyone can order pieces from top-end designers through the website.
The business is forecast to grow 500 per cent this year and Rous says it’s attracting around 100 new customers per month. Commenting on the growth, she says: “When you’re busy, you don’t have any time for yourself. You may be very interested in fashion and expressing your personality but you don’t have time to indulge that. People can see us at 8am or 10pm and we’re on the phone whenever that person needs help or assistance.”
The company also hosts corporate events, something Rous wants to do more of. “We also want to expand the range of things we can help people with, and also the website,” she adds. “We already have members all over the world but only one showroom in London. It would be great to have something in New York or Sydney or even somewhere in Germany.”
Rous is wary, however, of growing too quickly “and letting people down”. She says: “I think we have to be careful. Our growth is mainly through word of mouth – it’s very much friends recommending friends.
"It’s a great blessing to suddenly have a huge amount of orders and appointments but if we can’t fulfil everything, that’s when I think we would struggle.”
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