1. Explain your business / what you do – in your words.
Shopping has become about experiences. So, I want to take you on a new shopping journey, with CULT MIA, where you will discover perhaps, a new place, get to know the local designers, their brand story and inspiration, and their unique products.
Why is this special? It is everything that the current e-commerce platforms don’t have. Unique products that you can only access there, and more to the point it feels like Cairo or Cartagena, rather than a sterile shopping platform.
What if you could experience this type of shopping moment anywhere in the world right from your phone?
Sadly, the current shopping experiences fall short. For shoppers, it’s 1) expensive to access unique products 2) existing platforms are repetitive (the same designers & experience) and 3) it’s very time consuming to access unique products – how would you even begin the search?
Customers aren’t the only group feeling this pain. For emerging brands, it’s expensive to expand internationally. Many don’t have online stores and it’s hard to get access to established e-commerce platforms (and for the lucky who do, it is an inventory risk that they cannot afford).
This is why I’ve launched CULT MIA: connecting millennial shoppers with the brands that deserve to be known, through a social-driven platform. A platform for discovery. We run digital pop-ups, featuring brands for two weeks and then move onto the next. Blink and you’ll miss it.
2. Who inspires you?
I had a short stint at the United Nations’ International Trade Centre, working in the Women & Trade team. We supported female entrepreneurs in the least developed countries scale their microenterprises. Seeing founders fight and succeed against all odds inspired me to start my own business.
3. Biggest career lesson to date?
I failed as a first time founder (aged 19 back at uni, Food2Campus could have been the first UberEATs!). I’ve learned more from my failures than from my success throughout my journey.
4. How did this journey start for you?
I graduated from Stanford University and joined Goldman Sachs, followed by UBS, working in Investment Banking. It was an excellent school – I learned about being detailed, detailed, detailed. I was not excited to go to work in the morning and I decided to do an MBA at the London Business School to give me some structured time to make a career change. I ended up working for Moda Operandi during business school and began to see opportunities in fashion (an area I was always interested in, but never thought I would have a career in). I also went through LBS’ accelerator and Incubator programmes during my MBA and began testing ideas in fashion e-commerce. During my two year ‘break’ as a student again, I had time to fine tune my start-up idea and landed on CULT MIA.
5. Advice to someone wanting to start their own business?
Don’t think about the exit like everyone else. Think about the journey. Think about building a business that you would never want to exit. Wouldn’t it be amazing to run and own a profitable business in the long run?
“Don’t think about the exit like everyone else. Think about the journey. Think about building a business that you would never want to exit. Wouldn’t it be amazing to run and own a profitable business in the long run?”
6. Quote you live by?
Don’t do things tomorrow that you can do today.
7. Sacrifices you’ve made to get where you are?
I have recently started my entrepreneurial journey, so I would not say I have made huge sacrifices just yet (other than giving up my summer holidays this year!).
8. Best piece of advice you’ve been given?
Competition is a great thing. If you have a good start-up idea, you won’t be alone in the market forever. Learn and grow alongside your competitors.
“Competition is a great thing. If you have a good start-up idea, you won’t be alone in the market forever. Learn and grow alongside your competitors.”
9. What’s next for you?
CULT MIA is still in its learning phase. We are listening and pivoting everyday. I can’t wait to see where we are in the next 3, 6, 12 months!