Lovely Little Me – online fashion for every body
Anna Rennison launched independent online womenswear brand Lovely Little Me to give women quality, affordable fashion whatever their size. She is also part of the Newcastle Graduate team, helping other North-East based businesses connect with local graduates. Guest blogger Kathrine Taylor quizzes her inspirational boss…
What did you want to be growing up?
I wanted to be a vet to start with before becoming increasingly interested in fashion and business.
How did you end up in the job you’re doing now?
I wanted to work in higher education and a few different roles to find my niche. I settled on graduate recruitment and placements because I love meeting new businesses and finding out how I can help them. I also love to see graduate happy finding their first jobs and start to climb the career ladder.
What made you want to set your own business up?
I set my own business up because from the age of 17 I had always dreamed of having my own fashion business. Whilst I was on maternity leave I really started thinking about how that dream could be a reality and I enrolled onto a business course; this gave me the extra push to just do it!
Lovely Little Me - independent online fashion store
What’s the best thing about having your own fashion business?
The best thing is being in control of something and being able to make all of the decisions, shaping the business how I want it. I also love being able to pick out the key trends for the new seasons, hopefully giving customers what they want from a fashion shop.
Have qualifications got you where you are, has it been sheer hard work and talent or a combination?
The qualifications I have gained have sometimes helped me in setting up my fashion business, particularly in terms of knowledge. Uni modules such as Market Research and Buyer Behaviour helped me understand the customer more and figure out what they want and need. However, hard work and determination with the drive to succeed combining with having something of my own are definitely main factors into how my business came to be.
Do you prefer networking on social media or face to face?
I prefer face to face because I love to be in front of people talking about business as passion can shine through. It is also good to make contacts because people buy from people and even though that person you’re talking to isn’t interested in your product, someone that they know might be.
What is a very under-rated business skill?
Confidence, it counts for a lot.
How will your industry evolve over the next five years?
I think it will include much more virtual technology; virtual changing rooms and the use of tablets and electronics to visualise certain looks and trends are becoming a big thing now. There is also a rise in people buying more online which will increase the presence of online social media platforms and interactive functions on websites.
Which three people (alive/dead, celebrity or not) would you like to work with?
I would like to work with Anna Wintour as she is a fantastic business women in a male dominated environment. She also has a skill for evolving the Vogue publication through the decades without losing the style that makes Vogue so iconic.
Kate Moss would be an amazing model, she is unusually still at the top of her game in such a short-lived role. She photographs effortlessly and would make any collection look a million dollars!
Richard Branson would be my third pick, I’d love to find out more about how to be a great entrepreneur.
What’s one thing that people would be surprised to know about you?
I am an incredible multi-tasker – I work four days a week managing a team of seven, run an online fashion business whilst also staging weekend markets and events, I have a 20-month-old child and am currently in the middle of a huge house renovation.