Posted: Fri 3rd Mar 2023
Enterprise Nation partnered with Mastercard and Strive to deliver an online 'One Stop Shop' for entrepreneurs.
An initiative of the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth, Strive will give 650,000 British micro and small enterprises the support they need to thrive in the digital economy over the next three years and beyond.
We're catching up with some of the business owners who have been using the initiative's Make a Plan discovery tool to find out about how it's benefited them so far.
Here, we talk to Rebecca Rodden, whose fashion brand Eluroom has a mission to help women live full-spirited, confident lives through how they dress.
When and how did you make the move into owning a business?
I left my role as buying director at Ted Baker in March 2020 as I wanted to do something different with my life. Talk about timing! From all of my years in the fashion world, I identified a problem I wanted to solve and from there the idea turned into a business.
With all my experience, I could see that how you dress, your mood and your mindset are all interwoven. You dress to reflect a mood and boost a mood and for total escapism. Eluroom means joy of life in Estonian and I want to inspire women to radiate joy through effortless style.
The business sells a collection of dresses made of sustainably sourced deadstock, recycled and upcycled materials. The designs are based on classic shapes, so they're easy to style and look after.
Alongside this I provide style advice. Eighty per cent of our wardrobe goes unworn, so I want people to love their style and have a wardrobe of clothes they love.
What support, if any, did you seek when setting up your new business?
I spoke to people who had started their own business, not always in fashion but other sectors. I've joined groups such as the UK Fashion and Textile Association (UKFT) and Fashion Conversations, which proves a valuable source for pretty much everything.
In the early weeks and months, what went well? What didn't? How did you overcome any problems?
The launch went well, then stopped and started as a result of us all coming in and out of lockdown. As the world opened up again, I was able to hold more events and be a part of more pop-ups.
A small business can be agile and react to things quickly, which is a good place to be in the current climate. The biggest challenge is brand exposure.
You used the Make a Plan tool. What specifically has it helped with?
Make a Plan helped me with the finance side of the business – what options I have available to me, and the processes involved in seeking funding. The guidance on strategy has been very useful in terms of how I build and grow brand exposure.
The tool is pretty comprehensive. I'm currently thinking about finding a mentor, so Make a Plan could offer next steps in terms of finding one who would suit me and my business needs.
Now you're established and looking to grow, what do you see as the next steps for your business?
I don't know if I'll ever feel established – there's always something to grow and improve. The next steps are building brand exposure, both online and in real life.
What are your more longer-term plans?
I have a great deal of success with events. This is where I talk about style interwoven with mindset. Based on this, I'd love to create a space for like-minded independent brands to sit alongside Eluroom.
Not only products but services. A place for workshops, talks and collaborations. Taking the idea of a pop-up to a whole other level.
What are the most important lessons you've learned from going into business for yourself?
Finding groups and communities that can support you, such as Enterprise Nation, make for a great sounding board. You can tap into a wealth of knowledge. Sometimes just talking through a problem or dilemma helps me to arrive at the solution.
About Strive Make a Plan
Create an account, answer some quick questions about your business, get personalised feedback, then build an action plan that will help accelerate your business's growth. Take the Make a Plan tool today