Behind the Brand
Tuesday, 23 September 2014 | Admin
"Behind the Brand" with Laura from Loop the Loop
1. Tell us a bit about yourself
I’m a great lover of interior design and décor and like to spend time decorating our home with beautiful objects, mostly from antique flea markets. When I’m not out hunting for special, one-off pieces, I’m most likely to be found in the countryside, whether it's foraging in the hedgerows, climbing up the side of a mountain or scrambling down a muddy path with my English pointer Otti. I love to be outdoors and am lucky enough to live in the beautiful Brecon Beacons where I can explore the countryside and partake in outdoor activities such as mountain biking, kayaking or walking.
2. What sparked you to create your business?
The spark was ignited when I was asked to do some painting and decorating for some family friends. I’d just left my career in horse racing administration and was looking for a new challenge, so this was a bit of a stop gap. They had an amazing house and exceptional taste and style. It was a turning point and made me realise how much I wanted to become further involved with interiors and sourcing beautiful products. During the couple of months spent transforming their home I decided I wanted to set up my own business and while walking my dog one morning it dawned on me that I could open an online shop offering a range of products starting with vintage pieces. Although I had no retail experience I decided to just go for it.
3. Who is your ideal customer?
I think our ideal customer also loves interiors and appreciates good quality, well designed pieces whether they are brand new or vintage. Quite often our customers seem to purchase items if they are refurbishing or moving house and they’re looking for unique items that offer character and style for their home.
4. What has been your biggest challenge?
From the very beginning it’s been a huge challenge and learning curve. We set the business up with very little capital, no website, retail or marketing experience, so we had no other choice than to do it all ourselves and learn as we went along. It was initially very daunting to decide on which products to buy and whether they would sell, and ultimately how we would actually bring customers to the website. We somehow managed it and when I look back at how far we’ve come, it makes me very proud.
5. What has been your biggest highlight?
When we had our first products featured in a magazine alongside items from other online companies I have always admired, that was a real highlight. It was so exciting to see that Loop the Loop had been placed in such good company and had been acknowledged by those in the know.
6. What or who are you inspired by?
My amazing friends and family, they have given us a tremendous amount of help and support in the past few years and we feel extremely lucky to have them.
7. Do you have any advice for others who are thinking of starting their own business?
Make sure you give yourself enough time and be patient. If you decide to ‘go for it', you need to give it 100%. It's always important to remember how far you have come and not take it for granted. When I look back at how much we've achieved in the past with Loop the Loop it really motivates me to keep pushing forward.
8. What does your "typical" work day look like?
I oversee the day to day running of Loop the Loop which includes shipping out orders, answering any queries or requests, researching new products, updating our blog and social media and making any changes to the website. If we take delivery of any new items, I spend time planning how they will feature on the website and then we plan our photoshoots.
10. Do you have any favourite British brands?
I take inspiration from Baileys, a homeware store based not far from us near Ross-on-Wye. The store itself is a converted barn and cow shed and offers reclaimed industrial pieces together with their own range of quirky, vintage inspired products. It’s a stunning shop with clever up-cycled home accessories. They have such style and an eye for detail, and it’s not hard to come away with a trolley full of goods.
11. What are your plans for the future?
I hope that Loop the Loop will be offering a broader, bigger range of products and have a more prominent presence online. I'd like us to be known for providing an excellent, personal customer service and have even more happy customers. In the future I plan to design and offer our very own, branded products.