In June 2019 I had the pleasure of being approached by Lottie Verrier, founder of @thetrove_uk
Lottie asked to interview me to find out more about Ivy for her new venture where she celebrates and shines a light on female business founders of independent brands.
This month, Lottie very kindly agreed to write a blog for us. You can see our original interview here and read on below for Lottie's first ever Ivy guest blog.
"Labels like Ivy are the reason I set up my site in the first place, so thank you to Sal for asking me to collaborate on this blog piece… but first let me introduce myself!
My name is Lottie Verrier and I set up The Trove after seven years working in the fashion media industry. Amidst the justified vitriol over fast-fashion and my own conflict with the industry because of that, I realised for me the best relationship I had with clothes was the special pieces I had bought from small brands. The kind you know have been a real ‘label of love’ (excuse the pun) for the person behind the business, and that heart, soul and hard work is behind each piece.
Holly Tucker started the Not-On-The-High-Street revolution, and I passionately believe that investing and showing support for smaller, independent brands is a great thing for not only the industry, but also your own relationship with consumerism. For me it’s still important to continue to champion smaller brands, particularly when it seems fast-fashion power houses seem to dominate our Instagram feeds at the moment.
So I started The Trove to shine a light on the aforementioned ‘labels of love’, but more particularly, to profile the female-founders behind the business. They are the people who humanise the trade for me; giving it a story and meaning, helping you really connect with the brand and therefore what you are potentially buying, which in turn encourages a careful, considered engagement, rather than a throwaway attitude. Plus, now more than ever it’s important to support female-founders and there’s various important reasons why…
Earlier this year, Alison Rose, the deputy CEO of NatWest Holdings, was asked by Robert Jenrick MP, Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, to investigate the uncomfortable statistics surrounding female entrepreneurs. Her report, which is available to read online, starts thus:
‘I firmly believe that the disparity that exists between female and male entrepreneurs is unacceptable and holding the UK back. The unrealised potential for the UK economy is enormous.’
And when you look at the stats you have to agree. Stats like only one in five businesses in the UK is run by a woman, even though women outnumber men in Britain by around 900,000. If women were able to start businesses at the same rate as men, there would be 1.1million more female-led companies in the UK.
But a report from the Entrepreneurs Network found that only 9% of funding into start-ups in the UK went to women-run businesses. Men are 86% more likely to be venture-capital funded and 56% more likely to secure angel investment.
Everyone from Alexa Chung (CEO of her own label), to Baroness Martha Lane Fox (founder of LastMinute.com) and Samantha Cameron (founder of Cefinn), along with hundreds of other women in business, came together to write an open letter to the government this year.
Over in the US, it’s an issue too though. That’s why designer Rebecca Minkoff founded the American initiative Female Founder Collective, in order to instantly identify as well as empower female-owned and led companies, making it easier to actively support them.
So next time your auto-pilot is to hit the high-street, it’s worth remembering the veritable trove of amazing female-founded independent businesses out there… and I have to say Ivy, which is the ultimate go-to for timeless staples, is definitely a good place to start!
Lottie, founder of The Trove X "