The fashion market is hard to take by storm, yet that’s exactly what Emma Watkinson has done.
The visionary CEO & Co-Founder of SilkFred, a budget-friendly platform promoting unique designers, wants to challenge people to have fun with clothes, and at the same time, she helps brands leave their mark. It’s safe to say that she’s making it work.
Emma Watkinson isn’t a rookie when it comes to the fashion industry, but she did feel things were lacking in the niche designers’ e-commerce market. Both brands and customers were losing big time. Brands were not getting pieces out there and driving sales, while customers were not exposed to the variety of products these brands could offer.
Independent designers are like a needle in a trendy haystack. They don’t have a lot of marketing support and a well-built image because they lack resources, as such, they get lost amongst the bigger, more well-established brands. With SilkFred, independent designer brands get the whole package they need in order to succeed. Most people have very little time to hunt for unique, high-quality items that also come with an affordable price tag. Yet now, with just one click, they are front row to the best side of retail.
Designers meet people. People meet fashion. Discover the woman behind SilkFred, the new e-commerce powerhouse.
What key piece of knowledge do you have now that you wish you’d had at the start of your career?
Resilience is going to prove more valuable to you than brilliance.
What aspects of your personality have contributed to your success?
I’m very committed to my goals- I don’t give up! I enjoy bringing people together, I like helping people feel special.
Was there a point in your career when your motivation dipped? If so, how did you regain focus and vision?
When we were raising money crowdfunding we had a moment when it looked like we weren’t going to hit our funding target. It really was a do or die moment. I couldn’t see how we were going to move forward. We had been working so hard and felt like we had exhausted every option to keep the company going. I took a day to reset and then got back to it! We hit the target and overfunded by 30%.
Where are you seeing the most innovation in terms of social and environmental responsibility?
I’m seeing a surge in sustainable practices mainly product focused, across the fashion industry whether that’s a big retailer or a smaller brand that’s focused their proposition around it. The industry still has a long way to go, however.
How have smaller brands helped influence the overall sustainability of the online fashion industry?
Smaller brands have empowered customers with more choice. Smaller brands react quickly to what’s happening and because of such close relationships they can cultivate with customers, they can be in tune with what customers want to see next.
Is there a route that someone who wants to work in online fashion should follow?
Ideally, start working on a shop floor or in customer service. I think having the frontline contact with the customer is crucial to understand retail both bricks and mortar and online. Beyond that, there are so many more avenues into online fashion than there were in the more traditional industry.
Exciting businesses, jobs and teams exist today that did not exist two years ago!
What are you working on right now that you’re excited about?
I’m working on a project that will allow us to get much closer to what our customers want to see next from us and our brands. It’s very exciting!
What’s next for SilkFred?
We’re going to grow more in the UK and then start working on selling the most exciting fashion worldwide!