I’ve spent the last couple of days talking about how much of an insanely big buffoon I am, and today I’m taking over the world.
Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast
While I was working out my three month notice period, I changed my status on Linked-in to open to opportunities and the flood gates of possibility opened up. I was surprised and massively flattered by how many people got in touch. Big companies all over the world were contacting me wanting to discuss opportunities that would be a natural move.
The first would be to work in similar but more senior position somewhere within the Fashion-Beauty-Retail space. The second was to move into retail technology with some of the vendors I’d been working with over the past couple of years. And the third, was to move into consulting.
I felt like Alice in Wonderland spinning in circles looking at the doors and wondering which one to open. These were three very solid and very interesting ways to move forward, but I had no desire to open up any of the doors and step through.
The idea of being tangled up in a contract feels suffocating, I don’t want anybody dictating to me where I need to live, and I don’t want to be working other peoples’ hours putting money in other peoples’ pockets. Not right now anyway.
Made with Love
I knew that this silly little blog was going to take me somewhere.
In focusing on nothing but doing good stuff to be a better me, I started researching things about fair trade, anti-consumerism, how to be a minimalist, meditation and all sorts of other wholesome things.
I’ve gained an even deeper understanding of myself, what makes me happy, what I care about and what I want out of life.
Ever since my infatuation with Anita Roddick’s The Body Shop as a thirteen year old girl who was obsessed with their strawberry lip balm, what I’ve cared about is conscious brands that make everyday necessities and occasional luxuries with Love.
The brands that make you stop and think before you buy, that care about the people who stitch on every bead of your bejewelled jacket by hand, the ones who make clothes to last more than one wash. The brands who pay the true cost for what they buy and don’t deliberately target people who buy things they don’t need with money they don’t have.
Who in the world am I? Ah, that’s the great puzzle
My head began to burst with ideas.
I thought about setting up my own ethical clothing brand. I love clothes, I have design ideas, a solid understanding of product development processes and systems, I know how to source and buy and I’m pretty clued up on international trade. This could be good, I thought.
My main stumbling block here was that you need a significant amount of cash to get going, and due to a somewhat frivolous lifestyle and allergy to checking my bank balance, I’m not in that position. Plus having done the research, not only is the competition fierce, but it can take a long time to break-even – Safia Minney, who founded People Tree, said it took her eight years.
The next idea I had was an online marketplace for fair fashion – a little bit like Social Superstore but with a much stricter dress code for entry. And the obstacle here was that you need to be super tech-savvy and heavy on the social media promotion – neither of which are my forté.
Curiouser and Curiouser
I was lying on my bedroom floor in savasana, having just done a morning meditation and there it was…my AHA! Moment.
I’m going to turn my brain into a prostitute
I’ve pretty much done a PhD in digital business transformation, I’ve seen expert consultants in action and I know what good looks like (I also know what fucking awful looks like).
I’ve spent ten years building up knowledge and expertise in the areas of business I love the most – product innovation, buying, supplier collaboration, global sourcing, corporate social responsibility, business transformation, technology and change management. It would be a total waste if I crumpled up the pages and threw that all in the bin.
Wherever I’ve worked, I’ve always given it my heart and soul. I’ve kept up my genuine enthusiasm even when prospects were low – I’ve been resilient. I like people. And unless it’s presenting the market conditions of artichokes to a board room full of suited, booted and totally uninterested males, I like getting behind a podium. I like analysing problems and finding solutions. I like delivering results.
I may only have a decade’s worth of experience and this may seem a little like an overambitious pipedream to some, but passion, drive, tenacity and resilience are four traits I possess in great measure of when it comes to work. And whether its blind naivety or well-earned confidence, I have zero doubt in my ability to make this happen.
(Plus, the fact I’ve written it here means I have to go through with it whether I like it or not).
If you don’t know where you are going any road can take you there
Conscious brands are born from brilliant ideas and nurtured with Love, and I could be wrong, but I suspect many of them may need a little help in getting their back-end operations running uber-efficiently.
That’s where I come in.
So I’m setting up All My Heroes Consultancy. It’s a bit of a mouthful, I know, but that’s my tagline and actually, it fits – the brands I want to work with are my Heroes.
For now I’m working on narrowing down my specialist areas to make my services clear and my niche will be the fact I will only work with ethical brands. My USP is that I’m already immersed in their world, I’m not a corporate consultant being plonked onto whatever project becomes available with pound signs in my eyes – I’ll be conscientiously selecting who I work with, and I really do care.
So the website is under construction, the business cards made from recycled cotton t-shirts are on order, the presentation slides are templated out and I’m ready to make a start.
Nothing is impossible