Packing for a trip is hard. It’s even harder when you have to juggle swimsuits, business wear, comfy clothes, and more – all in one small carry on bag. That’s where a brilliant new idea began.
Lona Alia, founder of Style Lend, was tired of trying to get through airports with all the necessary fashion pieces, so she decided to change things up. Introducing, Style Lend – a closet sharing business that focuses on high quality clothes and sustainable living.The average woman attends 12 to 60 events a year. She needs proper attire for weddings, birthdays, holidays, and everything in between. Not only is this hard on a budget, but 80% of the clothes either end up unused in the closet, on the racks of goodwill, or stuck in a dumpster.
Style Lend is a platform where women can rent the trendy pieces they want to wear but don’t want to buy. It helps saves the environment and helps you look good too. So how did a young successful professional transform this genius idea into a business?
Lona's 4 Tips for Ecommerce Entrepreneurs
It took a lot of hard work, confidence, and some savvy business skills. Luckily for us, Lona was willing to share some of her tips.
Find A Base
First, it’s important to find a group of fellow entrepreneurs with who you can talk and learn. According to Lona, entrepreneurship is one of the loneliest professions. Every day she felt beaten by things. While there were many positive moments mixed in as well, what helped Lona the most was being part of a group of other like-minded female founders.
They met once or twice every week and learned from each other, great mentors, and coaches.
She also recommends becoming active in various other organizations such as Summit series, Mastermind groups, and local trade shows. Not only was this a great way to learn about new ideas and business trends, but it was also incredibly helpful for her in staying encouraged and determined.
Even if you can’t attend conferences and tradeshows, Lora recommends a monthly coffee and commerce meeting, where you learn from those in the area around you.
Find Your Own Confidence
Her next step is to find your own confidence. It’s easy to get distracted by the giant companies and how you think you should be doing. Instead, Lona recommends learning how to build your own confidence in order to wake up every morning encouraged.
Clothing is one small way that Lona has been able to empower and motivate not just herself, but all those that use her service.
Don’t forget to help others on your way.
Lona notes that one of the most rewarding experiences for her has been meeting and talking with students. One piece of advice she always gives them is to network smart.
You may connect with someone on Linkedin and then two years later try and talk to them. They won’t remember you, and quite frankly, you haven’t created that relationship with them like you should have.
Instead, Lona recommends connecting with them, and before asking for help yourself, see how you can help them with their goals. By following this trend, you’ll be able to go a lot farther with your career and your business ideas.
Ecommerce for the Future
Lorna has successful worked in the fashion industry for over decade, so she knows a thing or two about what succeeds and what doesn’t. According to her, the upcoming years are going to be exciting ones where everything will be challenged.
“There’s a lot of room for interesting people to come in and try new models.”
Here are her top three ideas to focus on in the upcoming years.
- Go Mobile
First, go mobile. According to Lona, Millennials and Generation Z are “hungry for new ways of consuming fashion and commerce.” They want to feel like the products are built for them, and mobile is one great way to achieve that.
In fact, by 2019, it’s expected that 2.5 billion people will have smartphones.
- Ooze Transparency & Sustainability
Lona’s second piece of advice is to focus on transparency and sustainability. She notes that we’re not a consumer driven society like we were before. Movements such as these are quickly gaining traction, especially among the younger generations.
In recent years, people have become activists for what they really care about. One example of this is the food industry. People want to know where their food is coming from and how it is affecting their bodies. Now it’s time to do the same with fashion.
“Women are seeing this as taking their power back and saying, ‘you know what, I’m going to learn more about what’s happening in the world and see what I can do as a citizen.’”
Fashion is the second biggest polluter in the world. It contaminates rivers and encourages poor working conditions among other countries. With Style Lend, fashion and clothes can become a more responsible industry.
- Focus on Customer Loyalty
Her last tip is to focus on customer loyalty. Like many businesses, Style Lend works under the 80:20 rule, where 80% of the money comes from 20% of the clients. For Lona, customer retention and loyalty are some of the most important aspects of her business plan.
The Future of Style Lend
Style Lend is making their own kind of plans for the future. Lona hopes to be able to eventually match women based on their size and style. Through this, she hopes they will build friendships and relationships just like in the old days.
While Lend Style is currently focused just in the United States, Lona also has plans to take the business all of the world. We can’t to see what she is able to do next!