Why I started my
e-commerce business

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Emma Watkinson, CEO and co-founder of online fashion marketplace SilkFred, on seeing an e-commerce problem that needed solving and why challenges remain despite rapid growth.

Watch time: 4 minutes

  • The idea that launched the platform
  • Trying to navigate Brexit and a pandemic
  • The growing pains of being in an “adolescent” stage
  • Difficulty of maintaining company culture remotely

This year marks a decade years since Watkinson co-founded SilkFred, raising £150,000 in seed money in 2011. Since then the online-only business has grown rapidly year-on-year, recently moving past the million customer mark, powered by a team of over 100 people based in London, and currently working with more than 800 independent brands. “We're connecting customers with a thriving community of startups and entrepreneurs who run their own fashion businesses,” says Watkinson.

In this video Watkinson discusses what inspired Silkfred, the experience of being at the “adolescent” stage of the business, and trying to maintain company culture while working remotely.

“The challenges don't really get bigger or harder the more that you grow, they're just different. How to navigate Brexit smoothly? We're in the middle of a pandemic and people don't really buy clothes when they can't leave their houses, so how do we navigate that? When you're first starting, how do you keep the lights on? How do you find the right customers?”

Watch the video for more advice from Watkinson for e-commerce founders starting out.





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