How to become a fashion entrepreneur: Pärla
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How to become a fashion entrepreneur: Pärla

What gadgets or items do you love? Shoes, rings or maybe watches? Erin O’Connor is obsessed with jewellery and found a way to create a business out of her passion. This is how she did it!

How did you get going?

“I just started emailing my favorite designers! I was following many of them on Instagram and Pinterest – so I knew their styles and products well. Pärla is quite a selfish venture, it’s all designers I love to wear. So I invited them and from that I started building what became Pärla.”

I believed in the potential of bringing talented designers together – that became the Pärla community.

Did you do any sort of market research?

“I more looked at what was going on around me – and believed in the potential of bringing all these talented people together and create the Pärla community. Yes, I took a risk but I’m so glad I did it!”

Erin O’Connor is the founder and owner of Parla, a contemporary jewellery boutique in Shoreditch. Photo courtesy: The Pärla Edit

How’s your life different?

“I’m definitely busier! But I don’t really feel like I’m working when I’m in the shop, even though I’m there 6-7 days a week. I’d say I’m a happier person now being in the centre of all these inspiring people that are the designers and my customers! And bottom line, I work with items I love.”

What’s the success behind Pärla?

“I’d say this community of designers and customers – it’s a crossover! I strongly believe in staying in contact with my customers, I often contact them personally. We are also being very active on social media and send out a newsletter twice a month.”

I’m definitely busier, but I work with items I love and I’m in the centre of all these inspiring people – the designers and my customers.

3 things all aspiring boutique entrepreneurs should ask themselves:

Are you a multitasker? If you have been working in a shop, great, but don’t think that you know everything about running one. When you open up your own shop or boutique, you’ll realize that accounting, inventory management and dealing with suppliers are perhaps the most demanding challenges. And you need to be prepared to do it all by yourself.

Are you really okay playing solo? Most entrepreneurs we speak to at Zettle praise the freedom of being their own – as well as being accountable for everything that happens. If you’re a person that relies on advice from your colleagues and gets fueled by others’ presence, be prepared to often feel lonely.

Can you survive without a monthly wage? You probably can’t expect to get your regular paycheck. Most of the money you make in the beginning will go directly back into the business. A majority of new businesses requires more money than planned, ask yourself if you have the necessary funds to launch your own venture and stay on top of things.

How do you grow your business?

“We’re increasing our online presence, doing more events and pop-ups in the UK. At the moment I have one girl working for me and I really try to involve her as part of the community. She manages our blog, The Pärla Edit – which is basically showing the lifestyle of the Pärla girl.”

Is the Christmas season important?

“Definitely! We do late night shopping events and VIP events for our regular customers. Since jewellery is a heavily gifted items we craft gift guides for the blog based on tastes, styles and price ranges.”

Erin O’Connor has used Zettle as the payment solution for Pärla since the very first day. Pärla is located in Boxpark in Shoreditch, London.