Five minutes with... Isolated Heroes

Last April we announced Isolated Heroes as the winner of our competition with business accelerator Fashion Angel. The prize was an amazing six months of business mentoring after being picked as a boutique with heaps of potential. We caught up with the designer behind Isolated Heroes, Samantha, to find out how the business has grown...

How have you found the last six months of business mentoring?

It’s been brilliant. When you start your own business you don’t always know the ins and outs of everything you’re doing, you just start designing clothes and selling them. The mentoring has helped me to make Isolated Heroes a proper brand. I’ve learnt how to do costing sheets, manage my accounts and forecast, which has really turned the brand around.

What's the most important thing you've learnt?

Having confidence in what you’re doing, especially with costing items and figuring out how important all that is when it comes to designing things and putting them out there, is invaluable. This mentorship has helped me to look at things properly when making clothes, sourcing fabrics and pricing items for what they’re worth.

You've recently started selling on ASOS.com - how have you found the experience?

This has definitely been the highlight of the last six months! It wouldn’t have happened without the mentoring from Fashion Angel. I sourced all of the products but Alison helped with the introduction to ASOS. The first order is live on the site now and we’re currently looking at the next buy which is great!

How do you manage to juggle Marketplace and your own website?

It’s a lot of hardwork, I’m working all the time! You just have to be super organised. We email customers as soon as an order comes in and get it shipped out to them as soon as possible.
Marketplace is still where most of our customers come from - this is where Isolated Heroes started off so a lot of our time is spent here. Our own website has been a development over the last six months so we’re working on getting our customers there too.

What advice would you give to other Marketplace boutiques?

Listen to and learn from your customers; always keep an eye on what’s selling well and buy into those products more, encourage customers to leave feedback when they’ve received an order and follow up with them to see how they’re getting on at a later date.

Encouraging customers to tag us in their Instagram/Facebook photos when they’re wearing Isolated Heroes makes a huge connection with the base. We now have customers who come back to our boutique every time we get a new stock drop – all the engagement is paying off!

What can we expect to see from Isolated Heroes this season?

We’ve got loads of new prints coming in. Everyone loved our last digital prints so we’ve worked on spring/summer versions in pastels with illustration motifs. We’ve still got a lot of metallics coming through, plus we’ve worked on versions of our lovely biker and faux fur jackets in different lengths and fabrics for summer.

Inspired? Set up your own boutique on Marketplace.