Raise Their Voice has returned and we’re very excited to showcase the amazing brand Trendlistr, a vintage fashion label situated in Newcastle, selling beautifully curated male and female fashion pieces that aim to reflect iconic moments in 20th-century fashion with a contemporary twist.
Over the past week, we have been given the opportunity of an insight into the inspirational female figure behind the label, Louisa Rogers, and the success of her leading vintage style. Starting out in 2016, described by Louisa as a “happy accident after leaving university”, she pitched her ‘curated vintage fashion marketplace’ concept to a panel, receiving a business grant to pursue it – without it, she said, the idea would have been a “no-go” as “an Irish start-up was pursuing the same concept”. Once the initial launch had taken place, Trendlistr began by hosting local pop-up stores around the North East, going back to what she knew best; colour, creativity, and expression that reflects her personality – selling fantastic vintage pieces styled for modern audiences.
Once taken off, Trendlistr began to grow rapidly, gaining a strong online presence; shipping to 48 countries globally in 2017. By 2018 Trendlistr became a well-established name, opening a studio in Newcastle city centre (available to visit on appointment) as well as exhibiting at the Clerkenwell Vintage Fair in London, a place best described by Vogue as “The most exquisite fashion fair”.
Trendlistr’s exciting expanse over such a short period of time reflects the dedication and passion behind Louisa and her team, taking inspiration and motivation from a variety of sources. While Louisa’s work-life is primarily “in front of a computer”, her favourite days are spent looking for visual inspiration and sourcing new ranges. However, being a small and organically growing business “the focus needs to be on generating sales” – remaining motivated by the freedom of her own creativity and her obsession with fashion.
While her passion and love for designing and selling vintage clothing fuels the companies success, Louisa has always taken inspiration from leading female figures; Oprah Winfrey, Madam C J Walker, and Bethenny Frankel from The Real Housewives of New York, declaring;
“It may seem stupid, but I have to say Bethenny Frankel from The Real Housewives of New York is up there as an inspirational female figures! She was great because as a viewer, we followed her journey from not being able to pay her rent, to selling her business to Jim Beam for $100m. She is a good example of someone whose sheer determination and skill for self-promotion paid off over the course of many years. She went from selling gluten-free cupcakes herself in supermarkets; to building a multi-brand empire, I always try and channel her ‘say yes to anything’ attitude when I can.”
Taking inspiration from these iconic female entrepreneurs, Louisa, like those mentioned, has faced many barriers when making it into the business world, disclosing:
“There are a lot of barriers for business women starting up their own company, even today. I have attended many events where I have been ignored, or it has been assumed I was a “girlfriend” as opposed to being the business owner. Older men have made condescending or inappropriate comments which I can’t envision them doing to their male counterparts. I think a lot of barriers that I faced were also because of fashion as an industry. Even though it is more valuable to our domestic economy than the automotive manufacture industry, it will always have a stigma of being ‘frivolous’ or ‘narcissistic,’ which means it is rarely taken as seriously.”
Facing and overcoming these challenges as a businesswoman, Louisa has shown that it’s important for any female entrepreneur looking to start-up their own company or fashion label, never to give up.
“I think whenever I have experienced these issues, I have rationalised it and not over analysed it. If somebody doesn’t treat you with a certain level of intellectual respect, you don’t want to work with them anyway, and it merely shows they have an old-fashioned and outdated mindset. They are very much in the minority, and while we should be addressing these differences, we also shouldn’t be characterising the female entrepreneurial experience by the actions of a few individuals.”
For women starting up their own business worried to face these barriers, Louisa claims “fake it until you make it”, use the confidence to remove any negativity, pushing yourself and your company to the heights it deserves.
“If you can’t talk yourself up, people won’t be enthused or confident in your ability to deliver what they want. I am still learning, and I do think a lot of that confidence comes with a level of success and validation, which will come with the right resilience and work ethic.”
The Next big Thing for Trendlistr?
An exciting new collection! While curating vintage clothing will remain an essential part of Trendlistr’s offering, the label will be looking to make their well-loved styles more accessible and easy-to-wear for their modern audience. Each new piece will be inspired by an iconic vintage design and reimagined for 2018/19.
New items will be scheduled to come out every month. The first dress is launching this month and is inspired by a 1970s prairie dress in a gorgeous red and black floral print. Keep your eyes peeled!
We’d like to give a huge thank you to Louisa for her time and inspiring story about Trendlistr, being a female entrepreneur, and the influences and barriers she overcame to build such a beautiful brand. For more information on Trendlistr and it’s latest capsules coming to 2019, follow the links below: