Lockdown gave many people space and time to finally launch their creative endeavour. Rebecca Donaldson did exactly that.
Rebecca is the founder of MUSE Activewear, which launched last year and has gone from strength to strength. We caught up with Rebecca to find out why she chose to launch a clothing brand and to see how it’s going so far.
Hey Rebecca! Tell us a bit about your company.
I launched MUSE activewear in October 2020 during the UK lockdown. MUSE is targeted at ambitious, inspired women. We offer a diverse collection of comfortable, supportive gym wear that can also be transitioned to be worn in everyday life. The brand is based on the minimalism trend ‘woke luxe’ including restrained forms with neutral, trans-seasonal colour palettes.
How did the idea for your company come about?
I was spending many days and hours during lockdown feeling a little purposeless. So, I decided to pursue my dream of starting a clothing brand.
I knew I wanted to create something that not only I would wear and be proud of putting my name against, but also something that was missing from the market - affordable, good quality products that are also very wearable day-to-day, as I found I struggled to find items that covered all these aspects.
And that's where MUSE comes in! Can you share any practical tips or processes to help people work remotely?
I started working with my laptop in bed, but before long, I found myself feeling very lethargic as I relate my bed to sleep. So to keep focussed and productivity levels high whilst working remotely, I recommend finding a place in your home and making it a dedicated work zone.
What about communicating and collaborating remotely?
I currently work alone and freelance out any help I need. However, that being said, I work with manufacturers, designers, photographers so to keep the chain of communication most efficient, it is so important to ensure you're readily available whenever anyone messages.
Constant communication is key to giving everybody a clear understanding of your vision and expectations and this helps everything to run as smoothly as possible.
When you decided to grow your team, what kind of company culture do you hope to build?
Positive company culture is super important to me. I know what it's like to work under someone who doesn't show much respect, therefore I'd want to ensure a good balance of togetherness in my company's culture.
Did you ever experience a business disappointment that led to something better?
As I've recently launched my business this one's a little hard to measure. I think the biggest disappointment so far is the feeling of spending so much time and hard work on building the brand and then sending out a product to an influencer who doesn't value it the same as you.
This is natural though - influencers will receive packages on a daily basis so I've learned to build relationships with influencers before sending them anything. This way they're more emotionally involved in the brand.
What would you say is the biggest mistake you've made as an entrepreneur?
I believe you never make a mistake as an entrepreneur. Hear me out! Every single aspect of building a business is all part of the learning process. Especially when it's your first business. Staying open-minded and treating any negativity as a learning lesson is how you will continue to be successful and grow.
Love that! Tell us an interesting fact about yourself that the business community doesn’t know.
I've never had a 9-5 job. I've part-time worked in that sort of role however I've only ever lasted around 6 months. This is probably part of the reason why I decided to start my own business!
Let's finish on a fun one. Who would play you in a film of your life?
Oh, this one is hard! Maybe Jennifer Lawrence or Scarlett Johansson. I think both are quite fierce yet have a goofy side which I can relate to.
Thanks Rebecca, best of luck with the range!