I think ideas can only really be brought to life by putting something of who you are into them. There has to be some sort of vision beyond the business for example a clear message or motivation you have that gives life to the project.
Rita Sheth is the founder of The Many Sides an online destination which curates edgy, creative fashion made by independent designers around the world. She is inspired by her vision to empower women to dress for themselves and express themselves through their fashion choices while having fun through experimenting with their style.
Prior to starting the business, Rita worked for many years as a lawyer representing clients ranging from blue chip multinationals to high net worth individuals and entrepreneurs. She also had a brief stint working in PR and undertaking corporate social responsibility initiatives, which remains one her interests today.
Rita is a graduate from Oxford University where she studied Politics, Philosophy and Economics and enjoys writing and has been published in an independent magazine (fiction) and online (non fiction). She also enjoys reading and travelling as well as shopping, fashion and entrepreneurship.
Her focus now is on building the business in a way that aligns with her vision to bring creative fashion to more women and to that end she is developing a model that will harness the interest she has received so far and deliver even more value to the customer. She aims to have this VIP Service operational by first quarter this year.
Where did the idea for The Many Sides come from?
I thought of the idea initially because I realised that I could never find things that I liked to wear apart from in a few hard to access boutiques. I therefore thought that it would be a interesting idea if I could connect inspiring creative designers that made quality clothes and accessories with women who wanted to shop for something unique but sold at a contemporary price range.
What does your typical day look like?
My typical day is a mix of marketing, outreach, onsite development, writing, social media engagement and obviously the day to day admin that goes with running a fashion business.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I think ideas can only really be brought to life by putting something of who you are into them. There has to be some sort of vision beyond the business for example a clear message or motivation you have that gives life to the project. Beyond that I think that working with people takes things to another level and helps in the evolution of an idea.
What’s one trend that really excites you?
I am really excited about the trend towards consumers seeking out goods that reflect who they are, their personal style and taste and which offer a feeling of individuality and empowerment especially for women. In terms of fashion it is no longer enough to just stick a monogram on something and sell it – I think customers want something unique that thousands of other won’t be wearing and that has a personality of its own.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I think I just get on with things – I do try and live by the motto ‘don’t put off till tomorrow what you can do today’ and like to clear a couple of things off the to-do list every day.
What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?
When I was younger I did lots of part time jobs for extra cash as it as important to me to be able to have my own money from a young age. Some of these were not the most glamorous like working for McDonalds and making factory switches! However they were so valuable as they taught me how to appreciate the value of hard work and the pride that comes with standing on your own feet.
If you were to start again, what would you do differently?
Test things before doing them – I am still learning so everyday is an opportunity to steer the course.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Re-commit to your vision every day as you are not going to be able to run on your initial enthusiasm forever and so its important to give yourself the necessary pep talks to keep you persevering.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business? Please explain how.
Try out different things as there may be value in different revenue streams or different ways of working with the business model and you can’t know until you try a few and see which ones work.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
I don’t believe in failure – I think if something is not working there’s a lesson in there to learn from. I think if you start thinking about avoiding failure you start to act out of fear when you should be thinking about how to minimise risk while learning as much as you can.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
I don’t have one but if someone invents alcohol that doesn’t lead to a hangover, please let me know!
Tell us something about you that very few people know?
I am a crazy obsessive workaholic even though I appear laidback.
What software and web services do you use? What do you love about them?
Not much apart from apps like Mailchimp and other apps and analytics tools that help run an e-commerce site.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
There are so many but at the moment I am reading The Lean Startup.
What people have influenced your thinking and might be of interest to others?
People that lead from the helm and inject their vision into the company. Sophia Amoruso is inspiring because she is 100% self made and started from the bottom to build a genuinely customer-centred highly engaged business that is doing incredibly well.
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Mario Schulzke is the Founder of ideamensch, which he started a decade ago to learn from entrepreneurs and give them a platform for their ideas.