Emily Joyce and Claudia Meller launched Lofty Box, a London based subscription and gifting club to help introduce people to sustainable, innovative and emerging businesses, when they couldn’t find any subscription box offering sustainable products. Here we chat to Claudia about her entrepreneurial journey that led her to co-founding her subscription box brand.
What led you to become an entrepreneur?
Ever since I can remember, I have had some sort of side hustle. Either I freelanced with design work alongside my full time job, or did odd bits here and there selling clothes or running skincare workshops. My mum has always been self employed and I envied the freedom it brought.
I have always wanted to be my own boss but knew I had to bide my time in order to start building the life I wanted with the security of a salary. The pandemic and a redundancy was sprung on me in late 2020 so I decided it was the right time to stop working full time and focus on my own plans.
Tell us more about Lofty Box Subscription. What is it all about?
My main focus at the moment is my start up Lofty Box which I launched with Emily Joyce, my friend and now co-founder. Lofty Box helps connect consumers to sustainable brands in the form of a subscription box. We want to change shopping habits to encourage our customers to try new products from smaller, more sustainable brands. We also help emerging business get their products into the hands of the right people to help them grow.
Can you tell us about your other sustainable fashion brand Claudia Meller?
I also have a small sustainable fashion line Claudia Meller England. The Claudia Meller brand was born in ‘Lockdown’ out of the longing for glam loungewear that is luxurious to wear and easy to care for.
We operate from a bespoke London studio so we can can create refind, exclusive collections with no surplus that may go to waste. We use sumptuous, natural fabrics like viscose and organic cotton that don’t shed micro plastics that brutally harm our oceans.
We create clothing with multiple uses so your wardrobe can be streamlined but not limited. If you wish to grace a restaurant in your loungewear, we applaud you for it. We are inclusive. By sewing the majority of our clothes to order, we can create any size so all our customers are cared for.
What does being a female entrepreneur mean to you?
I think I have always had entrepreneurial spirit. I have a lot of ideas and quickly work out if they are viable or not (often not!). I have an incredibly supporting, ambitious partner who ‘gets it’ totally and without this it would be a struggle. I have generally worked in quite female lead industries – fashion, jewelry, interiors etc so haven’t had to face too much adversity for being female so when it does happen, I really notice it. I think women are brilliant leaders, tough but emotionally aware… and working mothers are absolute heroes.
What challenges or obstacles have you faced as a result of being an entrepreneur?
As I mentioned above, I have been lucky not to have had to deal with too many obstacles specifically because I’m female. I know in certain industries there are difficulties in being taken seriously, but this is slowly improving. I am extremely privileged so cant pretend to know what its like in others shoes. I am also thick skinned and not very emotional, which helps a lot.
What has been your success story so far?
We are very much just at the start of the Lofty Box journey, but looking back on my career as a whole, I think seeing my fashion designs on a catwalk and in Vogue was a definite highlight. Being my own boss and creating a life I love is a goal I cant believe I have reached.
Which other business entrepreneur would you recommend?
Laura Ealey at The Lullaboo Sleep Nanny She is a professional sleep nanny for children aged 0-6 years old- based in Surrey but available globally as she works remotely.
What tips or advice would you give to any female considering becoming an entrepreneur?
It doesn’t have to be perfect for you to start – just get on with it.
Don’t spend too much money at the beginning (its better to make cheap mistakes). Doing anything is better than nothing when you get stuck in a rut. Listen to as much free advice as you can, but be selective about what you implement. Stick to your guns when you know you’re right. You have to really really want it – if you don’t, don’t even start.
Exclusive discount/offer for Untapped FR members: Members can use code TAKE20 for 20% off their first Lofty Box order.