Late last year, I sat down with Fleur and Alice from the D+ luxe lingerie label, Attollo. The story behind the business is incredibly inspiring and I’m in awe of Fleur and Alice’s dedication to supporting and empowering women through their beautiful, fuller-busted lingerie. I knew from the get-go that Fleur and Alice’s story would be a fantastic feature for my interview series, ‘Entrepreneurs in 2019: Born or made?’ and I hope it fills you with the same entrepreneurial spirit that it instilled in me. Throughout our conversation, the pair shared some fantastic and tips on networking, finding investors and pitching too.
Attollo was born out of a genuine desire to empower women and instil body confidence through the Attollo promise, and the Latin translation of their name, ‘I lift up, I raise, I excite’.
However, as two geography students at university, they had no idea how to start a business. Here were the top tips I took from the interview about how to navigate unchartered waters in the early days of your entrepreneurial journey:
- Network relentlessly: attend events and connect with other entrepreneurs.
- Be brave and be bold: turn up to the offices of potential investors unannounced and get creative with how you present your pitch.
- Actively seek advice from other entrepreneurs and mentors: You’ll be surprised by how willing people are to help.
Through these efforts, the pair secured a Virgin StartUp loan that really got things moving. However, when it came to further investment opportunities, Fleur and Alice were faced with a problem. How could they get a male investor to truly understand the pain of a poorly fitted bra in order to recognise the value of their product?
The below clip is perhaps my favourite take away from the interview. During one investment pitch, Fleur and Alice brought in a pair of shoes two sizes too small and asked the investor to wear them.
This simple but creative approach proved incredibly effective at communicating the pain point and the problem. By the end of the day, they had their first investment offer.
It was so wonderful to chat with two entrepreneurs who, even after all of the challenges involved in establishing a business from scratch, remain passionate and motivated by the sheer joy that comes from seeing the empowerment a woman feels when wearing Attollo lingerie.
“Seeing that transition and that transformation for how a woman is looking at her body and how they feel – it’s amazing,” said Fleur.
Until I became pregnant with Etta and Artie, finding comfortable yet elegant D+ lingerie was never an issue for me. However, after two pregnancies and breastfeeding, I completely get it! The lingerie market in Britain has become increasingly inclusive thanks to Alice, Fleur and Attollo.
Attollo is true testament to my belief that you really can find meaning, make a living and change the world: one bra at a time.
Whilst you’re feeling inspired, I want to know… what’s the most creative way you’ve ever conducted a pitch?