SilkFred caught up with bohemian brand Allegra and here’s what they had to say… Sharing with us her story, the woman behind this beautiful brand emphasised the difference the use of good quality fabrics can make, the importance of standing out from the crowd and where the search for unique prints can lead to.
It’s these principles that stand behind her boho designs and the incentive to encourage inner confidence she believes every woman should have.
– Do you remember where you were when you decided to set up your own business?
My business experience stemmed from marketing and brand building. I found myself looking everywhere for bohemian style clothes for myself, but I couldn’t find anything that fulfilled my needs in the UK or for a reasonable price. I thought ‘there has to be a gap in the market for bohemian styles at affordable prices’, so I decided to make the jump and started up the business within 2 weeks. The rest, as they say, is history.
– What was the first thing you did when you made the decision to go for it?
I had such a strong vision and so many ideas, so I needed to simmer them down and work out how I could piece it all together. One of the first things I did was create a mood board for the look and feel I wanted for Allegra. This helped us create a tone of voice and colour palette for the brand. It was roughly four months from the initial concept to the first version of the website – which seems like a lifetime ago now!
– Tell us about your brand?
Allegra is for the girl who’s comfortable in her own skin. A girl who likes good conversations and enjoys the great outdoors; strong, independent and very much free-spirited. Allegra is bohemian focused and I love to think that our customers keep pieces in their wardrobes for years to come.
– Who would your ideal “celebrity” customer be?
Vanessa Hudgens or Sienna Miller – purely because of their natural boho vibes, I think they’d look amazing in Allegra pieces. I’m a huge fan of ‘power women’ as I’ve drawn inspiration from them since starting Allegra.
We were actually contacted by an awesome celebrity stylist last year to work with and style Alexandra Burke for V Fest – for me that was a really exciting moment. He came to us because he loved our collection which he’d found via our social media channels. Pretty sure I was smiling for a whole month after that.
– Have you ever wanted to quit and if so what kept you going?
I really never have. Don’t get me wrong, there have been times in the early days where I was working full-time, then when I arrived home I’d be up until midnight trying to fulfil orders and manage the business. Sometimes I’d think ‘is this really worth it’? But I knew what I wanted Allegra to be and I believed in it. To be honest, I’ve always genuinely enjoyed every moment of building it, and that’s so important!
– What tips would you give someone looking to set up their own business?
Stop hesitating and just go for it! I always say trust your gut and don’t allow external negative opinions to rule you; be courageous, resilient, and have a clear goal and vision of where and how you want your business to be. It’s important to find something which makes your business different to others.
Also, I’d highly recommend seeking advice from a mentor; and if there are parts of the business you’re not too sure about, this mentor can help guide you. Luckily I have two generations of business owners in my family, as well as my husband, who’s always helpful with advice. Most of all, don’t let fear of failure hold you back.
– If you could go back in time, would you do anything differently?
That’s a hard question because I feel like without those experiences Allegra wouldn’t be where it is now; there are always things you could have done differently. For instance, I would have spent more time researching additional aspects of the business and where extra opportunities existed within the market earlier on.
Looking back, I’d have managed my earlier stage investment differently too. Rather than committing most of it on stock, I would’ve left a bit more budget for photography and branding. You can never underestimate the power of branding, especially in the online market.
– What gets you out of bed every day?
New challenges and opportunities, I’m constantly thinking what we can do next. I have a never ending list of ideas, this really helps to keep me motivated and push the business forward.
– How do you unwind outside of work?
I love the outdoors and nature. I like to hike with my husband and my dogs. I love last minute unplanned breaks to unusual places in the UK or abroad. If we’re near the water, I’ll try scuba diving or anything to get off the grid!
Hot yoga is a favourite too because it’s the best way to wind down after a crazy day. I feel more from one hour’s hot yoga than running 10 miles. I try hard to switch off on weekends, which proves hard at points.
When searching for new boutiques to join our platform, Team SilkFred love finding brands that have something different to offer. Allegra is one that fits the bill and their new jaw-dropping collection now available on SilkFred is proof of this very fact.
Combining the classic boho feel with vibrant prints, soft materials, figure flattering cuts, edgy accessories and footwear, the woman behind the brand has again succeeded in creating a line that we are lusting over.
SF Team X