Rachel Vergis, an entrepreneur, art collector and former banker. She is founder & CEO of Goo.ey who team up with artists and fashion designers from around the world to create phone cases with a difference. Rachel has collaborated with the likes of Milan Fashion Week, Henry Holland, Lucy Choi (daughter of Jimmy Choo) and Chelsea football club to fuse art, fashion and phone cases
Really interesting to hear about the challenges and strategies Rachel has adopted since setting the business up only 18 months ago, and has achieved some incredible success within that time.
We speak deeply about:
- How to launch a physical product and get patents
- The importance of positive internal psychology
- Working 7 days a week with only 4 hours sleep per night
- Her investment strategy
- How to make a fairly ‘common’ product (like a phone case) stand out in the market and on the shelves by fusing art and fashion
Read the magazine interview here: ON MY TERMS: LEAVING BANKING TO LAUNCH GLOBAL COMPANY
- I needed a new direction, i wanted to also control my role in anything I was doing
- I don’t give up easily
- You fail, you get up and do it again. You fail, you get up and do it again.
- It’s brutal being an entrepreneur
- Money for us is nirvana, if we get it we try to really respect it
- I didn’t spend money on overheads or fancy offices, we hired the best freelancers we could afford
- If you’re an entrepreneur you need to be spending money on Growth hacking, social media and beautiful industry
- A lot of it is just fly by the pants for me
- I didn’t know anything about this business, I didn’t know any of the rules so we did things without any knowledge. But that has contributed to why we are here today because I made some decisions that were just totally unheard of
- You can manifest success and failure, both ways, dependent on how much you truly believe
- I am totally and utterly impulsive
- I get things done, and I don’t stop. If something has to be done at 4am in the morning, with a chest infection and a broken knee, I do it.
- Everything is possible and the impossible is possible
- You can sit there day dreaming, but you have to break that down into measurable projectable, project deliverables
- Ali Baba https://www.alibaba.com/
- Ai Weiwei https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ai_Weiwei
- Sophia Webster https://www.sophiawebster.com
- Kelly Hoppen http://www.kellyhoppen.com/
- Melissa Odabash http://www.odabash.com/
- Mark Jacobs https://www.marcjacobs.com/
- Chelsea FC https://www.chelseafc.com/
- Digital Mums http://digitalmums.com/
- Vincent Dignan http://www.vincentdignan.com/
- London Chamber of Commerce http://www.londonchamber.co.uk/
- UK Trade Board https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/uk-trade-investment
- Qumin http://qumin.co.uk/
- Victoria Beckham https://www.victoriabeckham.com
- Trello https://trello.com
- Kanban flow https://kanbanflow.com/
- Dropbox https://www.dropbox.com
- Jean Sherman http://www.shermangalleries.com.au/about/gene_sherman.asp
- Jeff Bezos https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeff_Bezos
- Lucy Choi https://shoplucychoilondon.com/
- Little Butterfly Organic http://littlebutterflyorganic.com/
- Henry Holland https://www.houseofholland.co.uk/
00:03:07 – Why Rachel became an entrepreneur
00:06:46 – Rachel’s experience in the crazy banking world
00:10:34 – On values instilled when Rachel was growing up
00:13:40 – On quitting the banking world
00:15:23 – On the important lessons Rachel took from being in the banking world to becoming an entrepreneur
00:19:32 – On creativity in entrepreneurship
00:20:48 – On the value of money as a start up
00:22:57 – The very beginning of Gooey
00:25:20 – On getting investment
00:27:51 – Market positioning: fashion and art
00:35:35 – On the mistake of going straight to big name retailers for distribution
00:36:52 – Two most important decision Rachel has made over the last 18 months (1. Partnerships and collaborations with creatives 2. Spending money on social media, digital and growth hacking)
00:42:12 – On biggest mistakes
00:42:18 – On patents for products
00:46:37 – Importance of London Chamber of Commerce and UK Trade Board
00:49:19 – On the risk of producing FREE samples
00:55:53 – Uncertainty and launching in China
00:58:04 – The importance of positive internal psychology
01:05:44 – On working hours, never stopping and productivity
01:08:13 – On diet and eating
01:10:00 – Kanban and productivity
01:15:16 – On the Millennial mindset
If you could go back to any point in your life, and have 1 hour with your past self; what moment would it be and what would you tell yourself?
01:19:04 2002, I quite Deutsche Bank and I should have gone into business and become an entrepreneur then – and not waited.
What is the best piece of advice you have ever received, who gave it to you and how has it positively affected your career?
01:20:07 I met someone called Jean Sherman, a famous art gallerist in Australia. I loved art but I had no way to express it. She told me at the time, if you really want to learn something you should completely immerse yourself in it.
What is the one generally agreed upon rule or conventional piece of wisdom, that you disagree with?
01:20:58 The fact that people say you should just ‘go for it’ and never stop. It’s important that you’re not afraid to quit, or know when it’s time to stop. Not every idea is a great one.
If you could change one law what would it be?
01:21:51 The law of gravity. I would love to learn to fly.
Who is the most disruptive, rebellious or revolutionary entrepreneur of the last 2 years?
01:22:15 Jeff Bezos.
What’s your definition of entrepreneurship?
01:22:38 Taking an idea and making it happen.
What advice would you give to anyone listening to this who wants to become a creator entrepreneur?
01:22:59 Get the idea down pat. Get your funding sorted at the beginning. Go for it.
Who do you nominate to be a guest on the RebelHead Entrepreneurs podcast and can you sum them up in one word?
01:23:16 Four nominations! Jeff Bezos. Lucy Choi. Goodren Worm. Henry Holland