After losing her job due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Lucy decided it was the perfect time to follow her dream of setting up her own business.
With a background in fashion and textiles, Lucy reached out to The Prince’s Trust and after completing the Enterprise programme launched Lulo & Co.
Lulo & Co sells beautiful gifts and accessories all made in the UK from a range of sustainable materials. Lucy, who is passionate about ethical fashion, wanted her enterprise to make items that are used, cherished and made-to-last, which have minimal impact on the planet.
Sourcing as many raw materials locally as she can to reduce airmiles and support independent textile producers and suppliers, Lucy has just launched her first collection of Christmas products including reusable crackers, stockings and Scottish linen covered baubles.
“The orders have been keeping me very busy and it’s great to see there’s been such a positive response with people choosing to invest in products that can be reused each year, helping to reduce waste. Whilst it isn’t the cheapest option, I am committed to sourcing our raw materials as locally as possible. A particular emphasis for the business is the use of Scottish linen, a textile which is woven less than 30 miles from Edinburgh and offers a high level of ethical and sustainable credentials. It’s important to me that I use Lulo & Co as an opportunity to support other local businesses, whilst also promoting British textiles and manufacturing to a wider audience.
“In the next six months I’m planning to launch some new products and explore scaling my production. I’m currently on the lookout for a British manufacturer who shares my values and if I can get this right it will give me the ability to target larger wholesale and corporate orders, which is where I hope to really scale my business.”
Lucy’s idea for Lulo & Co came from her spotting a gap in the market while at her previous buying roles with John Lewis, Selfridges, and Petesham Nurseries. They were always on the lookout for high quality products made in the UK, but often struggled to find pieces that fitted with the brand’s aesthetic and style.
She added: “I have always dreamed of setting up my own business, but I felt it was important to gain experience of working in other businesses before setting out on my own. Having graduated six years ago with a degree in Fashion Design, I realised that to succeed in this highly competitive industry I would need to develop a strong commercial acumen.
“Working in buying gave me experience across sourcing, range planning, forecasting, sales analysis, negotiation and ordering – skills which are very useful when starting a business. Having relocated to Edinburgh two years ago I moved into a business development role for a small start-up textile business, but sadly my role couldn’t be sustained beyond March when lockdown hit the UK. It was of course a shock to find myself out of work at a point when very few roles were being advertised but it gave me the push I needed to set up my own business.
“The virtual Enterprise training sessions set up by The Trust were informative and helpful with knowledgeable speakers. They were also a great opportunity to network with other small start-up businesses. The Trust are now looking to connect me with a suitable mentor in the textile/retail industry and I’m excited to see where I can build the business to with their ongoing support”.