We recently talked to Lifehacker about being a startup and provided a glimpse behind the scenes of The Nightingale Collective.
Read the full article here or a snapshot below.
In 128 words or less, explain your business idea.
The Nightingale Collective was born on a trip to Nepal. It was evident that local artisans had incredible talent but were not supported for their work or had access to new markets. We wanted to bridge the gap between talent and opportunity and provide a platform for responsible commerce.
When sourcing our products we ensure the artisans, who are often women, receive fair wages, positive working environments and are supported by community development programs that improve the lives of their families and wider community. This includes community health programs in Guatemala, literacy courses for women in Afghanistan and contributing to building schools in Kenya.
We want to highlight that ethics and style do not need to be mutually exclusive.
What strategies are you using to grow and finance your idea?
The Nightingale Collective is currently self-funded although we do plan for external investors in our growth strategy. As our focus is around slow (handmade) not fast (mass produced) fashion we want to scale sustainably so our core mission of supporting women artisans isn’t compromised. We aim to partner with investors who are inspired by our approach, can add value to our business model and realise it may not be ‘business as usual.’
How do you differentiate your business from your competitors?
Essentially we are an online fashion accessories retailer, what differentiates us is our focus around ethical fashion, not fast fashion. While profit is important it is not our core focus. Rather our aim is to provide sustainable employment for women artisans, promote ethical production methods and play, even if a small role, in poverty reduction.
We largely source our products through international non-profits who are closely connected to women artisan groups. We believe these organisations are most aware of the challenges faced by women artisans and can tailor social development programs to provide further support.
The Nightingale Collective also encourages a more conscious consumer. One who knows where the product is made, the stories behind the people who made it and how their purchase can provide a meaningful impact.
What’s the best piece of business advice you’ve ever received?
“The biggest difference between the person who lives his or her dreams and the person who aspires is the decision to convert that first spark of motivation into immediate action.”