Ages: 27 and 23
Dublin-based sisters Malindi Demery and Elena Demery have made the switch from avid shoppers to fashion entrepreneurs. After being introduced to Italian denim brand Freddy by a family friend, they borrowed €20,000 (£17,000) from friends and family, and agreed credit terms with the brand to import their first stock order and began distributing the label in Ireland in 2015.
Despite their limited experience, within months they had made Ireland Freddy’s fastest-growing market. The label is now stocked in 160 retailers, including Asos, in four markets: the UK, Ireland, Spain and the United Arab Emirates.
Keen to expand and build their own fashion empire, the Demerys have taken on four new brands for autumn 19: Quay sunglasses, outerwear brand Svea Winter Wear, and Copenhagen-based labels Sparz and Rosemunde. They also plan to significantly expand their eight-strong team over the next six months.
A long-term ambition is to build and design their own clothing range – as well as, they joke, move somewhere sunnier than Dublin.
The duo urge fellow entrepreneurs to be confident, dream big and ask for help wherever possible.
“We made the mistake of being too cautious with our warehousing in the initial stages of the business, which resulted in us having to move three times in two years,” they tell Drapers. “Our numbers showed that we required bigger premises, but our nerves got the better of us and we ended up running out of space three times in quick succession.”
They add: “The bottom line is that you believe wholeheartedly in your product.”