Budding entrepreneurs need to be prepared “to give everything you have, sacrifice and struggle”, believes Own The Look co-founder and director Olivia Cantillon.
The former fashion editor started her career on a course in buying and merchandising at the Fashion Retail Academy in 2011, and joined Star magazine as a junior fashion assistant the same year. Just three years later she was deputy fashion editor at the title, before moving to Hello! Middle East. In 2017, she spotted a gap in the market for a digital business that offered unique brands and launched womenswear etailer Own the Look.
Receiving her very first order remains a standout memory for the young business owner.
“It may seem like a small win to others but receiving our first Own The Look order that wasn’t from a family member or friend is a moment that will stay with me,” she says. “The sense of validation I felt in that moment, when a total stranger bought into my brand, is my biggest achievement.”
As a self-confessed perfectionist, Cantillon says she has had to learn that the path to success is never smooth and “the journey is just as important as the finish line”.
She counts Net-a-Porter founder Dame Natalie Massenet and Matchesfashion co-founder Ruth Chapman as inspirational figures and her ambition is to make Own the Look a “global go-to” for fashion-forward dressing.