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Q&A: Anna Kilpatrick and Lucy Johnson, founders, We Do Nothing

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Drapers speaks to We Do Nothing founders Anna Kilpatrick and Lucy Johnson to find out how they have used the Squarespace platform to their competitive advantage.

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Fashion is notoriously competitive. How do you ensure you stand out in a crowded marketplace?

Lucy Johnson: We put a lot of emphasis on using organic and natural fabrics for our clothing, such as bamboo and Tencel. We design and make durable, ethical clothing that is built to last and we offer a range of clothing that suits quite a wide variety of customers, from bold printed T-shirts to plain, simple staples. That helps us appeal to a bigger market.

We also endeavour to make our website as enjoyable to browse as the clothing itself. We are constantly updating it to keep it fresh and current.

What is the story behind We Do Nothing? Where did the inspiration behind the brand come from?

Anna Kilpatrick: There has been a lot of evolution from the beginning to get to where we are now. We Do Nothing was started by Lucy Johnson soon after she graduated from a fashion design degree in 2011. The two of us met on the same course, Fashion design BA Hons at the University of East London. While doing a season in the Alps in Austria in 2013, Lucy started the brand under the name Brahboys and it was mainly focused on giving girls an alternative option to the snow/skate/surf style of clothing that was on offer. As the clothing she began to design was aimed at a more gender-neutral type of customer, it wasn’t long before we were attracting the interest of male customers too.

Lucy Johnson: In 2015, Anna joined and we changed the name to We do Nothing, a tagline Lucy had used previously in her designs. The name stems from our collective mindset and passions. We are at the most creative when surrounded by nature, being able to enjoy our surroundings and conceptualise. We both share a similar vision and creative flow, but also a disinterest in fast fashion, and a feeling of responsibility to the world that we enjoy so much to enable others to find sustainably sourced clothing. We also wanted to build a brand that involves other creatives and enables us to make a living doing what we love.

Why did you start working with Squarespace? What were your business needs at the time?

Anna Kilpatrick: After trying other platforms, we became increasingly frustrated with the programs, add-on costs and finally losing our site entirely. We looked into the other options available for a small business like ours with stylish templates and a straightforward fee. We began using Squarespace in 2014 and instantly loved what we could create within it. We essentially wanted a platform to project our brand and be able to sell directly to our customers, away from the online marketplaces we had begun with. We wanted an accessible home for our brand that aesthetically aligned with our vision for the brand.

From a usability point of view, how has it been working with Squarespace and being able to use the platform?

Lucy Johnson: Squarespace is a really user-friendly platform to get to grips with when you have little experience building a website. The tutorials are very clear and easy to follow, and the customer support is fantastic. The app has been a great addition. It makes shipping orders very easy using just your phone. We are able to update inventory when we are away from the studio.

What has using the Squarespace platform meant for your business and its reach?

Anna Kilpatrick: It has opened us up to a much wider customer base and has enabled us to reach out to people worldwide. Recently, being able to offer our customers the option to checkout with Paypal means a trusted and secure option that it is easier for them to use and really helps procure a further reach. We are also able to capture contact details from our customers if they want to stay in touch and we can gain vital information to help us re-connect with them.

How have the analytic capabilities of Squarespace helped you understand your customers better?

Lucy Johnson: The metrics are extremely crucial to us when it comes to understanding where our customers are coming from and which of them are repeat customers. It is important for us to nurture these relationships with our longstanding customers. Having access to analytics allows us to see clearly which pages are most popular within our website and track our revenue across different aspects such as products and where our customers are finding us.

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How do you plan to grow the business using the Squarespace platform?

Anna Kilpatrick: We can add so much more to the website. As our customer base grows for instance, we will eventually upgrade to include all of the features that Squarespace has to offer such as the ability to follow up on abandoned carts and look into where we can tweak the website accordingly.

Automatic discounts for loyal customers is something we think would benefit us exponentially. New discount features will also allow us to have more control over what combinations of discounts can be applied, which will help us to offer our existing and new customers incentives to shop with us.

What advice would you give to other small fashion brands and retailers looking to grow their ecommerce business?

Lucy Johnson: Not to worry about finding your place in the market straight away – that will come with time. Having an online hub where people can find you easily is key: you need to make it very straightforward for potentially interested parties to find you and to get in contact. Fundamentally you should focus on creating what you feel passionate about and let your online platform reflect that. Your website is the virtual shop for your products, and has to be as welcoming and user friendly as your physical shop would be.

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