10 MINUTES WITH OUR CO-FOUNDER: PHOEBE GREENACRE
Phoebe Greenacre is Silou London’s Co Founder and CEO. Yoga teacher, intrepid traveller and wellness enthusiastic, Phoebe brings over 12 years experience with luxury brands and the wellness industry. She helped to bring to life Tatiana’s vision of Silou and she shares a little more about the start up journey:
WHAT IS THE BEST PART OF YOUR JOB AS CO-FOUNDER AND CEO OF SILOU LONDON?
It’s great to be part of the decision making from the initial concept and to see the products (and brand) come to life. Also, Tatiana and I both have a conscious outlook on ethical fashion and mindful business practices.
WHAT IS IT LIKE CREATING A BRAND FROM SCRATCH?
I really thrive on the creative process when building a new brand. I love creating the brand ethos and enjoy giving the brand a personality. I also love watching the brand evolve over the first couple of years of business.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN WORKING ON SILOU LONDON?
I’ve been working on the creating the brand since 2015 when Tatiana and I first met.
WHAT QUALITIES DO YOU LOOK FOR WHEN BUILDING YOUR TEAMS?
Our team is small at the moment, but even our extended team have similar synergies and belief in the vision of the brand. When you work in a start up, it’s important that you select team members that are multi-taskers and are willing to roll up their sleeves and get their hands dirty. It’s also important that they believe in the vision and are happy to grow with the company. You end up being a little bit of a family as you work very closely everyday on projects and tasks.
WHAT’S BEEN THE MOST CHALLENGING PART OF THE PROCESS?
Managing our manufacturing partners and lead times have been challenging to say the least. When language barriers exist as well as being one of the smallest customer in the factory’s portfolio, you often get pushed to the back of the queue. I also think I grew a few grey hairs when trying to set up the most cost effective shipping solutions for the company.
WHAT IS IT LIKE TO WORK AT SILOU LONDON?
We are very much about balance and embracing a healthy lifestyle at Silou London HQ. You can find us catching a yoga class before work and ending the day with a glass (or two) of champagne to celebrate a success. We are also big believers in a flexible working lifestyle with work from home days as long as our work gets done. I think more and more companies are seeing that this is the future for long term employee retention.
WHAT ARE YOUR TOP TIPS FOR BEING ORGANISED AND PRIORITISING WHEN YOU’VE GOT A CRAZY SCHEDULE?
Organisation is key to managing a smooth operating business. We all have days that it seems like your to-do list is never going to end but I employ apps like Wunderlist to manage tasks across the team and google drive to ensure collaboration is at the forefront of everything we do. Often our team will be in different time zones, so setting up these systems helps to keep our deadlines in check.
WHAT DOES SUSTAINABILITY MEAN TO YOU AND WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO SILOU LONDON?
Sustainability to me is integral part of my everyday life. With the decisions I make, I try to ensure my footprint on the earth is a small as possible. Living in the city is near impossible to live a completely sustainable existence but with the power I have I can make small changes every hour of the day. I ride my bike most places in London, buy organic and local produce where possible and try not to indulge in the fast fashion consumerism frenzy. As CEO/Co Founder, I get to ensure that most of our business decisions are as sustainable and ethical as possible. From the packaging to our fabric mill choices, we have and will continue to aim for a smaller footprint. In doing this, we off full transparency for our customers in hope that we hope to raise awareness to follow similar life choices.
YOU LIKE TO TEACH YOGA + MEDITATION IN YOUR FREE TIME. WHAT IS IT ABOUT THESE PRACTICES THAT YOU ENJOY?
I’ve been practicing yoga for over 20 years and for me it’s my internal compass. It keeps me centred, grounded and if I’ve had a bad day, I know that getting on the mat for at least 20 minutes will help me feel better. Also on the days I meditate I'm a much nicer person to be around.
YOU ALSO CREATE THE SELF CARE SPACE - CAN YOU TELL US MORE?
The Self Care Space is an online library of self care rituals including yoga classes, meditations, yin therapy, sound healing and breathwork exercises. It's a monthly membership where women can come top up their self care each day. I also host a monthly live event for my members ttoo. Right now there's 140 women in the community and I love being able to share my wellness tools and rituals with them.
WE KNOW FROM YOUR TRAVEL BLOG YOU HAVE VISITED 60+ COUNTRIES. WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR FAVOURITE PLACE?
I can’t narrow it down to one destination as too many have stolen my heart. My happy place is skiing the European Alps or sailing the Mediterranean sea.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR PERSONAL STYLE?
I don’t know how to describe my personal style. Comfort over high fashion any day. You will usually find me in my Silou sweater in winter and more boho chic in summer.
THE SILOU LONDON WOMAN IS…
The Silou London woman is smart, sexy, successful and she knows her worth. She is a woman on the move; mothers, daughters, travellers and business owners. She is a warrior of the world and wants the best of everything; for her family, for the planet and for herself.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE PIECE FROM THE COLLECTION AND WHY?
My go-to piece is the Tatiana Unitard . I love how feminine and sexy the unitard makes me feel inside and outside the yoga studio.
WHAT SHOULD EVERY WOMAN TRY AT LEAST ONCE IN HER LIFE?
I’m a big believer of going on a health retreat and re-setting the system. You come back re-focused, energised and ready to take on the world. At Silou London – we are big fans of the team at Yeotown in Devon and try to get down there once or twice a year.
WHAT IS THE BEST PIECE OF CAREER ADVICE YOU’VE BEEN GIVEN?
It’s better to ask for forgiveness than ask for permission. Cheeky, I know.
WHAT’S ON THE CARDS FOR SILOU LONDON THIS YEAR?
We are working with a new designer to bring you our new collection to life and I’m beyond excited to launch later this year.
WHAT’S ONE PIECE OF ADVICE YOU CAN GIVE TO SOMEONE THAT’S ABOUT TO START A NEW BUSINESS?
Put aside all of your expectations you have ever had about starting a business. It’s going to be harder than you think, take longer than you think and get ready to duck a few curve balls. It will be worth it in the end, just make sure you’re in it for the long haul as there is no quick fix or overnight miracles in business.