Meet Alison Kilsby the 31-year-old entrepreneur from Kent who worked her way up to success and she isn’t finished yet.
From being a city girl working in financial markets to owning a thriving fashion e-commerce business, Alison’s handpicked collections have been flaunted by the likes of Nicole Bass from MTV’s Ex on the beach, TOWIE’s Danielle Armstrong and counts Australian Instagram star Emilee Hembrow amongst its #RuleOneDolls.
“I started writing a beauty blog about 5 years ago and it got a very good following. It was around that time that I decided to pursue my desire to start my own business and I realised that my following would be a good starting customer base.
“A lot of girls would ask where my outfits were from so I when I came up with the idea to start an online clothing store it seemed perfect.”
With an idea in mind, all she now needed was a name and Rule One London was created.
“Growing up it was a saying of my mother’s who is always well groomed, to ‘always look the part’ that was her number one rule when attending any social events or even just leaving the house. So Rule One fitted perfectly for what my brand is about”.
Rule One London is current, glam and always classy. For the girl-about-town who loves to look fabulous by day, and sleek and sophisticated by night.
The road to success hasn’t just been a breezy ride for Alison and a lot of hard work goes into her site. Her typical day can vary immensely but she gives us as close an image as she can.
“I get up around 6 am quickly scan my messages, emails etc. Then have a coffee, pray and read a few pages of a book before my mind goes into work mode.
“I head to the office for around 8 am and have a morning brief with Zoe. Zoe handles the social media marketing and public relations. Then depending on the campaign we’re working on we could be having a photoshoot, organising new stock or looking at website graphic design.
“There are no typical days really. I know how I’d like one to look but, in reality, there are always loads of things that pop up during the day.
This may come as a shock to you but Alison hasn’t always considered a career in fashion her natural drive towards business is what pushed her to start her own. The love for fashion developed with time.
“I always wanted my own business and was thinking up ideas from a young age for business ventures. I just had no idea that it would be in fashion.
“My biggest business role model is my dad. He started something from nothing and has built a successful business, that was my inspiration. I think it’s in my genes to do the same.
“I’ve always been a very girly girl, playing dress-up and putting on fashion shows when I was little. But as I mentioned before I didn’t have a natural affinity towards working in fashion, I was more entrepreneurial and wanted to build a successful business. So, in a way I’d say my interest was there but has definitely grown too.
“Fashion is a heavily female-dominated industry and I haven’t experienced any cons of being a woman in business in this sector so far. The pros are for me that sometimes people will pre-judge your capabilities by your sex or appearance, which for me is quite satisfying knowing that I’ve got my own thing going on.
“If I could give some advice to women interested in creating their own business I would say; Just get started. As soon as you take that first step the idea suddenly becomes a reality. Then it will gather momentum.”
And that has proven to be true, the Rule One Instagram account boasts 22K followers and its facebook reached 70K likes this week making them a great place to connect with customers.
“Social media is a crucial way of making your business known and building a brand image. For us our target audience are users of platforms like Instagram and Facebook so it’s a great way of showcasing products to our customers.
“Having not worked in fashion at all it has been a learning curve. I think running your business always is about trial and error as the environment is continually changing. The biggest difficulties were co-operation from other people (suppliers, contractors), and organising my time efficiently.
“I’m creative and I liked the design process of the brand image and putting collections together.
“Seeing my brand mentioned in the media is very exciting. We’ve had items on celebrities that have appeared on TV shows like Loose Women, and on the Daily Mail Fashion Finder.”
With the success of Rule One London, Alison is always looking towards the future of her brand and for opportunities to expand.
“I have plans to grow the business as big as I can, both in the UK and internationally and I’ll soon be designing exclusive Rule One pieces which is really exciting.
“There’s definitely a lot to look forward to!”
ALISON’S TOP 5 PICKS FROM RULEONE
Love these pieces? Head over to ruleonelondon.com