Leaving behind a ten-year career working with some of the fashion industry’s biggest brands, Laurie Stewart hasn’t looked back. Now focusing on her new online platform for conscious fashion with business partner Eva Makin, this conscious pair needed help to grow their new venture.
Having recently completed Enterprise Hub’s business growth programme, we caught up with co-founder Laurie to find out where Mindless Mag’s journey began and how things are going so far…
|Laurie Stewart, Co-Founder of Mindless Mag|
Sitting down with Laurie, one thing is immediately clear: her passion for conscious fashion and conscious living. And it’s this passion which we think has supercharged growth for Mindless Mag - already gaining international interest just six months into the venture.
If you haven’t come across it already, Mindless Mag is an online storytelling platform for conscious fashion. Laurie explains that the aim was to create a platform for people to voice their opinions and exercise their thoughts on the world of conscious fashion - no matter what their writing ability. More than that, Mindless Mag offers the opportunity for its community to use writing as a powerful tool with the potential to act as a therapy and creative outlet.
Each month, the creative minds behind the platform – Laurie and Eva - put forward a theme or topic for discussion that month. From the perils of fast fashion to the effects of the industry on our mental health. Writers can then pen their responses and send their contributions in to be published online.
Just six months in, Mindless Mag is already receiving worldwide attention. With contributions arriving from as far as Australia and the US each month.
Not just confined to the online world, regular writing workshops and weekly meet-ups are creating a community of conscious thinkers and writers right here in Liverpool.
So, where did it all begin?
Laurie tells us that 10 years working in the fashion industry took her around the world, visiting factories and developing the supply chains for some of the UK’s biggest companies – Shop Direct, New Balance and L’Oréal to name but a few.
This time last year a big promotion landed on Laurie’s desk with the opportunity to up sticks and move to Hong Kong. Leaping at the opportunity, Laurie gave notice on her apartment and put plans in place to make the move. After weeks of delays and uncertainty, the funding for the project unfortunately fell through and the move was off the table for Laurie.
Faced with the prospect of returning to her normal 9-5 and with a new fire in her belly, Laurie handed in her notice and packed up to go travelling where she found a new pace of life and explored conscious living while spending time with monks in Menorca.
And so, her journey from corporate to conscious began…
Laurie spent some of her time penning a new blog - All my Heroes are Weirdos – and an old friend, Eva Makin, soon got in touch. Laurie explains that Eva was a champion of her work from day one and it wasn’t long before a collaboration was underway.
With Eva’s background as a writer, mixed with Laurie’s strategy and industry experience, Mindless Mag was the natural progression for the pair and the platform officially launched in January 2019.
Laurie explains that the first three months in business were dedicated to streamlining the platform and finding their niche in the conscious fashion industry (having originally intended to be all things conscious).
It wasn’t long before their online following was ballooning.
Coming to the Enterprise Hub for practical support in putting their plans for growth into action, Laurie and Eva were set up with business advisor Claire Pedersen. Meeting with Claire on a regular basis and attending various training and courses, the pair soon had a stellar strategy in place for developing the concept and looking at ways of monetising the platform.
Laurie says: “My business advisor Claire was very knowledgeable and really honed in on the issues which were relevant to our business. She really listened to what we were saying and helped us come up with solutions to help develop and grow our business. We attended some of the business growth courses too and the balance of interaction and information throughout these was really helpful”.
With exciting plans and collaborations in the pipeline, attention is now focused on building the Mindless Mag brand and working on the ever-growing following. While there is still plenty more work to do here, Laurie tells us that its been a heart-warming experience in these early stages to see people taking the time to contribute and get involved with their vision.
And the best thing about being self-employed for Laurie? She tells us it’s the freedom, the quick reaction times and the opportunity to try and fail fast which give her the ability to keep business fresh. Not to mention, no more hierarchies and plenty of opportunities to meet likeminded people.
July 2019: Finders Keepers
If you’d like to find out more about the world of conscious fashion then next month is the perfect time to get involved as Mindless Mag launches its ‘Finders Keepers’ campaign.
‘Finders Keepers’ is a second-hand clothing drive to promote conscious fashion and challenge fast-fashion culture. In conjunction with Liverpool’s best loved second-hand stores and charity shops, the campaign will send its followers on a month-long treasure hunt across the city to find a second-hand treasure each day which will be theirs to keep for free.
To find out how to get involved with the campaign you can visit the Mindless Mag website and watch this space for more details...
To find out more about Laurie's personal journey, head over to her blog 'All My Heroes are Weirdos' by clicking here.