Here at MSL we pride ourselves on unravelling untold stories, and Stephanie Roper, the creative mind behind The Wardrobe Angel, has an inspirational tale of how she came up with her unique and forward thinking business.
In 2009 Stephanie, and her 19 boxes, moved to Dubai. As an avid traveller she expected to settle and adjust to her new living environment, however, it just wasn’t meant to be. Now, looking back, it’s hard not to look upon this as fate. However, by making this decision, she was left with the conundrum of only being able to take the equivalent of one box of clothes with her on her return and was forced to wait for her other treasured garments to be shipped. And it was during this time with her ‘one box’ that forced her to think about her clothing needs. Therefore, when her clothes and shoes were finally returned, she reduced her wardrobe, and took the time to alter clothes which she didn’t wear because they were ill-fitting. Needless to say this experience gave birth to an idea which has now transformed countless wardrobes and made smiles return to the faces of many.
In 2011 The Wardrobe Angel was launched. A personal service designed to make every woman feel comfortable, happy and knowledgable about their wardrobe. With 8 and a half years of past employment as a Visual Merchandising Manager for high street fashion stores, a fascination with wardrobes, and an eclectic fashion style, I would trust nobody more, than Miss Roper with my closet. Stephanie will identify what suits you, what capsule wardrobe items you need to purchase and she will even label your closet to maximise the use you get from every one of your items. This Wardrobe Angel is also willing to fly the length and breadth of the country to sort out your closet crisis, or rest her wings, and conduct her service through the technological powers of Skype.
So what does Stephanie put down as her keys to success? Apart from having a strong belief in her original idea, a determination to succeed and a flawless working ethic, The Wardrobe Angel says that networking events were crucial as they got her used to talking about her company. Additionally, she praises her business mentor who has kept her on track with her goals, and she also pays tribute to the book, ‘The E Myth Revisited Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It’, which she has read from cover to cover numerous times.
However in her eyes, her wings never will never be stretched enough, and as well as her client based work she conducts talks and hosts an event, along with the help of three other angels, called Swish Leeds. Since the average UK woman spends £1,700 a year on building their perfect wardrobe, shockingly only 30% of it is ever worn, and this event has been carefully crafted to allow women to come together and trade in their un-worn items with each other. Stephanie and MSL are strong believers in ensuring that all your clothes are loved, worn and never simply just thrown away, because as the saying goes, one mans rubbish is another man’s treasure.
Stephanie admitted that taking her ‘leap of faith’ to start up her own company was a frightening prospect but the most fulfilling experience of her life. Her humble ways and work ethic are exemplary, and she admits that she has only just realised how much she has achieved in such a short space of time. And there is no stopping this Wardrobe Angel, as she has already got high ambitions for the year to come. With a television appearance already under her belt and with plans for the launch of her book already set in motion, we at MSL know that we are only just witnessing the beginning of this Angel’s journey. For now, we await in anticipation for a Swish Leeds event to make its way to the south of the country and continue to admire her wardrobe enhancing magic.
By Hattie Lee