Everybody is talking about sustainability in fashion but it is still hard to find spaces that sell a good selection of ethical brands. Enters Modafirma, a platform for sustainable fashion, beauty and homeware founded by Angela Ene that gathers partners with unique stories to tell, creating a global shopping emporium in one online address. Here Angela talks about her purpose to change the way people think about fashion purchases and social responsibility, the challenges of building an e-commerce, and the power of self-belief.
Project M: What motivated you to launch Modafirma?
Angela Ene: I have always wanted to be an entrepreneur and launched Modafirma, a fashion technology platform/marketplace for cosmopolitan women to buy sustainable fashion directly from independent brands globally in the affordable luxury space.
As an entrepreneur, I want to socially engineer the way people think about fashion and fashion purchases in general. I believe businesses and entrepreneurs, as pioneers, should be socially responsible and use their positions not only to yield profit- which is all good but also to make endeavours to positively impact the world somehow by employing some form of sustainable practice. I suppose that makes me a social entrepreneur!
On Modafirma we are doing just that, we offer a wide array of super stylish, sustainable fashion whilst simultaneously enabling the scale of independent sustainable brands. Many people do not know it, but every single fashion purchase has an impact and significant consequences on human life, the environment and the global ecosystem.
Finally, I launched Modafirma because I wanted to combine my love of fashion with my business acumen garnered as a former finance professional and with my love of nature and the amazing world that we live in.
Project M: What are the biggest challenges you have faced so far?
Angela: How long have you got? Laughs… Seriously, the biggest challenges that we have faced are primarily to do with building the technology that is agile and adept enough to keep abreast with the ever moving tech space. We have gone through a few iterations.
Also, building a client and customer base. Contrary to popular belief, fashion technology platforms are not just about posting pretty pictures and selling clothes. There is a whole wad of science and a plethora of trial and error processes behind getting traffic and converting that traffic to buy things as well as generating awareness for your brand.
Project M: What advice would you share with those thinking about creating a business?
Angela: One of the questions I asked myself when I started Modafirma was: would I do this for little or no money? For me that is the million dollar question. Also, you need to do your research, do surveys, ask questions about the demand for your proposition before you build. It does not mean that if you build it that they will come.
I also believe you have to be a complete maverick with an unwavering self-belief system to reach your desired outcome. You have to be prepared to fail, pivot, switch things up an innumerate amount of times until you finally get it right.
It is ridiculously hard work but it’s is also a lot of fun and you won’t regret it.