The Start-up Showcase is a two-day creative festival celebrating the best and brightest coming out of London's School for Creative Startups. The event featured a unique pop-up marketplace with over 100 creative businesses spread across the Embankment Gallery at the stunning Somerset House. Zipcar were on the scene to interview these future titans of industry so we can share their top tips with you.
‘Lunamano means ‘hand-made moon’ in Spanish, the moon as a representation of the women working behind the label, using their hands to create breath-taking designs.’ – Founder Carolina Gomez-Aubert
The idea for Lunamano, which makes clothes for children of ages 0-6, came to founder Carolina Gomez-Aubert when she was in her last year of her textiles degree. Her dissertation was titled “Can El Salvador Sustain and Develop Home Grown Design?”
From her research she came to the conclusion that Salvadorian Artisan women possessed incredible creative talents that weren’t being nurtured. She also recognised traditional textile manufacturing companies in the country were inefficient and often discarded materials that could otherwise still be used to make clothes. The idea for a new business took hold.
Carolina’s vision for Lunamano is to bring Salvadorian heritage, culture and design to the rest of the world with a unique, playful and comfortable collection of hand embroidered clothes for children. Product design takes place in their West London studio, but production occurs in El Salvador where Lunamano works with a cooperative of experienced and talented Salvadorian women.
We caught up with Carolina and asked her a few questions about her and her business. Don't forget to check out the video below too!
Zipcar: Do you think entrepreneurs are made or born?
Carolina: Oh! Tough one…I think they are born, not everyone wants to have their own business. In a few words, you may be born with the ‘business bug’ but it takes hard work to make it flourish into a beautiful butterfly. (I do love my animals-just look at our collection!)
Zipcar: If you could hire any two people, throughout history, who would they be?
Carolina: First, I’d hire Oprah Winfrey - with her connections and personality I’d get some great publicity and reach for Lunamano. Second, Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon. I’d like to get his expertise into creating the best ecommerce children’s website in the world.
Zipcar: What role does transport play in your business?
Carolina: Huge! I need to attend events and markets regularly in the year in order to promote Lunamano and market test new products, so getting there is essential. Additionally, for personal development, training and research purposes I need to attend workshops and seminars in London, for instance, Bubble is the trade show to be at for my industry.
Zipcar: In 5 years’ time, where will your business be?
Carolina: My aim is to be the next Cath Kidston - so that our embroidered technique is immediately recognisable as Lunamano. The same way her kitsch printed flowers and nostalgic imagery is recognised as Cath Kidston.
Watch the video below of Carolina at the Startup Showcase, sharing her secrets for startup success, then let us know your top tips in the comments section: