Angel Xue is the Co-Founder and Creative Director of fashion ecommerce brand, ANGELEYE. As a business owner, Angel champions diversity and equal opportunity, two topics that are high on the agenda at ANGELEYE every day.
As we approach International Women’s Day 2020, we sat down with Angel to talk about her journey in the world of fashion and business and what advice she can offer for other women at crucial points in their career.
Why is it important for ANGELEYE to celebrate International Women’s Day?
Our brand mission is to empower women and ANGELEYE aspires to make women feel confident and proud, whoever they are.
Why is it important for women to start their own businesses? Particularly in the fashion/retail sector?
I believe that sometimes women can bring different insights to the business world than if there were only men in the boardroom and lots of women have a different approach when solving problems, which can make a real difference to the way a business works and be really beneficial for everyone, including for the overall success of the business.
Have you encountered any challenges along the way on your journey to becoming the Co-Founder and Creative Director of ANGELEYE?
There are lots of things that can have a big impact on a woman’s working life that men don’t have to contend with in the same way. Things like having children and experiencing hormonal changes throughout life can be barriers to overcome. My own experience of working with other women is that they understand these things much better, which can really help business and colleague relationships.
My business partner has been my rock in many aspects of running the business. My experience has shown me that whilst we are all super women in many ways, we are only individuals; there is nothing wrong with asking for help and my business partner (who happens to be a man) was a great choice, right at the very start of this ANGELEYE journey together.
What advice would you offer to any young woman wanting to pursue a career in fashion or start her own business?
I would tell her just to go for it! What if you succeed? It’s a complex journey, but if you are hardworking, talented and tenacious, you can succeed. Just don’t give up when you face hurdles; and believe me, there will be many!
Why do you enjoy working in the fashion industry?
It can sometimes feel like a love and hate relationship – it’s not always easy. But, since day one, I have really enjoyed dressing up people in my shop more than anything. I love what I do because I love helping women feel good about themselves with my clothing. I feel proud of myself when I see someone wearing the brand and I think, “wow they look good!” and I can see that the clothing we have made has given them confidence.
What exciting developments have you seen in the company since you joined?
Taking ANGELEYE online and opening our ecommerce store so that people anywhere can buy our clothing. It was so hard to build this department and I’m so proud how we’ve got to where we are now.
Starting something new is always a challenge! However, you must evolve with the industry and bring new things if you want to succeed in today’s retail world. You must be able to change quickly and keep up with competitors to survive in this industry. I have learnt that over the years and even more so recently.
What is your favourite part of your career?
My favourite thing is seeing the adaption of the paper design and initial ideas turning into reality when we’re developing a new line. I love it when all of the drawings become alive. It fills me with happiness to see an idea turn into a garment. Once we start selling each new piece, seeing people wear it on the street is the best feeling!
What is your biggest challenge?
One of the biggest challenges I’ve come across is in finding employees that share your passion and have the other capabilities that are needed for the business. They need to be able to manage their time, be practical and down-to-earth. These people are not easy to find. Also, motivating employees is an on-going mission as a leader. I want my employees to feel passionate and motivated always.
Finally, which women inspire you?
Audrey Hepburn, Stella McCartney, Sheryl Sandberg.
These women are all iconic and inspire me in their own individual ways, whether that’s in the area of fashion, business or both.