#004: The intersection of ecommerce, sustainability & the luxe market

This week we are SO happy to share our conversation with the extremely wonderful Lucy Roberts, of Reverie The Boutique and Shopify Plus Agency, Brave The Skies. In this episode, we explore the intersection of e-commerce, sustainability and the luxe market. And yes - the three are totally compatible!
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This podcast is sponsored by Kollectify, a content marketing agency working specifically with Shopify solutions to successfully position and promote the app or agency. 

Show notes:

Krissie Leyland 

Hello and welcome to episode number four of the MindfulCommerce podcast. Today, I'm talking to Lucy Roberts, an amazing woman in e-commerce. Lucy is not only the MD of a Shopify Plus agency called Brave The Skies. She's also the founder of an online boutique called Reverie. Reverie is a curation of luxurious, sustainable and vegan pieces. Amongst some very girly giggling, we discuss how Lucy ended up in the e-com space, what it's like juggling two very big roles and how she's breaking the vegan, sustainable and luxurious debacle. And Lucy reveals her top e-commerce branding and marketing secrets, which you simply can't miss. I hope you enjoy. 

Should we just start by talking about your story. So what's your story? What are you up to? How did you get to where you are now?

Lucy Roberts  01:02

Yeah of course. Um, it's quite a big question and I can give a long answer or a short answer. So I'm going to try and go somewhere in the middle. So I have been, I suppose, working in e-commerce since I was 18, which feels like a really long time now, because I've just celebrated my 30th birthday, which was exciting in lockdown. So I guess yeah, I've kind of worked client side and agency side, in the UK and in Australia. Obviously, at the moment, I manage a Shopify plus agency called Brave The Skies, which is super exciting. And the merchants that I get to work with are amazing. So I get to work with RIXO, with KITRI Studios, and it's just, it's really lovely to work with such amazing brands who really care about their products and their branding and that customer experience. It makes my days very, very happy. Um, but it's been, it's been nice to have so much experience on both sides of the fence. So I guess I started on client side, working at different e-commerce brands, here in the UK, and then in Australia. And it was always so interesting for me to be like hearing from customers and working, obviously, within the companies and talking to agencies, because there would always be, in my opinion, such a big disconnect between the brand and the tech partner. And it was almost like we weren't speaking the same language. So after I finished up working for Zimmerman, which was my last client side job, I ended up moving to an agency because I was really, really keen to understand, you know, all of these really creative ideas that we have on the brand side, how do we actually build it? And who builds it and how does it happen? And who needs to do what and how does that work with the ERP and the in-store experience and the online experience and email marketing and ads? So I joined, I joined at the time, it was a Magento agency, and we ended up diversifying into Shopify plus as well. And it was so much fun, kind of being able to fuse fashion and technology. And I ended up, yeah, really happily staying on the agency side. So I've been agency side now I think I'm in my seventh year. And being yeah, being at the at the head of an agency and being able to run it in the way that I want to run it is is super exciting. It's really rewarding.

Krissie Leyland  03:32

That's so cool. What's your role then as an MD, so I'm never really sure what it is?

Lucy Roberts  03:39

So it's really funny. So my team members, call me Mama Bear. I call myself an intern. And I guess technically, I'm an MD. It's um, it's a really, really varied role. So it kind of, every day is different, which is amazing, because I love variety. And I love change. There's some days I'm working with new business like talking to new merchants about what kind of solution they need, which tech partners they need to work with. Some days, I'm working with our existing merchants on what their new collection is going to be and how we're going to market it. What the website needs to do to support it. Some days, I'm working predominantly in HR and catching up with all of our team members, making sure they're all happy. And other days, I'm just trying to keep my head above water.

Krissie Leyland  04:27

It sounds like you are a lot of hats. You might just wake up in the morning. Be like what is on my schedule today. 

Lucy Roberts  04:37

Yeah. Yeah, it's definitely some days it's a case of "Okay, I've actually got no meetings today. What am I going to do? Like where is my time going to be the best spent?" And other days like "Okay, which fire is the biggest? Which one needs to be put out first?"

Krissie Leyland  04:52

Oh, wow, that sounds really exciting.

Lucy Roberts 04:55

It is. Yeah, it's very, I think dynamic is a tactful word to use.

Krissie Leyland  05:00

Yeah, you have to be very organised. I bet Oh, but also quite flexible, which is probably the exciting bit. 

Lucy Roberts  05:07

Yeah. And like, I'm really lucky. I've got the most amazing team and like the team really kind of keeps me in check and like, diverts me where they need me. So I'm really, I'm really lucky to have such a great team.

Krissie Leyland  05:18

Yeah, yeah, I bet. And So, do you want to talk a little bit about Reverie? 

Lucy Roberts  05:24

Yeah, absolutely. So I guess I started Reverie, officially, Reverie The Boutique launched at the end of August in the middle of lockdown. It had kind of been an idea that I'd had for, well, probably about five, six years, I'd known that I'd always wanted my own business. And I wanted it to be something but I wasn't quite sure what. And I decided to actually switch to a totally plant-based diet about four years ago now while I was living in Australia. I was working with an amazing brand that at the agency I was with at the time called Edible Beauty. And Anna, who was the founder of Edible Beauty taught me so much about natural skincare, vegan skincare. And I was just completely inspired by her to be honest. And everything at that point kind of came into focus for me like Reverie, could be this amazing destination that fuses luxury and sustainability because there wasn't really anything, anything like that at the time. And I was finding it really frustrating after turning vegan and starting to only use cruelty free products that I'd have to order everything from a different website and like I couldn't go to Sephora or Mecco like with the girls and and just shop because I'd be like, okay, is this is this lipstick vegan? Is it quality free? Okay, who's the parent company? Okay, does it sell in China? It was like, it was really exhausting. And it really took the fun out of shopping for me because my degree was in fashion, I'd always worked for fashion brands. And all of a sudden, it felt like a really, I don't know, like, like an industry that I couldn't be part of anymore. And I was like, well, that's rubbish, because surely there's a way to do it. It's just that maybe the people who are doing it on that prominent or they're smaller businesses that I just have to look a little bit harder for. So Reverie, I guess started off very much. I call it a daydream because obviously a daydream, a reverie is a daydream, a musing. And now I feel like it's become a reality which is super exciting. So I'm working with some amazing brands. The Wild One jewelry who do really beautiful handmade pieces from recycled gold and silver and the Honeymoon Apothecary, which do these beautiful vegan candles. George & Edi, which is a Wanaka based brand, gorgeous home fragrance really lovely diffusers and Edible Beauty as well. I spoke to Anna about my idea, and she wanted me to be her first UK stockist. So having her support throughout has been absolutely incredible.

Krissie Leyland  07:54

So exciting. I love it. Love it. You know I love it.

Lucy Roberts  07:57

And you've got your earrings. You love your earrings.

Krissie Leyland  08:00

Yes I'm actually wearing them right now.

Lucy Roberts  08:02

Are you? That makes me so happy. 

Krissie Leyland  08:04

They're so nice. So, I'm kind of interested what, you know, your role as MD, as you know, fairly big Shopify agency, so does Reverie help with your roll at Brave The Skies? 

Lucy Roberts  08:06

Yay! Yeah, definitely, I think they feed really nicely into each other. So at Brave The Skies, we got, we got so many inquiries from merchants of all different sizes, obviously, we work with RIXO, Manuka Doctor, you know, hundreds of thousands a year. And then we also get these inquiries from really quite small brands who are just starting up. And it's really difficult because one of the things that I'm really passionate about is helping people is, you know, I think that when it comes to starting a website or a business or anything, information should be really accessible. And more often than not the only tool you've really got is Google. And it's so easy to just go down an absolute rabbit hole and not find the answers that you want. So I guess previously, if we got an inquiry from a really small merchant who had say, zero budget, but had this amazing idea, I'd have to say I'm really sorry, we don't, we don't have the, you know, it's not feasible for us to help you for the budget that you've got. I mean, we're a big plus agency, we've got a lot of overheads to cover, having, you know, a local team. Whereas now, it's really nice for me to be able to spend, you know, half an hour, an hour on the phone to these people and say we as an agency can't really help you but I've completely bootstrapped this on my own. This is how I did it. I'm not a developer, I'm not a designer. I use this theme, I installed this app, I had this idea. I used a Pinterest board as like design. I used Instagram as a mood board like this is how I did it. So it's it's really nice to be able to bring that to Brave The Skies and not just have to turn people away and say we can't help you because you don't have the budget but here's how I did it on a budget. And if you still need development help, I can refer a small agency or a freelancer. And I think yeah, I mean, I mean, I suppose, having worked in e-commerce for 12 years, and, you know, being so lucky to work with brands, like work for brands like Zimmerman and Manning Cartell in Australia, work with brands like KITRI, here in the UK, like, it's taught me so much. And I feel like I've spent so much time with so many different businesses, helping them grow their businesses and their online strategies. And like, okay, like, I've learned quite a lot, I can bring this to Reverie. 

Krissie Leyland  10:37

That's amazing, because they've got all these big budgets and big project you can take little bits from them, but I think it's amazing that you actually, you know, you spend the time with the smaller brands and give them advice. And that's like, it's just amazing, because you can kick start, their small brand and then, you know, what it's like having a passion. And I love that, that's really nice. 

Lucy Roberts  11:00

Thanks. I always kind of say, whenever I speak to a smaller merchant, like I get it, you know, you've got this big idea, but you don't know where to start. And I always give them my mobile number and like my LinkedIn profile, and say, if you've got any questions, I come always happy to answer them. And I just think that everybody should have access to that help. And that information, because you know, when you've got an idea, and you're so like, you like you're so incredibly creative, like you've got so many ideas in you, then I just think if there's somebody who maybe doesn't know, as much as you know, about e-commerce or digital, like, it's almost not fair that they don't get the chance to share that idea.

Krissie Leyland  11:37

Yeah, I mean, I literally have a video on my LinkedIn where I'm like, come on agencies like, give them a chance, you know.

Lucy Roberts  11:45


Krissie Leyland  11:47

You know, and if you can give them advice to kick start it, and then they go and do it, they will probably come back to you when they've got the budget. Then go that step further. So yeah, like I love that. I love it. So if you're a brand and you're listening, speak to Lucy!

Lucy Roberts  12:11

Talk to me, let me help.

Krissie Leyland  12:14

Um, so you've mentioned or I think we both mentioned this that often, when you think about a vegan brand in the luxury space, it's like you might have to sacrifice luxury for vegan or for sustainability. So yeah, talk to me about that. And how have you kind of overcome that? 

Lucy Roberts  12:36

Yeah, I think I mean, there are obviously the really big players in the space like Stella McCartney, I think is just paving the way for that luxurious, sustainable vegan lifestyle. Obviously, her designs are incredible. Her brand is amazing, the pieces are just to die for. But it's such a high price point. And it's just it's not accessible to everybody to you know, make the switch to vegan and buy Stella McCartney, you don't kind of get paid for making the switch. And it was the same with with even stupid things like with shampoo and conditioner, like I would always just buy it without even thinking. And the same with moisturiser. And it was you would buy it from these beautiful luxury brands, and you get the really nice packaging and you feel really nice about it. And it was just, it was one of the things that was actually quite daunting for me and perfume as well. For example, I always used to Alexander McQueen and Chanel perfume. I loved the boxes, I loved the bottles on my dressing table. And it was something that I don't want to say it put me off. But for a long time, it was really daunting. I was like, oh, when I I know I need to make this switch. Because I'm eating vegan, I know that I need to switch to cruelty free and vegan beauty. But I'm really going to miss these things like these little luxuries that you just feel, make you feel so nice in the morning when you spritz on your perfume. And that was a problem that I really wanted to address because I was like that's not fair. Like I'm trying to do the right thing. And I want to have these luxuries in my life. Like they make me feel good. And it's it's a nice thing to have. And I started doing a lot more research into it. And now for example, I use one of the cream perfumes from George & Edi, which, I've ended up stocking at Reverie because I love them so much. And then they last for longer, the fragrance is stronger and they look just as beautiful. It's just about, I think it was just really about finding those brands which have luxury and sustainability as their values that have really beautiful packaging. The websites are really nice. The products are really beautiful. And it's almost like it's an afterthought that they're vegan. And that's something that I really wanted to do with Reverie. I wanted it to appeal to people who who are vegan and who do shop ethically and consciously because everything on that is cruelty free. Everything is from a small business. I think everything bar three things on the website at the moment is vegan. And I also wanted it to appeal to people who are luxury shoppers and who really love those beautiful things in their lives. But you know, it's all, it's vegan, it's cruelty free, and it kind of shows you that you can have both and that you don't have to choose.

Krissie Leyland  15:14

Yeah, definitely. I must admit, I do have a Chanel perfume on my shelf right now. 

Lucy Roberts  15:19

I mean,  they're beautiful, I get it. They're really gorgeous. 

Krissie Leyland  15:23

It's the end of the bottle, and I'm so glad we just had that short, like that bit of conversation. That means I can make the switch now. It's at the end, and then I'm done. 

Lucy Roberts  15:34

Yeah, it's, you know, it's so it's so difficult. It's such, it's such a really difficult switch to make. Because it really does depend on you being willing to compromise on something that you really, really want. Like, I want a Chanel perfume desperately, I miss it. I love the fragrance. I love the smell. But I know too much about it now. And I know that I can get something else which is vegan and cruelty free. And that's completely fine with me. Like I'm happy to make that compromise because I know that I don't have to compromise on the luxury side of things. I know I can get a product, which is just as good. So let's see. 

Krissie Leyland  16:13

Yeah, definitely. What is it about Chanel then, the perfume? What's the bad things about it?

Lucy Roberts  16:20

I mean I don't want to slag off Chanel.

Krissie Leyland  16:23

I mean, no.

Lucy Roberts  16:27

I think the I guess it's a common misconception between brands that say that they don't test on animals unless it's required by law. And those brands being cruelty free. So there's, there's tons of brands that all say, we do not test on animals unless it's specifically required by law. And obviously, in the UK and EU, it's not required by law to test on animals, it's actually illegal. But if you're selling your product in an overseas market, so for example, China, testing on animals is mandatory in order to sell in that market. So while they might not test on animals to sell within the UK, or within Europe, or any other parts of the world, if you want to sell in that market, which is obviously a lucrative, luxury market, so of course you do because it's going to be amazing for your sales, you have to pay to have your products tested on animals before you can sell in that market. So yeah, there's an amazing website actually called crueltyfreekitty.com. And it's the most incredible comprehensive directory of brands, which sell in China don't sell in China, all of their like animal testing policies. It's, it's a brilliant website, I recommend it to anybody who's looking to learn more about which brands are cruelty free.

Krissie Leyland  17:37

Wow. Okay, I'll be I'll be going on that, and I'll have a look. Nice. Thank you.

Lucy Roberts  17:43

Of course.

Krissie Leyland  17:45

So switching it up a little bit, but staying on the Reverie topic, what was the branding process, like, because I love your branding, and your Instagram feed.

Lucy Roberts  17:55

Thank you. Thank you so much. Um, to be honest, I'm really I'm really lucky because my, my fiance is a designer. And he helped me so much with the branding, with the fonts, with the colours, with the way that the website was going to look. And the he actually runs his own design studio called Field and Black. I think you've actually spoken to him before he was gonna help you out with something. Yeah and you know, having  a live in designer is like, super handy when you've got no budget to do anything. So yeah, I was I was really, really lucky that he helped me out so much. And he's been, he's been so supportive of everything to do with Reverie, because I have kind of a constant fear of not wanting to do something in case it goes wrong. And I think especially when when you work in e-commerce, there's almost an immediate expectation that if you launch your own business, then of course, it's going to go really well and your sales are going to be amazing, and everything is just going to sell out immediately. So it was quite daunting, like putting it out there like this idea that I'd had for so long. And I didn't know if I was ever really going to be ready to do it and to share it but my fiance was incredible about and so like, so when my mom and my sister, my dad and my best friend, Charlie, they were all just always encouraging me like "No, you do it, you should go for it." So yeah, they were they were an amazing part of kind of actually bringing Reverie to life because I definitely wouldn't have done it without their kind of encouragement and support for sure. 

Krissie Leyland  19:31

Yeah, definitely. I think um, top tip everyone

Lucy Roberts  19:39

Get engaged to a designer.

Krissie Leyland  19:43

I mean, what can I say that's a bit perfect, isn't it?

Lucy Roberts  19:48

It's an unfair advantage.

Krissie Leyland  19:53

Okay, so similar to that topic. I'm wondering, you know, I know that when I got on your Instagram, I just feel really relaxed and mindful and at ease and positive. So is that part of your marketing strategy? Or is it just part of like, what you feel like putting out there in the world?

Lucy Roberts  20:15

I suppose, I suppose a little bit of both really. I've, I used to know an amazing woman who is actually a brit, she lives in Australia and she has a brand called Flora and Fauna. It's um, it's like a vegan superstore. It's absolutely amazing. I mean, if there's anybody who lives in Australia that wants to make a switch to a vegan lifestyle, Julie Mathers started Flora and Fauna to be just that, it's got everything. And I was really lucky to meet her a couple of times while I was living in Sydney. And she always used to tell me that she, she founded Flora and Fauna on kindness. And that is what she leads with for everything. Kindness to the environment, to the people that she works with, to animals, to everything across the board. And that really stuck with me. And I also have a wonderful friend called Beck who actually also has her own small business called Silky Studios does the most amazing silk scrunchies. Unfortunately, they're not vegan. So which is the only reason why I wouldn't stock them on reverie, but I use them, I have bought them. They are incredible. And she told me when I started Reverie, that if you become your own brand, then your brand will always feel honest and will always feel authentic. And that's probably one of the best bits of advice I've ever had about Reverie. And I want it to feel like me, I like to think that I'm a nice and positive and warm person and I want the brand to feel like that as well. So kind of a healthy amount of escapism in the Instagram feed like lots of really nice travel shots. But I just want it, I want people to feel how you feel like calm and mindful and, you know, like you're in this really nice destination where the outside negativity doesn't matter. It doesn't affect you, and you can just relax. That's really what I want Reverie to feel like. This whole idea about it being a daydream and a fanciful state of musing. I love that, I think it's just sometimes it's nice to just switch off a bit from everyday life. 

Krissie Leyland  22:18

That's so nice. You just feel like content when you look at your Instagram feed, like "That is me, that is the brand"

Lucy Roberts  22:27

Yeah. And it could be you know, burning one of the really beautiful candles or it could just be having one of the pieces of jewellery on or, you know, the sleep masks or the bath salts, anything like that. Just almost finding that time in your day to just relax and that, that's the reverie for me. It's just those little, those little luxuries.

Krissie Leyland  22:47

I love it, whilst being kind to the planet.

Lucy Roberts  22:50

Exactly, without compromising on anything.

Krissie Leyland  22:52

Yeah. And also the Duchess of Cambridge.

Lucy Roberts  22:59

Oh my god, I love her. Honestly, anyone who knows me will know I have been to Kate Middleton fan since literally day one. I've had my hair blow dried like her, I dress like her. 

Krissie Leyland  23:13

And then she just was wearing a necklace that looks, Is it the exact same one?

Lucy Roberts  23:17

It's not unfortunately, but my mum actually texted me the morning that she saw Kate wearing that necklace because my um, basically my mum has helped me so much with Reverie. She really keeps me in check. Because I just want to buy everything, stock everything and do everything at a million miles an hour. And mum's always like "No, I don't think that product is right" or "I don't think that's correct." And I'm like, No, Mum, this is gonna be really good. And she actually said that about the pearl choker. And she was like, I don't know if that's on brand for Reverie. It's a little bit modern. It's a bit too trendy. And I was like, No, I've got a really good feeling about this necklace. And she texted me the picture of Kate wearing and she's like, okay, you're right.

Krissie Leyland  23:23

That's amazing I saw it I was like, No, way, is that the same one?

Lucy Roberts  23:44

I wish it was honestly, if I could send a Reverie gift box, it would be the Duchess of Cambridge. 

Krissie Leyland  24:15

Has anyone like... did you see an increase in sales because of the photo

Lucy Roberts  24:21

Sadly not. I was really excited about it though.

Krissie Leyland  24:25

I can imagine you probably dancing around. I've got the giggles now.

Lucy Roberts  24:33

I know this. This always happens to us. 

Krissie Leyland  24:40

Oh, okay. Yeah, I'm gonna try and stop laughing. So, yeah, so what does your marketing strategy look like? Taking in, like keep in mind that, you know, you've worked with all these big brands with bigger budgets and stuff like what have you taken from that? 

Lucy Roberts  24:55

Yeah. Um, it's a really it's a really difficult question because the honest answer is that I am completely winging it. I am just seeing what, that's just me being completely honest, I'm just trying to see what works and trying to see what people respond to. So I've tried doing like a big gift away on Instagram, you know, you're kind of standard, like this post and share it and tag a friend and make sure you're following the page kind of thing. And that went really well, I feel like people responded really well to that. And it was also a nice way to introduce the products to somebody as well, which was great. Whoever won, you know, you send them this beautiful box, and it's a nice way to get the products out there a bit more. I do a lot of just emails, email marketing, and I like to make them quite conversational and kind of talk about why, why I really love the products and why I think they're really, really great. So or, or whatever, make a really great gift. And I've tried Facebook and Instagram ads. And that's actually something that I'm looking for a little bit of help with, so if anybody's listening to this, they know how to do Facebook and Instagram or Google Ads really well, please let me know.

Krissie Leyland  26:06

I actually do know a few people.

Lucy Roberts  26:09

I was gonna ask you about this. And I was hoping that you would know some people. So yeah, I haven't got the world's biggest budget. But if you, if there's anybody within like your community, or like the MindfulCommerce network, like super keen to talk to someone about helping me with that, because I think that that is quite a good strategy. And whenever I've randomly thrown some money on an Instagram ad, it seems to do quite well. But I know that it's not, marketing is not my forte like e-commerce is. E-commerce is my thing, really. So if there's anyone you can connect me with, who knows more about digital marketing, that would be amazing!

Krissie Leyland  26:45

I may have someone in mind who i'll tell you about after this. Right. So, okay, now I'm completely changing the subject. 

Lucy Roberts  26:58

So that's okay. Let's jump around. We always do this, we do this all the time. So that's fine.

Krissie Leyland  27:03

I could go off on so many different tangents. Yes, so sustainability in e-commerce. Obviously, this is a big topic and it's probably a joint favourite topic between us. So what do you think are the biggest environmental challenges in e-commerce? 

Lucy Roberts  27:29

That's such a big question Krissie. You know, that's a big question.

Krissie Leyland  27:36

I know.

Lucy Roberts  27:37

I don't even really know what to begin with this one, to be honest, because I think that, I think the first problem happened years and years and years ago, where fast fashion rose really quickly. And it was kind of this immediate demand that you wanted to have a rip off version of something that you've seen on the runway or on a celebrity, and I think brands, brands responded to that really, really quickly. And companies sprung up with that as their whole business model, which is, you see something on Saturday, on a celebrity in a magazine or on a runway at Fashion Week and by the Wednesday, you're selling it to like thousands of people. And at the time, I think everyone was ready, quite naive to what the impact of that actually was. And it was like, Oh, my God, amazing, you can get, you know, you can get a version of a Gucci bag or a YSL blazer, and it's a fraction of the cost, and you get it before the brand has even manufactured it. And it was, you know, I think I was probably even a bit of a sucker for it. At the time, I was probably about in my late teens, I suppose, early 20s, when this was really happening, and it was quite exciting, you know, being on a fashion course, at uni and thinking, Oh, my God, yeah, you've got the the Primark version of the whatever it was, an Alexander McQueen dress or whatever. And it was quite exciting. Whereas now I think we're really feeling the impact of that and the effect of it, which is, well, what is that done? I mean, it's completely exploited factories all over the world where, you know, you can't pay your workers a living wage, because they're working around the clock, and you have to manufacture this fabric in double time. And the quickest, cheapest, easiest way to do it is not sustainable. And, of course, the way in which these things are manufactured, it's done cheaply, so that you can sell it cheaply so that people don't have to wear it for that long, because it's not really going to be in style for that long. So the reality is that all of those products, more often than not just end up in landfill. And because the fabrics that they've been developed from aren't sustainable, they're obviously not natural fabrics. They're not biodegradable. They've got thousands of micro plastics in them, and it just goes straight back into the planet, into landfill. That kind of over consumerism almost about to the right term, it's constantly servicing that demand and then meeting the new demand rather than almost challenging the customer to shop with longevity and sustainability in mind. And it's just every single brand, it's a race to the bottom and a race to see who can ship their products, the fastest by air mail or by courier vans or whatever. And it's this constant need that's now now now now now, I want it tomorrow. And I want this, I want that. And brands are constantly on the back foot. Because they feel that the only way that they can meet that demand is just to figure out a way to do it.  Totally at their own costs, and definitely an environmental cost. Yes, probably the biggest problem that I see. 

Krissie Leyland  30:43

Definitely, I totally agree. And I don't think that the brands will like that. They're probably quite stressed about it, you know? 

Lucy Roberts  30:51

Yeah, exactly. 

Krissie Leyland  30:52

They have to keep up with all the other brands and who's the fastest

Lucy Roberts  30:57

Exactly, and who's who's doing next day shipping for free, like who's doing same day shipping, you know, in some postcodes, you can get it the same day, like, how stressful is that to have somebody constantly on your orders grid, refreshing in case something comes in, like, I can't imagine the amount of anxiety that someone must feel for that. 

Krissie Leyland  31:15

It's horrifying. It stresses me out thinking about it.

Lucy Roberts  31:19

No same thing here. And it's just, it's this constant demand for now, and immediately and cheaper. And there's no, there aren't really any brands pushing back on that. I think other than, you know, your really big ones, like Stella McCartney that really incorporate that whole messaging in their brand. And I guess the people who follow her brand are really invested in those values as well. So they're happy to shop with a brand that matches those values. Whereas your run of the mill average customer who doesn't really care too much about sustainability and doesn't really care too much about the fabric content of their jumper or top or dress or whatever. They're not going to ask the questions. They're just going to think, well, I'll just shop with the brand thats the cheapest I can get it to me the quickest.

Krissie Leyland  32:02

Yeah, I mean, I do think that there's obviously the rise of conscious consumerism, and people are waking up to, you know, these green washing brands. And it's, it's hopefully changing, hopefully, and in five years time, we'll be moving towards a more sustainable world. 

Lucy Roberts  32:24

I hope so. I really hope so. I think it's just, it just takes a couple of the, I suppose the market leaders of your high street stores, of bigger fashion brands, just to start educating their customers on where the products come from, where they're manufactured, why the price is what the price is, and really start making it part of their brand identity as opposed to just being these faceless, brandless fast fashion brands. 

Krissie Leyland  32:55

Yeah, I agree. I do think that small brands like Reverie, do have power and I do think, you know, if we, if we get together and do it together, fight combat, you know, and just boycott them all.

Lucy Roberts  33:13

I hope so. I hope so. And it's kind of it's it's something that's so beautiful about small businesses, because they're these tiny little ideas that have become online businesses that specialise in these beautiful products. And that's really all I ever wanted for Reverie, I wanted it to be more than just an online shop, I wanted it to be a destination where you can go and you can browse. And you can see really beautiful content, and you can shop and you can send gifts. I wanted it to be very inclusive and very, I suppose very socially and environmentally. And it's if more brands, if more brands do that. I mean, it's definitely the way that things are moving. I mean, with all of the David Attenborough documentaries that people are seeing now. I mean, hopefully people are actually listening to what he's saying, rather than just thinking, Oh, yeah, David, David Attenborough is really cool, he's really awesome. It's like, yes, so do what he's telling you to do now. I really hope that that's going to be the way that it's moving. 

Krissie Leyland  34:10

Yeah. And if you you know, you watch you watch David Attenborough programmes, and you're really inspired and, and then, yeah, if you don't do anything, then what's the point? Anyway... 

Lucy Roberts  34:23

Another rabbit hole, we could go down

Krissie Leyland  34:26

So many, oh, gosh, find myself in them all day. On a personal note, then, um, what's your vision for the future? Where do you see yourself in five years? Oh, sounds like an interview question.

Lucy Roberts  34:40

It does sound like an interview question, one which I wasn't actually prepared for. I mean, there's so much more that I want to do with Brave The Skies. You know, the agency is it's changing really quickly. we're evolving really quickly. There's new brands who want to work with us, which is awesome. I've just actually hired an incredible general manager who I'm so excited to start working with. And I think that she's going to be a real breath of fresh air. And so I definitely see Brave The Skies as a big part of my future, regardless of what happens with Reverie. But I want to spend more time building Reverie, I feel like I've got so many ideas for what I want to do with that, I would love to introduce clothing at some point as well and really make it more of a lifestyle boutique, or sustainable, you know, beautiful vegan fabrics and your bamboo silk, which is what the eye masks are made from. And linen and organic cotton, I would love to, I'd really love to expand the product range into my own stock rather than just essentially other people's products and ideas. So I would love to do that. And I think with Brave The Skies, I'd love to I would love to focus more on working with brands on their marketing strategies, and what they're going to do with that new collections and new products and possibly even be part of that process would be amazing. 

Krissie Leyland  36:07

Wow, good. Nice. 

Lucy Roberts  36:09

Yeah, a lot. Quite a lot of things

Krissie Leyland  36:13

I love the vision, though. It's good. It's all good. Brave The Skies are very lucky to have you. And also it's very nice to hear that the, did you say Managing Director, not your Managing Director, but your new person is going to be a woman? 

Lucy Roberts  36:34

Yes. Oh, my God, I'm so excited about that. Yeah, I'm super excited. There's, there's not enough of us. There aren't enough of us in management positions or leadership positions, you know, industry, industry wide, but specifically in a e-comm and tech. I think we're very underrepresented gender in that sector. And I think, you know, it's, it's so nice, I speak to so many of our clients who have, who have actually said that one of the reasons that they like working with our agency is because we're female lead. And there aren't really any other plus agencies, there might be one or two in London, who have women at the top as managing directors or COOs. And I think naturally, as women, we're a lot more empathetic. And you think a lot more about the bigger picture and the end customer and you know yourself how you feel when you open a beautiful new delivery and whether or not that's a new dress, or a pair of earrings, for example, you know, the feeling that you want that customer to have. And if you, if you know that feeling, and if you know how to create that feeling through technology, through packaging, through branding, it means that the client has the most amazing experience with you, because you understand this to be their customer, and you understand how their customer wants to engage with their brand. And you know how to advise them how to make that brand feel like that comes really naturally to me because I am a customer. I'm an avid customer of so many of the brands that we work with. And it means that I can get a shipping email or an order confirmation email and say, not really too sure on the tone of voice here. Like it doesn't really make me feel particularly engaged. It feels a little bit business-y, a bit cold. How can we change that? So yeah, it's yeah, again, I feel like it's an unfair advantage, being a woman.

Krissie Leyland  38:31

I think it's great. I think it's great. And, um, congratulations, by the way on being nominated for amazing women in e-commerce

Lucy Roberts  38:42

Thank you so much!

Krissie Leyland  38:45

I honestly was thinking about nominating you because I saw it I was like - who... ah I know! How does it feel to be nominated? 

Lucy Roberts  38:55

Oh my god. Honestly, I was so excited. I was so so excited and so touched that somebody or some people, you know, thought that and it was yeah, it's an amazing, I suppose recognition to have your name out there as someone thinks that of you. And I posted it on my LinkedIn profile. And I just got the most amazing comments from, you know, people who I haven't spoken to for years. And it was just oh, I honest, I felt quite emotional, to be honest. Oh, I know. It's only you know, there are hundreds of thousands of women who are in e-commerce who are absolutely incredible. And I have no expectations that I'm going to even come close to winning. But it's just, it's nice on a personal level to feel I suppose, recognised and supported. Yeah, it was. Yeah. quite emotional. I think is the word. 

Krissie Leyland  39:47

Yeah. I mean, it's great. Its Yotpo isn't it?

Lucy Roberts  39:51

Yeah, it is and they're donating I think $5 for every nomination to a girl's charity which which is just incredible. I think supporting, supporting young girls with education and progression. It's just it's such a hugely important part of like, the global economy and like what girls can do and what women can do when they're educated and empowered is just, there's no limits. So it's it's definitely an amazing thing to be part of, even if it is just for the, you know, for the support of the charity.

Krissie Leyland  40:23

So exciting. So exciting. So, yes, I think I need to wrap this up. 

Lucy Roberts  40:30

We could chat for another solid few hours. Probably. 

Krissie Leyland  40:35

I mean, we need to meet in real life one day.

Lucy Roberts  40:37

We do! Well COVID has kept us apart hasn't it like we've been chatting for months now. And it's always been video calls and and Facebook Messaging. 

Krissie Leyland  40:46

Yeah. I'm normally me with another idea. 

Lucy Roberts  40:51

Or me being like, Krissie, what do you think I should do about this? 

Krissie Leyland  40:56

I love it. So if you could give your say, I don't know, one or two tips to an aspiring brand, a sustainable one, What would that be? 

Lucy Roberts  41:10

Oh, and I think, I think I would actually have to repeat Beck's advice to me, which is just to be your brands, be honest, be authentic, and it will be the easiest thing in the world. just build a brand around you and what you think is right, and your passions, and I don't think you can go wrong. 

Krissie Leyland  41:31

Perfect. And did you kind of like write a list? Or, you know, at the beginning, where you're like, what is my Why? What is, Who am I? 

Lucy Roberts  41:42

So, so that is something that Joel, my fiance was trying to get me to do for years. And I really put off doing it. Because I was like, these questions are so intimidating. I don't know the answers to these questions. I really don't want to do it. And he sat down with me and did it. And he was like, I know the answer to all of these questions because it's just you. So yeah, he was, he definitely guided me through the whole process, I wouldn't have done it on my own. I was ready to just wing the whole thing. What happened? And he was like, No, you can do this, answer this question. You know, write this down. See, I can't I genuinely can't take any credit for every, it's all been my mom and Joel and my sister and  my dad and my best friend. They're the real brains behind the operation. 

Krissie Leyland  42:33

I should have interviewed them on the podcast.

Lucy Roberts  42:37

Next time, I'll bring them all you'll get much more from them. 

Krissie Leyland  42:43

Because that's like my favourite thing ever to just, I'm probably very different to you then. Because I like sitting down and just like brainstorming and being like, Who am I? What's my vision, what's my why I can get grounded. And then I'm ready.

Lucy Roberts  42:57

That's such an amazing quality, though, like you're so good at that you've got because you've got so many ideas. And you're really good at getting them all out and putting a structure to them and writing it down and mapping it out. And I think I naturally find it quite intimidating. And I feel like things are very safe inside my head. And like I kind of know what it is I know what it looks like, if I close my eyes, I can really visualise it. And the second I put it down on paper, it becomes very, you know, it feels like it becomes very real and quite scary. And I feel quite intimidated by that sometimes, which is something that I need to work on. 

Krissie Leyland  43:33

Very interesting. And so you're probably if you're visual, then maybe it'll be mood boards. And like you said, Pinterest boards and stuff like that. 

Lucy Roberts  43:42

Exactly. I've got thousands of Pinterest boards, and my Instagram saved items is quite out of control.

Krissie Leyland  43:49


Lucy Roberts  43:50

But I feel like I get so much more from an image and I can look at an image and be like Yep. Okay, so that's how I feel. And that's how I want it to look. And that's how I want people to think when they look at it, whereas writing it down is I don't know, it makes it very black and white and it doesn't feel as I suppose warm and cozy to me. It's like a big image mood board does. 

Krissie Leyland  44:10

Yeah. Or like your Instagram feed. 

Lucy Roberts  44:12

Exactly. Yeah. And it's nice to you know, when you're looking at different images, we looking at the colors and like the tones in them and the way that they make you feel like that makes me feel very comfortable. I wish I could do mind maps better. And Rachel Jacobs, who we both work with. She is amazing at mind maps, and she did this major one for me in our catch up last week and I was like, oh god, this is so good but also so intimidating. Where do I begin with this? 

Krissie Leyland  44:42

Yeah, that's so interesting. It is funny, isn't it? How everyone's got different ways of just mapping things out. I mean, I like oh my god. My reason I think the reason why I do start so many different random businesses. I just really like the Ideas phase and then like the branding, so like colours and then like the fonts and yeah, like and then and then it happens it is like it comes to life. 

Lucy Roberts  45:10

Exactly. But you're so good because you do all of the planning, you do everything. You've got all of the information, the whole structure and plan is down before you do anything. It's so good. 

Krissie Leyland  45:20

Yeah, but then I'm like, oh, okay, now I've got it. What do I do now? 

Lucy Roberts  45:24

Now what? That's fine. We work well together. We bounce off each other really well.

Krissie Leyland  45:30

Yeah. Oh, well, I'll let you go and have your lunch. 

Lucy Roberts  45:3

It was so great to talk to you. Krissie. Thank you so much for inviting me to do this. 

Krissie Leyland  45:40

Thank you. And best of luck with everything I know you're going to be great. 

Lucy Roberts  45:45

Too Kind. Thank you so much, and we'll catch up soon. 

Krissie Leyland  45:49

Yes. Perfect. 

Lucy Roberts  45:51

Thanks so much Krissie. 

Krissie Leyland  45:53

This series is sponsored by Kollectify. Kollectify is a content marketing agency working specifically with Shopify solutions to successfully position and promote the app or agency. Episodes go out every Monday, so don't forget to subscribe or you might miss a few knowledge bombs. And finally, if you'd like to join the MindfulCommerce community with lots of conscious brands and ecommerce experts, who are all working together to make change, please email info@mindfulcommerce.io and I'll send you the deets