Louisa Gibbs, founder of People’s Pieces preloved clothing, social enterprise business. Louise graduated from College in 2014 within four short years she launched her own business that not only encourages customers to buy preloved items, but People’s Pieces gives back to multiple charities of their choice. Louisa uses all experiences as a learning opportunity, even roles she thought were not for her. Louisa talks to the College about networking and the reality of running a business.
CNC: What made you choose the Condé Nast College of Fashion & Design?
LG: I have always loved reading magazines, particularly Vogue and Tatler. I knew I wanted to be involved in the world of fashion I just wasn’t sure what exactly it was that I wanted to do. The college had just opened, and I thought it would be a great place to figure out where my passion lay within the industry.
CNC: What does your job role entail and what do you do day-to-day?
LG: I founded my social enterprise People’s Pieces in 2018. Our mission is to turn preloved shopping into a social affair by selling preloved clothing with a percentage going to different charities we partner with. At the moment I do a bit of everything! Starting a business from scratch means you really have to be willing to do whatever the business requires that day.
CNC: What do you enjoy most about your job?
LG: I love that it’s all about making a positive impact. The social enterprise business model by nature is sustainable, we only sell preloved, but we also give back to charity. I’ve always loved the shopping experience so it’s really exciting that I can help people shop for a good cause.
CNC: Were you given a piece of advice or a valuable skill that you still use?
LG: I think I would say it is perseverance. There is so much competition out there that it becomes easy to start doubting yourself. Don’t compare yourself to others as it will only send you backward. If you’re not sure whether what you are doing is good enough just keep doing it anyway until it is!
CNC: How useful were the networking opportunities?
LG: They were great. I have friends from the college that are doing all sorts of things and it’s great to pull on all their advice and gain support during the harder times.
CNC: What advice would you give to students to get the most out of their Condé Nast College experience?
LG: Network because you never know who you might meet or who might become a good friend! Also, remember that everyone needs support and advice at some point in their careers.
CNC: Do you have any career tips for this year’s graduates?
LG: Invest your time in what you’re interested in, no matter what it is and just do it passionately. If you end up in a job that’s not for you, learn from it and you can use the skills you pick up for whatever you want to do in the future. I always felt I wasn’t learning when I was working in jobs that weren’t for me – until I left. It was then that I realised how important it was and how clueless I was before I started.
CNC: Is there a word or phrase that comes to mind when you think of the Condé Nast College?
CNC: What is your professional dream for the future?
LG: My professional dream is to continue growing People’s Pieces as a social enterprise, I’m currently developing our event series and as a result of that, reaching a wider audience which is exciting. Each year I aim to increase the donations we make to our partner charities. Watch this space!
Louisa is one to watch! You can follow Louisa’s progress on People’s Pieces Instagram account, keep an eye out for her series of events too there are always many great pieces on offer.
Written by Abigail Alder