AWAYTOMARS: Alfredo Orobio

Having worked in luxury brands for 10 years, this entrepreneur talks about building a strong relationship between producer and customer

Name: Alfredo Orobio
Company Name: AWAYTOMARS
Location: Greater London
Date Launched: 1/11/2015
No. of employees: 4
Website: www.awaytomars.com

Tell us what your business does:

AWAYTOMARS is the first online platform in the market to bring a new format for connections within the fashion industry: a disruptive model, giving people total control over the value chain, building a fair and strong relationship between producer and customer.

We are a collaborative platform looking to promote design-thinking, co-creation, crowd-funding and profit-sharing.

Our objective is to be a reference and inspiration in design, form and concept: to interpret the wishes of our customers.

Our goal is to promote creative thinking, innovation and high-quality aesthetics with a platform that empowers the community.

Where did the idea for your business come from?

New needs and aspirations towards design are emerging: consumers today and tomorrow will choose themselves, creating and drawing up what they wear.

How did you know there was a market for it?

People already share ideas and ask for feedback on online groups around the globe, but it doesn’t go any further.

AWAYTOMARS helps people to share, promote, develop, produce and sell ideas and products in one single place.

What were you doing before starting up?

Worked for a consultancy specialising in luxury brands for 10 years, as well as setting up luxury swimwear Frescobol Carioca for the past four years

Have you always wanted to run your own business?

Yes. I was very lucky because my grandad, a Spanish immigrant went to Brazil running from the Spanish Civil war in the 1950s with no money, just his carpenter tools.

He set up a very successful company, where I would go to spend all my free time during school holidays.

I can say now, looking back, that a lot of this “need” to develop something new and help the others came from him.

How did you raise the money?

We believe that AWAYTOMARS’s potential can be dramatically leveraged with a funding round, therefore we are looking for investors who can bring skills, expertise and networks useful for the development of the project (IT, logistics and commercial).

Describe your business model and how you make money:

The AWAYTOMARS value proposition is built on four pillars:

1) Empowering the community and integrating people in the creative process of fashion.

2) Acquiring, engaging and building relationships with the most valued customers.

3) Promoting design innovation through co-creation and crowd-funding, then selling the best premium fashion products on the market.

4) Analysing data to improve customer experience and stimulate product innovation.

What challenges have you faced and how have you overcome them?

AWAYTOMARS promotes design thinking trough the engagement of the community, offering an unique possibility of getting feedback from real customers, improving design, producing a fashion piece and showing it on a major global fashion show.

Our main challenge now is to develop this sense of community with our current and new users, engaging them to create and collaborate.

What was your first big breakthrough?

We have already shown our permanent collection on two different occasions at Lisbon Fashion Week with a huge response from targeted media including Vogue.

What advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?

The best advice I can give is believe in the potential of your idea.

Things will hardly happen without a lot of work.

Keep your friends excited, they will help you a lot.

But mainly, don’t give up at the first barriers, that will be mornings that you will want to give up and go back to your old job, but I can guarantee that rewards of building something special that can change people’s pre-concepts are unique.

Where do you want to be in five years’ time?

I can see AWAYTOMARS becoming a leading platform for design co-creation, crowd-funding, crowd-sourcing, leading to an IPO.

Partnership with a strong IT / Social Media platform in order to enhance the potential of user interaction, collaboration and co-creation.

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