Mallzee.com: Cally Russell

The founder of the online fashion recommendation engine tells budding entrepreneurs to 'stop talking about it and start doing it'

Name: Cally Russell
Age: 25
Company: Mallzee.com
Staff numbers: 7
Location: Edinburgh
Date launched: 10/05/2013
Website: www.mallzee.com

Tell us what your business does:

Mallzee is an online fashion retail recommendation engine. We create a style graph for users when they log in and only show them clothes that suit their style from our database of 750,000 products. We have over 200 high street retailers on board and our mission is to make online shopping an experience.

Where did the idea for your business come from?

Fed up with our girlfriends sending us long lists of links to click on by email, we built Mallzee to make it easier for them to get recommendations on what to wear.

How did you know there was a market for it?

We needed it!

What were you doing before starting up?

This is my 2nd start-up. Previously I was running and building a software development company.

Have you always wanted to run your own business?

Yes.

How did you raise the money?

Scottish angel investors who loved the concept and could identify with the need. We also raised seed funding recently to accelerate the product development.

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

Finding good people with the same committed mindset has been tough. We’ve been very lucky to be a part of Entrepreneurial Spark in Edinburgh which is a collaborative working environment that has introduced us to a fantastic network of mentors and potential employees alike.

Describe your business model and how you make money:

We take an affiliate commission on every item sold through our site.

What was your first big breakthrough?

Launching the landing page before having a product was a big breakthrough for us and then getting people to sign up.

What advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?

Stop talking about it and start doing it. Make the leap, build the network and build the product. The momentum will come.

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

In five years I’d love to be turning the tables and angel investing in small Scottish start-ups and housing them in our @siliconwalk offices.

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