Konstantin Vulkov: You had a fashion experience before you started ModeTrotter. But what exactly inspired you to launch ModeTrotter?
Marie Courroy: I was sales representative for several brands and I could see that according to the country, the buyers weren’t buying the same products. Actually there is different ways to dress up depending on the country you live in : Paris, London or Los Angeles. Likewise someone like my sister, who doesn’t work at all in the fashion system has sometimes issues to imagine a garment out of his context.
Thus I had this idea to propose various looks from the same clothing.
Furthermore at this time I couldn’t find a french website applicant an offer of brands that I liked so I told myself that if I couldn’t find my happiness some other girls neither.
Konstantin:Can you do it today without the fashion experience you had?
Marie: Yes, I think. Simply being curious and to look at everything that is going own around you. I didn’t invent something revolutionnary, I just used what I observed.
Konstantin: What are the advantages and restrictions of a website, compared to a physical store?
Marie: The benefits : clearly not being all day long in a boutique and to wait for the clients, to be hidden, to have the possibiility to work on other projects and that from all around the world. But the inconvenient is the absence of customers return : there is no way to know why this dress or this coat do not please. It’s very interesting to have the notice of the customers and we are missing it, it’s true.
Konstantin: Do you remember the day it all actually started for ModeTrotter?
Marie: Oh yes ! I was incredibly excited !!! I had a few orders because I had a great article a few days before in a french magazine, Jalouse. So immediately I had a bit of luck.
Konstantin: The first customer?
Marie: My best friend and my cousin who where fighting for the first place.
Konstantin: In a way, the online shops actually are meant to always think big - like the world is yours, you can virtually sell everywhere. Is it good or a little bit frightening?
Marie: No, on the contrary, it’s great ! To have the all world as a play ground, do you realize ? There is no limits, no boundaries, it’s all the excitement.
Konstantin: How you are spreading the word for new designers? First - how you find them (do you always follow your gut and trust your instints) and second - how do you promote them?
Marie:I use social medias a lot, I look at what is going on, I read some magazines too, and I always stay on the look-out for the conversations of my friends : what they like, what they discovered, I listen a lot. But mostly I trust my instinct. Only.
Then to promote them I use all at hand : newsletter, facebook, instagram, tumblr, etc…
Konstantin: How did your daily regime changed when you started to work for yourself? I mean - did you changed your sleeping, eating, working habits?
Marie: Yes. In the beginning I worked on a daily basic with true office schedule : 9.30 am to 6.30 pm with a lunch break at 1pm even if I wasn’t hungry or if I hadn’t finished something.
And then gradually I shifted everything : arriving later, eating later, finishing later and I realized that my true rythm was much more in the evening, and I eat in front of my computer.
Konstantin:What was the progress of things at your company? Which of the things were funny and which of them really difficult?
Marie: It’s always difficult to be alone I think, alone to take decisions, alone to assume all the problems, no one to share the delights. I became conscious of it when I wanted to raise funds. I found the business world cruel and lawless.
Today I have three shareholders so it’s less weighty I call them as soon as I need advices or I have to deal with a good or a bad situation.
Konstantin: Your summer plans for this season? Where do you like to go?
Marie:I will surely be going, like every summer, to Formentera, a small balearic island, with some friends. It’s magical, very small, there is only a few cars and amazing waters … a dream!
Konstantin: Finally, tell us a song you really love to listen now.
Marie: All "The Avener"
--- Marie Courroy is the founder of ModeTrotter, a wonderful online shop. Find it here.