Who better to interview as part of our Startup issue than Farley Pearce and Anushka Lakhani, two amazing women who have started their own businesses which seek to make women look and feel good inside and out.
Farley is the founder of CLUBCEO, a fashion house that creates businesswear for aspiring women and is currently fundraising on Kickstarter. Anushka is the creator of very lush blowdry bar, aer. The (blowdry) bar opens early and closes late to work around your schedule and even has its own workspace for catching up on emails and grabbing a coffee!
We grab 5 minutes with these amazing ladies.
5 mins with Farley Pearce, founder of CLUBCEO
What is CLUBCEO?
It’s a women’s work-wear fashion brand for future CEOs. Some people think I run a nightclub… I wish I could stay awake long enough! Essentially the brand is centred on making fabulous fashion pieces whilst giving us businesswomen an excuse to promote and celebrate success in the workplace.
How did the idea for CLUBCEO come about?
During a graduate scheme where everyone dressed in old-fashioned suits and jackets, I saw a gap in the market for the successful 20-35 year old working woman. We couldn’t afford top designer clothing for work, but would happily pay £100-200 for the right outfit. It wasn’t out there, so I decided to build it myself and that’s when CLUBCEO started.
How is CLUBCEO different from other clothing brands?
CLUBCEO is unique in a number of ways.
- It’s the only brand I know that’s just focuses on women’s work-wear. You won’t find us making your pyjamas or your next cocktail dress.
- We fit into the £100-£200 space aka: the HighER Street. It’s a rather nascent part of the fashion industry where you don’t become broke but don’t expect your clothes to either.
- We’re unashamedly feminist. Brands can have such an influence on young men and women, but don’t use that to inspire, empower or celebrate them. Every brand should have a cause.
You have just launched a Kickstarter campaign, what will the funds be used for and what will funders get in return?
If we reach our fundraising goals, funds will be used to launch the full website and help manufacture our first capsule collection.
- £4 gets you a social media mention and essentially some great karma headed your way
- £10 gets you a print of one of my original designs
- £60-75 (depended on how early you pledge) will get you the signature GINNI blazer in Jet, Royal or Scarlet (RRP: £129).
And your favourite piece in the collection?
My favourite piece is so new it hasn’t been named. It’s a fabulous loose-fitted lined business dress. I am a believer and lover of pockets and this one has hidden ones that are big enough to fit even an iPhone 6. The shape just works and for me it’s vital that my work outfits hide my ever expanding food-baby who feasts on biscuits by the hour. I’ll let you know which famous CEO she’ll be named after!
In picture – Models (from Left) : Lily Bailey, Karolina Majoravičiūtė, Sammy Pearce, Alessandra Rocca. Hair: Katie Hilairey. Makeup: Jennah Micah. Photography: Kady Eliza. Editing: Lola Star (Eggcorn Studios).
5 mins with Anushka Lakhani, founder of aer
What is aer?
aer is a new beauty destination in South Kensington.
The concept is simple – blowdries, brows and beauty all undertaken with precision, care and speed.
aer is more than just a blowdry bar, it is a beauty hub where people go to feel pampered, to unwind, or to get glammed up for a night out or weekend away. It’s also a place to hang out, have some coffee, browse the carefully curated beauty brands and chat with friends.
There is no restrictive blowdry and up-do menu. Each aer stylist will create a bespoke look to suit the individual. Blowdries are priced at £35 and up-styles start at £30. Savings can be made when 6 or 12 packs are purchased and add-ons include a blissful 10 minute head and scalp massage, luxury hair treatments and expert tinting and threading.
How did the idea for aer come about?
When I moved to London in 2013, I found it really difficult to find a high quality, yet affordable blow dry that fits my own personal style. London hair salons traditionally charge based on length of hair and stylist experience so for someone such as myself who has long, thick curly hair, to get a great blowdry on a regular basis was just not convenient. I love getting my hair done, and when I lived in the States, there were always plenty of good options to choose from. However, I felt that there was a gap in the London market so I founded aer.
How is aer different from other blowdry bars?
Our goal at aer is to deliver high quality blowdries that are truly bespoke and that won’t cost the earth. We wanted to create a space that was inviting, comfortable, and fun! We don’t have a predefined ‘menu’ of looks – our highly trained and experienced stylists create looks that are truly personalised for each client.
Customer service is paramount at aer. To ensure our customers’ experience a luxurious and premium service, our appointment slots are allocated as 45 minutes with each visitor receiving an initial consultation so that stylists can create a look that captures the customer’s individuality. That being said, if a client needs to be somewhere quickly, our stylists can work around that as well.
The shampoo experience for our clients includes a complimentary mini head massage and we only use premium hair care brands such as Kerastase and Oribe.
We also offer a wide range of complimentary beverages to enjoy while stylists work their magic. And most importantly, aer works around busy Londoners by opening before the early work meeting and late enough for a quick spruce up before your dinner date
What does the future look like for aer?
We will keep doing what we do best: making our clients look and feel like the best version of their gorgeous self!
We pride ourselves on giving our clients the best blowdry in town. We would love to reach more people in London and in the rest of the U.K. as well. And long term to go international as well!
Your favourite aer look from the Lookbook:
That’s a tough question, it really varies on whether I’m looking for something more natural or if I’m going out and want something more glamorous. These days I love our Ibiza. It’s our “beach” look with a twist – it reminds me of whatever bit of summer is left!