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A coffee with Minnie Royden

A coffee with Minnie Royden

Hi Minnie, welcome to the Lepelclub journal! We are so excited to have you here! Let’s start stirring! Could you tell us a little more about yourself?

Hi Lepelclub, thank you so much for having me! I’m Minnie, I’m 24 and live in London. I’m the Founder and Director of the fashion brand Minka Dink London. I have been running Minka Dink full time for just under two years now.

You studied politics in university, what made you decide to pursue entrepreneurship in the fashion industry?

My career in fashion is super unconventional having done a politics degree. I would like to say I have always had a little bit of ‘entrepreneurship’ in me as I actually started selling things online when I was 16 and still at school. I then started hand sewing a few bags and tops in the Covid lockdown in 2020 and started my Instagram ‘Made by Minnie’ which is now Minka Dink London. I started a corporate job in the City for 9 months after leaving Uni and kept Minka Dink going alongside my job. I worked on growing Minka Dink in the evenings after work, posted all parcels in lunch breaks and did the photoshoots on weekends. I was then very lucky to be in a position to take on Minka Dink full time in June 2022.

Minka Dink has an emphasis on slow fashion. What does this mean for you and are there other values that are important for you to keep in mind when building a brand?

I think people have become a lot more conscious about what they spend their disposable income on. Therefore, my aim for Minka Dink is to make beautiful, high quality, trans-seasonal clothes that can be worn all year round so you really get your moneys worth in one item. For example, our jeans are made from a lovely lightweight denim meaning they suit all seasons and the majority of our tops can be styled under a jumper but also on their own, meaning you can get wear from them in both the summer and the winter. Secondly, we try to make all our clothes as versatile as possible. I see huge value in clothes you can style in multiple ways, meaning you can get maximum wear from just one item. Our signature blouses with the big collars can be styled in several different ways, also increasing wearability. We also make style guides for each item to inspire our customers and help them see a vision of several different outfits involving the Minka Dink items.

Where do you usually get the inspiration for your beautiful designs from?

I try to create items that I feel are not available to buy in the other shops. For example, with our jeans, I couldn’t find any nice low rise jeans that worked for tall girls. Therefore, I created our Lila Jeans as they are long enough for all the tall girls but also look great rolled up for anyone shorter! Same with our knitwear, the idea is very simple, but it’s hard to find good quality, well fitting cardigans that don’t cost over £100, so I created them myself!

I also like to take several elements from different pieces and pair it all together in a new top. The majority of my designs are fairly simple, I really believe less is more a lot of the time.

However, I am totally meticulous about the fit and cut of our products. I am obviously biased but the clothes are so flattering. I am a bit of a perfectionist and will spend ages ensuring the fit of every product is totally perfect before it goes to full production. Good fitting clothes always make people feel their best and most confident which is a super important factor to me when designing the clothes.

At Lepelclub, we enjoy unwinding with a coffee or cocktail. How do you like to relax after a busy day at work?

Living in London, there is always a constant stream of new restaurants to try. I love going to try different spots and have a few drinks with my friends, family or my boyfriend. I also find exercising crucial for my productivity, so often go for a run or walk along the river after a super busy day!

Reflecting on your career journey so far, what has been the most unexpected lesson you've learned?

The product is the most important thing. This sounds simple, but at the beginning, when I didn’t know much about manufacturing, I used to approve the first sample most of the time as I thought it was more important to get as much out there as possible in a short space of time. This, of course, leads to so many problems later down the line. I’ve learnt it’s much better to focus on the product and spend time to make it amazing. Good products are such a crucial factor in building a brand. Another thing I’ve learnt is to be as adaptable as possible and not let things get you down. As a small business owner, you are involved in every part of the business and there are huge challenges along the way. It can be hard sometimes to keep positive, but it’s all worth it in the end!

What's the most valuable piece of advice you've received, whether related to work or personal life, that you'd like to share with our readers?

Set huge goals! Way bigger than you think. While it may feel like they are not within immediate reach, the bigger goals you set, the more drive and determination you will have. Create huge goals and figure out small steps to achieve them. It’s better to set your sights on something huge and if you get even half way that’s great!

And finally, how do you hope to stir things up in the future?

We have just run our first pop up on the Kings Road which absolutely blew me away! I am so so so unbelievably grateful for all the sales and customers that came to visit us, I just had no idea how amazing pop ups could be! So, we are in the midst of planning the next one, and it will be even bigger and better! I have also just hired my first time employee, which is in fact my sister (!!) and we have hugeee plans for the summer - so many exciting new products, events and much more!


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