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SPOTLIGHT: So Versailles Lashes Founder Cassandra Thorpe

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

In 2016 So Versailles Lashes was born, as fashion blogger Cassie realised there was a gap in the UK market for quality mink lashes. Selling 5 different styles, juggling a 9-5, running the successful hip hop & high fashion blog So Versailles, and also working on other projects we sat down with the entrepreneur and all round girl boss to discuss what inspires her, how she started her business and more...

So Versailles Lashes
1). Tell me a bit about yourself and your journey so far...
So, I'm 24 I'm from near Doncaster in the UK,  but ethnically I'm a weird mix of English, Ghanaian and Russian. For forever I thought I wanted to be an Investment Banker (I was so wrong), so pursued that for a bit all the while loving fashion and everyone expecting me to do something within that industry.

I went to uni to study Economics and whilst I was there I did an internship at a fashion brand which I ended up hating so much. So, I quit and kind of ruled out the fashion thing. Then I graduated, got a job in energy and started a fashion blog (ImSoVersailles.com) which is two years old now.

About a year ago, I was looking for cool mink lash brands in the UK and found it hard to find the styles I was looking for so I kind of took it upon myself to provide them for myself and anyone else who was looking for that too, and then So Versailles Lashes was born.

So Versailles Lashes
2). Have you always known that you wanted to be a blogger and entrepreneur?
Absolutely not, I would never have put myself in this bucket that I've found myself in haha. As I mentioned, I thought I wanted to be in banking but I guess that was because I kind of suppressed the fashion stuff because I didn't think I could do exactly what I wanted to in that industry. I fell into the world of lashes because of a need I was looking to fulfil in the UK and couldn't. I just had the ideas and decided to run with them.

3). What does 24 hours usually look like for you?
So I have a full time job which keeps me busy from 9-5. Outside of that I'll go home and I'll focus on one thing so either I'll focus on the blog and finalise posts for the week (I write most of my stuff on my commute to work). Or I'll be like "this is a Lash day" and work on the business such as looking into different styles etc. Sometimes I have blog events after work that I'll go to, or a random meeting to do with blogging. Just when you thought I don’t do enough, I’m also working on a new clothing brand with my mum at the moment so I’ll designate days to do that too.

Cassandra Thorpe
4). On So Versailles Lashes, you sell five different styles. What does the process look like from buying, testing and even designing your packaging?
So when I first started I reached out to a few mink lash manufactures to figure out which quality and service I liked the best. After that I sampled about 30 different lash styles in one night… my eye-lids were ravaged! I settled on the 5 styles I liked best – then the naming happened.

With the packaging, and the whole experience of So Versailles Lashes I'm very specific about what I want so it takes a lot of back and forth usually. I don't like it when people say "no we don't do that" or "we can't do that" so a lot of the time I'm finding ways around that to provide exactly what's in my head for the customer. So Versailles Lashes has also just had a bit of a rebrand and change of packaging, so it takes a lot of trial and error... especially as someone who's never done this before, and as I’m doing it by myself. But you learn a lot and I enjoy the process of learning to be honest.

The beauty industry is also something that changes all the time so I have to make sure I keep up with the trends.

So Versailles Lashes
5). I’m aware you sold your products at The Clothes Show last year. What was that experience like?
 Sooooo different! Having gone from selling online to in person was so weird. It was a great experience though because one downside of online shopping (especially with a product like lashes), is that you can't try them out. So I had a little area with a mirror and sample sticks with the lashes on them so people could see what the lashes looked like on.

6). Have you faced any challenges in your entrepreneurial journey so far? And if so how have you overcome them?
As I mentioned earlier it's been hard when manufacturers tell you "no", especially when you're someone like me who has it all planned out in their head as to how you want things to be. So I’ve had to work around that such as getting some stuff done with my main manufacturer, and the rest done with someone else.

7). Who and what inspires you?
Everything… the most random stuff inspires me. But mostly films and music. For example, I'm heavily influenced by hip hop music... it motivates me so much! And then films like Legally Blonde give me so much inspiration, as does 2000’s Paris Hilton (she pops up on the So Versailles lash 'gram from time to time).

So Versailles Lashes
8). What is your most proud moment to date?
Wow. Hmmm… probably when Tyme The Infamous used my lashes in a tutorial that was ridiculous to me, I'd watched her for years and for her to use So Versailles Lashes was too cool.

9). What would you say are three attributes needed to make a young woman successful?
I don't know if I'm qualified to give this advice but I'll have a go:

1. Don't accept no’s find a way, there's always a way
2. Don't give up so cliche but so so many people give up just before they make it, keep going and don't be one of those people.
3. Keep evolving it's so hard but you have to stay relevant, whether it's with branding or products. You have to hold your customer's interest because there's so much competition nowadays... they can easily go elsewhere.

10). What advice would you give to The Beauty Run readers who are interested in starting their own beauty business?
The biggest step is doing it. So many people think about it but keep coming up with reasons why not to start, but the hardest thing is starting and then you just learn as you go along. You won't know everything and you'll make some mistakes but you'll figure it out.

Edited By: Malika Isles 

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