We Chatted with Jo from Sojo
We chatted with Jo from Sojo to get an insight into her brand new business. Championing circular fashion and tackling fashion waste we were inspired by this female owned business owner and her shared mission for a more sustainable industry. Learn more about the Sojo story here.
Jo created an app and pick-up/delivery service that connected customers to local Seamster businesses, so that people could get their clothes altered or repaired with a few simple clicks. A way to encourage second hand shopping without compromising on fit and a way to extend the life of your favourite wardrobe staples.
Katy had a chat with Jo to ask her everything Sojo:
I love the "Deliveroo style app for clothing alternations" analogy. What was your inspiration behind Sojo?
The actual idea for Sojo was born out of personal problem that I faced (which I know is very stereotypical for business ideas).
A couple of years ago I made a move away from fast-fashion and was shopping second-hand clothes all the time, but I kept finding amazing one-off pieces that I loved that weren’t my size. I wanted to alter them to fit me but I didn’t know how to sew and going to a local seamster just felt like too much time and effort – I definitely admit I’m part of a generation who is used to a whole host of services at our fingertips such a food or taxis or beauty treatments etc. So, I decided to create a really easy way to get your clothes altered or repaired by creating our App which is trying to modernise the age-old tailoring industry and is making sure convenience is a key part of sustainable fashion.
What were you doing before Sojo and how has that helped you understand your core market?
I don’t have much career history as before Sojo I was just a student (I had the idea in my final year of university)! But I was involved in the sustainable fashion space in a few different ways. During my first year if Uni I started selling second-hand and vintage clothes on Depop and became a “top seller” which is where I learnt how much of a barrier sizing can be to second-hand shopping. I then went on to actually work at Depop HQ over summer and got first-hand experience of working at a sustainable FashionTech start-up that focusses on an important mission and strong community. All of these things and experiences really helped me understand my core market but I would also say that I think the most helpful aspect was the fact that I myself experienced the pain point and I myself am the target market!
What's the next stage for Sojo?
The next stage for us is expansion! We’ve proved that the model works, that people want to use us and that we can fulfil the alterations and repairs to a great standard, so now it’s about launching Sojo in different UK cities so that more people can get involved in circular and sustainable fashion.
What's has been your biggest challenge and biggest learning, setting up a business in lock down?
Our biggest challenge was definitely the fact that so many of the businesses that we planned to launch with actually had to close their shop doors during lock-down and weren’t keen on our ‘contact-free’ way of bringing them orders. I was so disappointed as it really impacted our geographical remit and launch plans but then my biggest learning was that launching with a smaller, imperfect, less developed version was better than not launching at all. Even our restricted version was a great way to get so much valuable feedback and prove our model – don’t wait for perfection because it won’t come!
Website : sojo.uk