In the same week that e-commerce titan, and world’s richest person, Jeff Bezos, announced he is stepping down as Amazon CEO, Framlingham College pupil, Tahjah Aksinoglu, has taken her first steps on her own entrepreneurial journey.
Pupils at Framlingham College are often known for their entrepreneurial spirit and Tahjah certainly exemplifies this, with the launch of her innovative new business, which aims to empower women through its marketing methods. Tahjah has used her product design and computer science skills to create a series of garments for women as well as a web platform to sell them from. She plans to launch the brand in the next few weeks, focussing her digital marketing strategy on messages of hope and self-care for women and girls.
“I just see, in my generation, that there are lots of girls who don’t have enough confidence in themselves. I feel like there’s not enough self-love. I like to see people around me being happy. I feel like female empowerment is needed,” says Tahjah. So, when she spoke to her mum about starting a business, she decided that directly encouraging female empowerment would be her unique selling point.
She continues: “It’s lockdown and I’m stuck at home, so I just sat down and got thinking of some business ideas and I thought I could start a clothing brand. But obviously it’s a big market to get involved in, so I needed to think about what makes my business stand out.”
While Tahjah is just starting out, she draws inspiration from her family members, some of which also run successful clothing brands. The e-commerce market has only become more lucrative due to the coronavirus restrictions and the accelerated switch to online shopping is a trend which many economic forecasters believe is here to stay. Jeff Bezos announced that he is stepping down as CEO of the world’s largest e-commerce business, Amazon, to pursue other philanthropic projects. Bezos started small, setting up Amazon from his garage in Seattle in 1994, concentrating on one specific market – online book sales. Amazon has since gone on to dominate global e-commerce markets in a number of sectors, including video streaming services. But, like Tahjah’s fashion brand, it began with a driven founder identifying an opportunity.
Tahjah has always had a passion for business and enterprise and is proud to use the time lockdown has given her to launch her first ‘proper business’. She says: “It’s given me motivation during lockdown as the days can be a bit repetitive. But now I have designs and processes to work on everyday so it’s a great use of my time. It will be online only at the moment because of the coronavirus restrictions.
“Just today the graphic designer got back to me with some designs. I sent the first drafts to him and he’s just finalising them and I’m designing the t-shirts and editing my website myself to launch next week.
“We’re starting off with t-shirts. I was thinking about masks and hoodies and tracksuits and things when we get a bit bigger.”
Tahjah’s orders will be placed with a custom t-shirt firm, which handles the products and payments in order to streamline the sales and shipment process and ensure the business is easily transportable for when she returns to Framlingham College.
Tahjah’s new business will use skills she has developed through her studies. She is currently studying for her A-levels in business, computer science and design technology. She says most of her marketing will be done through social media and via word of mouth until the business grows: “I’ve started an Instagram page. I’ve got lots of family members who have clothing brands so I will be using these guys to help me market it. As we get bigger, I’ll use some models who will take photos and things to upload.”
Now in her final year at Framlingham College, Tahjah plans to study computer science at university following her time at the school. In the long term, she wants to start a coding school for underprivileged children. But for now, while the UK is in lockdown, she is excited to develop her fashion brand from her home in North London.
She adds: “It is quite different being in London compared to Framlingham. I do miss the quiet of Framlingham, but it’s nice being close to my family here too.”
We will update this article with a web link to Tahjah’s website as soon as the business is launched.
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