Katherine Holmgren, Co-founder of Galvan London.
How did you start your own business, where did you get the idea for the concept?
I started my business with 3 friends after years of us complaining to one another about the difficulty of finding eveningwear that felt modern and fresh. We were in our mid-late 20s at the time and suddenly attending so many weddings and events each year… It was a constant struggle to find dresses that were luxurious yet reasonably priced, and classic enough that we could wear them more than once. Suddenly we had that lightbulb moment and decided to solve the problem ourselves.
How did you make the leap from employee to business owner?
When I left my job in the art world to start Galvan, I had no idea how much work and energy it would require. To be honest, I don’t know if anyone would start their own business if they knew in advance how all-encompassing it would be… but I wouldn’t change it for the world. Although I work harder than ever as a business owner, it never feels like a job (which is the other thing I didn’t realize in advance).
Who is a woman who inspires you?
There are a lot of women that inspire me personally. But in the business world, and especially in the fashion world, I am particularly inspired by Ruth Chapman, who founded Matchesfashion.com with her husband Tom. Ruth demonstrates how someone should lead by example. Aside from being brilliant and visionary while building her business, she is also thoughtful and principled and treats everyone with kindness. As a result, this has become the culture of Matches and everyone that works there embodies it.
What milestone are you most proud of?
Opening our first store in my hometown, New York City.
What 3 traits do you think are most important when running a successful business?
A thick skin, high energy, positivity.