‘My hobby became my business’

Company director and founder of PretaPortobello Ltd Georgie Cooper tells us how her love of vintage shopping in London’s iconic markets paved the way for her online business

‘It was just a hobby at the beginning, I never thought it would take off,’ says Georgie Cooper, company director and founder of the online vintage boutique pretaportobello.com, which has taken vintage shopping viral.

The 26 year-old, who graduated in 2007 with a fashion and construction degree, and her twin sisters, Lisette and Victoria, have always had a passion for London’s vintage market scene regularly popping down to Portobello, Spitalfields and Camden on the weekends.

‘The idea for PretaPortobello came out of a conversation with my twin sisters over dinner one evening,’ says Georgie. ‘We all loved going down to Portobello but it was tricky to find the time so we thought – why not make real vintage available online?’

‘I surfed the internet and found the cheapest website designer and called in a few favours from friends,’ says Georgie who along with her sisters used £3,300 of her savings to get the business started. ‘We didn’t want to spend a lot because we had no guarantee it was going to work.’

pretaportobello.com launched in 2008 and provides an online marketplace dedicated to the world’s best fashion and street markets selling clothes, accessories and jewellery from new design talent stretching from Portobello across the world to Sydney, Australia.

‘I didn’t know a thing about business when I started out,’ says Georgie. ‘But if your have even an inkling of an idea, investigate it. If someone has already done it, ask yourself, how can I do it better?’

Georgie has just been nominated for Entrepreneur of the Year in the 2011 Specsavers everywoman in Retail Awards, the winner of which will be announced in a glittering ceremony at The Savoy on 14th September.

For table bookings and ticket enquiries please contact everywoman on 020 7981 2574 or visit www.everywoman.com

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