Roberta Patel: Sustainable Fashion Meets Luxury
Sustainable Fashion Meets Luxury
The founder of High Heel Hierarchy Roberta Patel talks her road to success from police officer to fashion entrepreneur and building her business on passion and perseverance.
What inspired you to set up your business?
During my maternity leave from the Metropolitan Police I decided to treat myself to a pair of pre-loved Christian Louboutin shoes. After the high heels turned out to be too small, I decided to re-sell them online so I could buy myself another pair. To my surprise, I sold them on the same day and I even made a profit. I then bought another pair and did exactly the same. Before I knew it, there were parcels coming and going to my husband’s shock horror, who thought that I was going off the rails on a spending spree.
Little did he know – I was building a whole new career.
Starting my business was not intentional, but it has grown from my passion for fashion and my eye for finding a bargain. I quickly realized that there is a huge demand for these little luxuries, and HHH is now not only a successful online shopping destination, but also a brick-and-mortar boutique, where customers can shop for authentic designer handbags, shoes, accessories and clothing with exceptional discounts.
What do you consider to be the secret of your success?
My business has proved popular not only because shoppers like a good deal when it comes to luxury items but lots of people have unused items in their wardrobes they would like to sell or part-exchange.
HHH started as an idea from one pair of designer shoes and has successfully built a platform where it is safe, quick and easy to buy, sell or exchange your designer goods.
Our business model is based on the idea of circular fashion, and our clients will be able to extend the lifecycle of their unwanted high-end products by selling or swapping them.
This in turn makes designer items more accessible to many who would not have otherwise been able to afford these luxuries. Our customer-centered vision extends to competitive payment options with interest-free instalments.
We make it as easy, simple and straightforward as possible for our clients both buying and selling. Our after-sale service is even more important than assistance before sale. It is through such service that one gets permanent and loyal customers.
What are you most proud of?
I enjoyed my career in the police service, and resigning was a tough decision to make.
I am proud that I decided to follow my dreams. Owning and running a successful business is hard work and requires determination, perseverance and persistence. I now work 24/7 but I love what I do and wouldn’t have it any other way.
I am also proud of the fact that I built the business literally from one pair of shoes… no rich parents, no favours, no loans, just straight hustle. Not only did we survive the pandemic and recent economical struggles but also opened our first store and created job opportunities.
At HHH we have embraced challenges to build a successful business model that has thrived through the pandemic and beyond. We now have amazing staff behind us and they are truly the secret to our success.
What are your future plans and hopes for HHH?
Our Cheam Village store has been incredibly popular with the local clientele. The online side of the business has always been thriving, and focus on our social media channels means that we have formed unique relationships with our consumers. We often receive questions via direct message in response to our social media posts, answering any questions or queries they may have, and offering a specialist personal shopping style level of service.
We see ourselves as offering the personal level of service that comes from a smaller boutique business in terms of customer attention and stock curation but when it comes to sales and customer base, we have a rapidly growing international clientele and social media following.
The growing demand means that an expansion is always on the cards.
There is another very exciting plan but I am keeping that a secret for now…