THE VURGER CO

IN CONVERSATION WITH.....

LAURA STAGEMAN

THE DESIGNER, CREATOR AND FOUNDER OF - @VOTCHWATCH

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Please tell us Laura a little about you and your business Votch Watch? 

 

Votch was launched by me in 2016 after suffering from a condition called Topical Steroid Withdrawal. TSW as it is known is a condition that saw all my skin fall off, and during this time I spent a lot of time educating myself on the importance of diet and adopted a vegan lifestyle immediately.

What came with that was learning a lot more about the leather industry too, and having felt the pain of losing my own skin, I vowed to never wear the skin of another being again. When I got better and an old watch strap broke and finding a quality vegan replacement was nigh impossible, the idea for Votch was born! It’s been quite a journey, I was a TV producer before starting Votch so it’s been quite the learning curve! I run the business in London with my little dog Rolo for support! 


Your watch designs are incredible, wonderfully refined and very accessible! What steps do you take when you start designing your newest collections?

 

Ahhh thanks! I love classic and timeless (literally!) designs, it was important for me to be able to create something you could wear through the day to the evening. My first collection I was incredibly selfish and designed a watch I would love to wear that I couldn’t find when I was searching for a vegan one, and then my designs just went from there!

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We’re planning on expanding in to other cruelty free accessories as well as more watch collections launching - it’s a very exciting time for us indeed!
— LAURA @VOTCHWATCH
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Do you have a design muse? 

Not really, I love looking at kitchen books believe it or not for designing watches! There tend to be 3 strong colours in kitchens and I love looking at the combinations to help inspire the face, strap and case colours for our collections.


What's the hardest thing about living the entrepreneurial life for you?

Never knowing when to stop and not always having someone to bounce off, it’s the best job in the world but sometimes can also be incredibly lonely. 

For anyone who is thinking of taking the leap into starting their own business, what 3 pieces of advice would you give?

- Understand your market, really know who your customers will be

- Research your competitors and know how you want to stand out from the crowd

- Talk to people about your idea! It’s amazing how much ideas can grow when you share them with people you trust

What's your go to dinner that you would always cook at home?

I love making a vegan mac n cheese (using carrots, potato and onion with nooch), after a long day in the office it’s my comfort food to go home to!
 

How important has social media been for you and your business? 

Incredibly so, we completely launched through Instagram and that’s how we built our followers and customer base today


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A clear head! Remembering to switch off occasionally and going for a walk really helped me to see clearly in busy times
— LAURA STAGEMAN

What 3 things were important to you when you started your business?

 

- Having support around me, talking to a mentor which I acquired through the Small Business Centre in London.

 

- Funds! It can cost a lot to start a business and I spent a lot of timing saving and securing a small business loan so my dream could come in to fruition 

 

- A clear head! Remembering to switch off occasionally and going for a walk really helped me to see clearly in busy times

 

Finally, please share something with our readers that nobody else would know about you? 

I was crowned disco dancing champion in Southampton aged 14


Laura- thank you for being a constant source of support for us from day 1 - we remember figuring out a Votch and Vurger night from the even the market stall days and we have watched your business flourish and grow from strength to strength! We can't wait to see what the future holds for Votch Watch!

 

THANK YOU SO MUCH

XO