Movers and Shakers | Nevo Burrell | Nevo Concept Image & Style Consultancy
Nevo Burrell is the founder of Nevo Concept Image & Style Consultancy
She has worked in the retail industry in stores such as Selfridges, Dickens & Jones and House of Fraser, giving honest one-on-one advice to clients (years before it became a phenomenon). She is a board member of the Federation of Image Professionals International (FIPI) serving as the Events Director.
Nevo works with female cancer thrivers, but not exclusively, and survivors of other trauma (divorce, illness, etc.) cope with the effects of diagnosis, ordeal and treatment through style.
What inspired you to start your own business?
I’ve been interested in image and styling since I was a child before I knew there was such a profession. I was inspired to pursue my profession because of an experience I had when I worked in retail several years ago.
I was working in Selfridges in London when a woman came in to purchase an outfit for an event. In those days the communal areas in fitting rooms were decent sizes, and fortunately for her, I was on fitting room duty at that moment.
The lady came in with items of clothing, which in my opinion, did nothing for her. However, other customers, including some of my colleagues applauded her choices. Seeing her on the verge of making an error troubled my soul, so I bit the bullet and offered a suggestion. To my delight, she agreed to try what I had in mind for her, and the result was spectacular!
Moreover, every single person in the fitting room expressed genuine approval. The client bought the items without hesitation. But the reason I was so inspired by that experience was that a few days later the lady came in specifically to thank me and told me that her outfit was a hit at the event.
What were the first few steps you took to get the business up and running?
I registered my business and attended business coaching programmes offered by my borough, which helped me gain confidence in speaking to prospective clients.
However, getting the confidence to register my business took me a long time. Merely being inspired was not enough to get anyone to understand or buy into the idea of being paid to make people look their best!
It made me feel terribly isolated and people thought I was bonkers. Many assumed that such a service was only for the rich and famous. Also, I couldn’t find anyone who ran a similar business at that time; the internet wasn’t what it is these days! Nevertheless, I persevered and had the odd clients.
In the early noughties, I found someone who offered a colour analysis course in the UK, and I took it; I was so excited! Shortly after that, I heard about Colour Me Beautiful, and a little later Trinny and Susannah exploded onto the scene, and then the lightbulbs came on in people’s minds. I didn’t feel mad anymore, but it was still a hard slog!
How far ahead do you plan and what keeps you on track and motivated?
I don’t plan too far ahead, and nothing too rigid, so I can be agile when the need arises.
Are there any sacrifices you’ve had to make as an entrepreneur?
I don’t know; if you call perseverance a sacrifice, that’s mine!
What has been the most amazing day in your entrepreneurial life so far?
When I had my first corporate gig!
What has been your scariest moment?
Having the realisation that my business may not be successful.
How do you work on making your business grow?
I keep showing up! I attend networking events, talk to anyone who will listen, appear on social media, give talks, hold workshops, join professional bodies, and use the resources at my local Business and IP Centre.
What is the best thing about being your own boss?
The best thing about being your own boss is that you do things your way. That said, we still must adhere to legal requirements, and use the resources available – no need to reinvent the wheel!
What are the challenges of working for yourself and how do you tackle them?
It can be quite lonely, and you must do things by yourself until you can employ someone or people. I tackle it by going to networking events to meet other solopreneurs and share knowledge.
Who do you admire or look to for inspiration as a business owner?
Oprah, Rihanna, Brene Brown, Ade Hassan … too many to mention! J
What piece of advice has had the most impact on your business? And who was it from?
Don’t sell yourself short. Get your pricing right. It’s alright to walk away if the client is not right for you. The advice came from fantastic women and men that I met on the networking circuit.
What is the book that you would recommend to other business owners?
Intelligence Isn’t Enough, by Carice Anderson.
How do you relax?
I love walking, yoga, doing pilates and body pump.
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