When Michelle and I first started toying around with the idea of The Local Collective, we both had very different visions of what the essence was all about. With my background in Business Management, I wanted to create a story-telling platform for independent artisans who take pride in their craft, to allow the audiences to be conscious about their purchasing decisions. Michelle, with her background in refugee resettlement and migrant welfare, wanted LoCo to be about igniting conversations around diversity and spreading the stories of the many communities within the UK.
Albeit our different motivations, it was clear that we both agreed on the same thing -- Telling stories of people.
As international students, we fell in love with the melting pot of cultures and diversity that is the United Kingdom. We were amazed by the conversations that we had with people from all around the world by chance, learning and soaking up their experiences & their lives through their eyes. We were also intrigued by how these experiences shaped and motivated these individuals to take things in their own hands to make a difference for the better. And we wanted more people to hear these stories.
After plenty of sleepless nights and chats that spanned over countless time zones (at that time, Michelle was based in California, while I was based in Singapore), we finally decided the very essence of LoCo -- To collaborate with local businesses, artisans and craftspeople in the United Kingdom to tell their stories, philosophies and origins through a monthly subscription box, allowing subscribers to experience first-hand the core of what these businesses are about.
I do not intend to detail all of our challenges of starting up a business in this post, but in a nutshell, we started putting things into motion. We began searching for independent vendors and products that our network found interesting. We reached out to local businesses, start-ups and entrepreneurs. We initiated market research and read countless marketing and business reports. All while we were both still working in our full-time jobs in our respective home countries.
We finally felt that we were ready to start putting our plans into action. We were ready to relocate back to the place that we love. Months of planning later, we finally reunited in London (and in the same time zone), and began to prepare for our launch. And hence, in October this year, The Local Collective was born.
The Local Collective
Our story-telling platform to tell the philosophies of local businesses all around the United Kingdom.