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Raw Talent Podcast S4, Episode 5 with Rebecca Rodden founder of Eluroom

Rebecca's career evolved in a 21-year stint at Ted Baker rising from a Receptionist to Buying Director across two decades, during which we experienced the evolution of technology making a revolutionary impact on the way in which fashion is consumed and experienced.

An Australian in London, Rebecca recounts how she met her now-husband, went travelling and eloped to Gretna Green for a secret wedding which turned out to be not so secret. Her career began at Ted Baker where she joined as a receptionist, progressing through the ranks in a 21-year tenure during which she worked across men’s and women’s clothing, accessories, footwear and licensed product with the mission of continually evolving the Ted Baker brand through innovation and diversification in response to the ebb and flow of a changing global consumer.

Touching on the last 5 years where digital evolution has revolutionised the way much of the world consumes and experiences fashion, Rebecca explains how category growth came into its own online. How merchandise appeared and made an impact became a key focus with the emphasis turning to outfit building. Departments became a lot closer and stores suddenly had a digital blueprint follow. As a direct retailer with wholesale partners including Harrods, Selfridges and John Lewis, Ted Baker offered highly successful exclusive propositions personalised to each wholesale partner.

The stand out achievements from Rebecca's experience at Ted Baker focus on brand collaborations and sold out product ranges, building brand partnerships, especially in the US with the likes of Nordstrom and Bloomingdales, who are great people to work with. She recounts how interesting it was to tap into their world, work on exclusives and understand their buying methodology in order to appeal to a wide demographic, for example in menswear it is about measurements and fabric, in Texas, they are very glamourous, Rebecca also discovered a strong focus on outfitting and dressing for your job. She loved the thrill of the chase of getting things in store along with the buzz of launching new seasonal collections and receiving instant digital feedback.

Getting people comfortable with change was the biggest challenge, managing responses and keeping people focused and on track.

S020 has shaken many established businesses and stepping out into a brave new world, Rebecca is embarking on a new chapter inspired by a desire for balance expressed in her about to launch brand Eluroom.

Eluroom means "joy of life" in Estonian, which is where her father is from. The collection launches with beautifully effortless vintage-inspired dresses made from mostly Italian up-cycled, recyclable and deadstock fabrics, which are non-iron and washable at 30 degrees. They are produced in the UK within a 3-mile radius of where Rebecca lives.

Alongside Eluroom and teaching yoga, Rebecca has been consulting with a couple of start-ups guiding them on range construction and how to expand their product offering sometimes from just one style. She helps with resourcing, range timelines, streamlining processes and creating efficiencies and shares insights into different markets depending on where they want to expand. We discuss the importance of being led by the ethos of the brand and what it stands for rather than self-serving social media algorithms. Speaking to the true intention behind the business is a vital component in mapping the path ahead.

Rebecca is excited about building Eluroom and building the Eluroom community.

We touch on the fact that many people are feeling drawn to a more holistic lifestyle which is something that has become wholly attainable in today's world. Rebecca explains that for her this means leading an intuitive life true to your values, being the best version of yourself and being empathetic to other people whilst not being on autopilot and tied to tick boxes and having the space to be flexible.

Wearing different hats for Rebecca is the same as plate spinning, setting them off and keeping them in motion which she loves alongside always learning.

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