Meet the owners of | Katie & Lauren Hobbs was made from a love of festivals, glitter, and self-belief

By Katie Hobbs

Hi I’m Katie, one of the directors of!

In terms of marketplaces, ours is unique in more ways than 1 and I thought it would be a good idea to share with you how we turned our wildest dreams into a reality.

Me and my sister Lauren have always had a love for festivals and fashion, so whilst searching the web for fashion inspiration we were inundated with fast fashion and huge retailers. We managed to stumble across independent brands and Boutiques which we were in awe of, and came up with the idea of creating a marketplace which put together all these beautifully eccentric and colourful items of clothing in 1 place. Whilst fashion marketplaces existed, there wasn’t anything which focused on festival inspired clothing and we wanted to create a unique website which catered for those who wanted to shop independent fashion with ease.

We decided to keep the name simple. We purchased the domain name in August 2013, and started budgeting and saving for the next 2 years, and coming up with a plan of action for the website.

We got our good friend Chris from to build us our website. Before the website went live, we had to try and find brands to join the website. At this point the website was a blank canvas and getting brands to trust in us to sell their products was a difficult task to say the least. We persevered and managed to get some great brands to sign up to our marketplace, many of which is still with us today!

The next difficulty we had was figuring out our commission, our invoicing system and our VAT responsibilities and all the boring financial stuff. We ended up in tears on many nights getting frustrated with all the paper work and numbers which was just too much for our little heads. But we kept going.

The website finally went live in September 2015 and we we’re over the moon.

We soon realised, having a successful website, and large social media following doesn’t happen overnight. We had no money. No celebrity endorsements. No backing from investors and no one to advise us on the next steps. Getting the traffic to the website was the biggest challenge we faced.

The only thing which kept us going on many occasions was each other.

Slowly, our traffic increased, our social media presence increased, and the website began to pay for itself. This was a huge relief, which allowed us to take a breather and begin thinking about the next steps.

We needed to go global. It was essential, and we needed a .com name to do it. It took us 2 months of constant research into names, nothing was right for us. If you’ve ever tried to secure a .com name you will be fully aware of the costs involved in this, and we didn’t have the money. We needed a name which people would remember and a name which covered all the types of clothing available on the website. When we seen was for sale, we knew immediately this was the name. It was massively over our budget but we needed to take the plunge. Sink or swim. Purchasing is a decision I will never regret. Our first winter went much better than expected as we started selling to Australia and the USA, which I don’t feel we would have done with

We’re still growing, we’re still learning. BUT we own this website. So many hours of work, tears, laughter, fear, worry, meetings, questions and determination have been put into it. Every single second has been worth it.

Sisters are doing it for themselves