Lori McGaffney left a career in finance to found her business Eva Lucia.
Q. How and why did you start in business?
EvaLucia started solely as a footwear boutique back in 2009.
I loved fashion, in particular footwear. I would travel regularly to Edinburgh or Glasgow for a footwear haul.
It got me thinking that surely there was a gap in the market locally. I worked in financial services and although I enjoyed it, ultimately I fell into that job. I couldn’t see myself doing the role I was in forever – the appeal of doing something I was passionate about and creating a work environment formed on my own ethos and ethics appealed to me.
Q. How did you get to where you are today?
We’ve gone from opening a small store selling footwear, where I worked six days a week and had a Saturday girl.
We are now a fully-fledged fashion boutique on Perth High Street with a fantastic team of four who are all passionate about the store and the business.
It’s taken hard work, sheer determination and learning that careful financial planning is the key to success of running a small business.
Q. Who has helped you along the way?
My friend Taisir Gibreel has taught me lots about the fashion industry. She’s a textile designer and has worked in most retail roles over the years.
Q. What was your biggest mistake?
In the early days trying to run before I could walk, I made a decision to go into a second business with a business partner – I ended up spreading myself too thin.
Q. What is your greatest achievement to date?
We had outgrown the old store and an opportunity presented itself to move to an ideal location on Perth High Street at a far from ideal time.
We ended up getting the keys seven weeks late and we encountered lots of unexpected bumps and hurdles along the way .
We managed to turn around a shop move that we had planned to do in two months over the course of three weeks.
Q. What do you hope to achieve in the future?
For the continued success of the business I’ve built up over 10 and a half years.
Q. Do you want to recruit in the future?
I’m very fortunate to have a committed team and I recently welcomed an extra member of staff to the EvaLucia team in December.
Q. What is the hardest thing about running your own business?
Never being able to switch off fully.
Q. Any advice to wannabe entrepreneurs?
Alongside the careful financial planning, community and communication are key. Build up a fantastic network of business counterparts, who you can learn from.
Q. How has coronavirus impacted your business?
We sell online fortunately, however a significant part of our business is about the in-store experience and personal service.
We have had to adapt and adjust by offering virtual shopping appointments, plus we are keeping in touch with our customers via social media.
Our doors have been closed 50% of this season, so it has had a considerable impact.