Words from our Big Leap Winner

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Ruth Ferguson, founder of  http://www.olgaolsson.com/ was the winner of our London Big Leap competition this year. We decided to catch up with her and ask her a little more about her business...

Tell us about Olga Olsson and what you do...

Olga Olsson is a new British Luxury label that I founded in 2010, beginning with a swimwear collection made in Brazil.  The concept of the brand is conscious luxury, meaning that at all points in the supply chain we look at how we can be fair to both people and planet. 

How did you get the company off the ground? Was it working in the back bedroom? Did you need funding?
Yes it was a lot of evening work to create the business plan whilst I was working, and I used my own savings to start the company and establish production with an atelier in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Once I´d left my permanent job I continued to freelance for cashflow in the first year.  

We love that Olga Olsson is your gran. Who else in your life has beein inspiring?
I´m constantly inspired by people I meet when I´m travelling and working.

What's been your biggest challenge with the business?
The biggest challenge is juggling so many different roles, you have to be jack of all trades.

And the best moment, so far?
The best moment so far was winning the EFF Innovation Award for my Collection at london Fashion Week.

Do you have any advice for other entrepreneurs starting up?
Do something that you love, because if you don´t love it you´ll find it very hard to spend 20 hours a day working on it.

What are your plans for the future?
My plans are to increase distribution of our collections worldwide and to expand the collections to include ready to wear and accessories, working with small producers around the world.