Five Minutes with the Founder | Vanessa Jacobs, Founder & CEO, The Restory
Over the next few weeks we’ll be meeting the founders of our 2019 Brands of Tomorrow, learning more about their young businesses and what makes them tick, and uncovering some of the secrets to their success so far. Today we meet Vanessa Jacobs, Founder & CEO, The Restory.
Vanessa is the Founder and CEO of The Restory, a company she founded 8 years after a high-street cobbler unapologetically destroyed her favourite shoes. A former financial analyst and management consultant, her real passion is designing amazing customer experiences and “finding the magic” as her team calls it. Vanessa is native New Yorker, turned Londoner. She’s married to a Swede with two young sons and she enjoys snowboarding, running and 70’s style Gucci bags.
WHAT DOES BRITISH LUXURY MEAN TO YOU?
British luxury means to me a global perspective, both a respect and an irreverence for heritage and the innovation.
WHAT’S YOUR VISION FOR THE RESTORY?
My vision for The Restory is to be the aftercare solution for the entire global fashion industry; bringing it into the 21st century and making it as much a part of the luxury experience as buying it to begin with
WHAT DO YOU CONSIDER YOUR GREATEST ACHIEVEMENT?
My sons of course but professionally speaking, that I’ve taken The Restory this far. It was a farfetched idea to most in the beginning and yet I managed to create an A-team and gather a few brave investors and collectively we can now see the path to changing consumer behaviour on a global scale.
HOW DO YOU DEFINE SUCCESS?
Some money, a lot of growth and to be worthy of someone’s time and effort.
WHAT’S YOUR GREATEST EXTRAVAGANCE?
Nails and shoes. I feel that I’ve lost all control if my nails aren’t manicured and just love loads of shoes.
WHAT DO YOU LIKE MOST ABOUT BEING AN ENTREPRENEUR?
It’s a constant learning curve. I love that it’s my dream and my curve and if it fails that will be mine too. That’s what I love and hate about it.
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR GREATEST REGRET?
I always regret when I haven’t been bold enough.
IS THERE ANOTHER BUSINESS OR A FOUNDER THAT PARTICULARLY INSPIRES YOU?
Many, but most recently José Neves. Having completed the Dream Assembly accelerator programme recently, I can see that most people would have found his idea to be crazy at the time and yet he stuck to the things he had conviction for. I’m sure every investor told him to be more like Lyst or something. Conviction is hard work.
WHAT IS YOUR GUIDING PRINCIPLE?
I have two:
One my husband and I came up with together “it’s never over until it’s over”.
And one from one of my investors “every day that you are alive and you’re growing, you’re adding value”.
WHICH LIVING PERSON DO YOU MOST ADMIRE?
My parents. My mother, reeling from watching her own mother lose a seven-year battle with cancer, was seduced by my handsome but highly immature father and found herself with three kids, divorced and alone by her mid-twenties. On the road to rebuilding her life she met a man three years her junior (27!) who was so enamoured by how she was doing all of this by herself, that he not only married her but adopted her three young kids. Two more were born a few years later and they’ve been together over 30 years. They’re great role models of love and tenacity.
WHICH WORDS OR PHRASES DO YOU MOST OVERUSE?
Thais Cipolletta, my Brazilian co-founder and Head of Atelier, was thoroughly confused when I told her “sometimes you don’t want to know how the sausage gets made”.
WHAT KEEPS YOU AWAKE AT NIGHT?
My kids are young, my business is young, my to-do list is a mile long… it’s hard to shut off sometimes.
WHAT DO YOU MOST VALUE IN YOUR FRIENDS?
Humour, resilience and integrity.
WHAT PIECE OF ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE SOMEONE STARTING UP THEIR OWN BUSINESS NOW?
Just start…even in some rudimentary way. You’ll wind up in a totally different place than you thought you were going anyway.
GREATEST LUXURY UNDER £10?
A horsehair dauber and a small water spray bottle will do wonders keeping your suede fresh and soft.