What Alexia Genta did next – how lockdown inspired Alexia to connect with other female business owners
Big concepts usually start small. That’s the accepted belief but when the world is in the grip of a global pandemic there’s a call for big ideas – at least that’s what Alexia Genta decided.
Forced by lockdown to put her successful business Alexia Alterations in London’s Knightsbridge on hold, she launched Geraldine London an online hair accessory business.
Now she has connected with the owners of several other small enterprises that started up during the confinement and turned adversity into something really positive.
Through social media, she has connected with other women entrepreneurs, curating a group, around the world including Brazil, the US and the UK. They have all built their businesses in interior design, candles, jewellery, table setting to stationery, to name but a few, during the current pandemic.
“I’m thrilled with how the idea has picked up – I’d thought it would just be people here in the UK but sometimes you just have to think big. All these women have incredible stories and it’s amazing how much it helps to connect and share our experiences.
“It would be wonderful if some of the business women who are Talented Ladies Club followers who have had similar experiences could contact me.”
Geraldine London launched on 1 May and from the outset donated 20% of her sales to Women’s Aid to help women who suffer domestic abuse.
She recalls: “I had read about the increase in domestic abuse during lockdown and thought how awful it must be to feel unsafe in your own home and not be able to go out? Perhaps I relate to women so easily because my life is about women. I work with women and for women.”
Her sales have raised around £2,500 for the charity and while she has decided she now wants to work on a separate Christmas fundraiser for the charity.
Responding to the donation Faye Connelly, Fundraising Manager Women’s Aid said:
“We’d like to extend a huge thank you to Geraldine London for donating 20% of their sales to Women’s Aid. In recent months, we have all witnessed the spread and impact of Coronavirus and within the first two weeks of lockdown, there was a 41% increase in users visiting the Women’s Aid Online Live Chat Service.”
“As long as the lockdown is extended by government, we expect to see a continued rise in need. Geraldine London’s support will make a huge difference in keeping our vital services running, so we can support more woman reaching out.“
Meanwhile, having launched her Fall 20 collection of hair accessories she is seeing the results of coverage in UK media. This has included PA News, the Daily Mail – You Magazine as well as a number of regionals, online Women’s Wear Daily and Luxury London alongside a number of social media influencers and of course the Talented Ladies Club – the first to run her story.
Alexia had upcycled the high fashion materials she had at her atelier to make her launch collection of hair accessories. The original selection have now sold out but she through her contacts in the fashion industry she is still only using up-cycled and remnant designer fabrics.
“For our Fall 2020 collection I wanted to create a range of timeless staples,” Alexia explains. “The fabric we use is extremely high end – from Loro Piana cashmere to Gucci silk. This is what sets us apart: all our pieces are extremely high quality and limited edition.
“Our silhouettes are modern and the details are sophisticated with only one star of the show: the fabric.”
As excited as Alexia is about her new collection the impact of the coronavirus “new normal” has had an impact on her work.
Her “Suit Up!” collection made of men’s suit fabrics is she says “the ultimate power statement!” However, returning to work after the summer break this year is different and many only communicate with colleagues and stakeholders on video calls.
“We’ve entered a new work and wardrobe mood,” she says. “Whether based at home, popping into the office or attending Zoom meetings, the Suit Up! headbands are a way of conveniently adding a professional and powerful statement.”
“The collection is made from genuine Italian fabric remnants. Few compare the superior quality, comfort, and attention to detail as genuine Italian fabrics.
“For thousands of years, textile makers in Italy have been pioneering ways to weave fabrics into garments. When compared to others, the weaving patterns of Italian-made fabrics are truly unique and aren’t found anywhere else.”
You can find out more about Alexia’s work at Geraldine London.