The owner of Astrid and Miyu has announced the launch of a new mentoring programme for small businesses looking to establish retail start-ups in the UK.
Three independent businesses, including alcohol brand Collagin, accessory brand Sun and Day and handbag brand AMZA have now been chosen for a three-month Business Accelerator Programme.
Connie Nam, founder and CEO of Astrid & Miyu, will support the owners of these respective brands by focusing on her “three core pillars for success”.
The three businesses were chosen to partake in the programme due to their “personal drivers, go-to market strategy, soundness of financial planning and realistic longevity”.
The programme will begin by a focus on how to “develop the vision” of a business, as well as a vision of long-term goals.
The second month will focus on brand positioning, go-to market strategies and financial planning, while the final third month will look at how to refine financial reporting.
Each respective owner will have a virtual one-to-one session with Nam each month, alongside a bespoke programme established to help each business “reach its maximum potential”.
Speaking about the new programme, Nam said: “Launching Astrid and Miyu was a lonely journey – literally because I was working on my own and figuratively because nobody could really understand what I was going through.
“We are lucky that the business we are in is in a strong position and will survive the current crisis, but it struck me how much kindness and resilience we have seen for our customers, suppliers and network and as a result of the pandemic.”
She added: “I wanted to give back and that led me to launch the Astrid & Miyu Business Accelerator Programme so I can share my experience and help young business founders navigate this uncertain period.”
Liz Beswick, co-founder of Collagin, said: “I jumped at the chance to be involved in this initiative. By generously offering up her time, contacts and skills, Connie is not only opening doors for us but also changing our mindset, approach and goals.”
Founder of Sun & Day Kim Reddish added: “Connie’s advice has been very insightful and challenged the way I think about my current business model, preparing for how to adapt to the crisis and strengthen our small business for the future.”
Nam launched Astrid & Miyu in 2012, and the business now operates from six retail stores, with a £10m turnover and 80 staff. The first store launched in 2015 with in-store piercing introduced in 2018, and tattooing introduced last year, leading to a 350% growth in physical retail.
Nam intends to expand nationally and internationally with target locations including Brighton, Manchester, Edinburgh and New York.