Please, introduce yourself to our readers.
I’m Urenna, I work as a financial adviser and I manage the wealth of high net worth individuals. I was contacted by the HR Manager of the company I work for via LinkedIn, came in for a couple of interviews and 2.5 years down the line I’m still here! I’m also the founder of Cashmere App which is a smart savings app which helps trendy millennials save towards and buy luxury fashion guilt -free and without having to dip into their savings.
How did you come up with the concept for your app?
A few months ago I was in Harrods with my friends and I saw a pair of Louboutins I really liked. They were perfect in terms of size and comfort but once I saw the price tag, I felt really guilty buying such an expensive pair of shoes even though I had the money. That evening, I thought to myself, if I had a special stash of cash earmarked solely for my luxury fashion impulse purchases, then I wouldn’t feel guilty about splurging. That’s how the idea to create an app that helps others like me plan their splurging in a guilt free and responsible manner came about.
I’m very inspired by Natalie Massenet, the founder of Net-a-Porter, and she being one of the first to combine luxury and digital, two things that have not worked as well as they should have in the past. I think there’s even more potential for these two worlds to coexist even better especially now that my peer group identifies a lot more with digital technology.
Cashmere is built for the modern millennial, the fashion fanatic, the stylish sartorialist. I believe I can revolutionise the way we young adults consume luxury without breaking the bank or resorting to using a credit card and my goal is for Cashmere to be the go-to app for saving towards and owning luxury fashion goods guilt-free!
Where did you start?
I don’t have a background in technology but I have some knowledge in coding. I did some courses and read lots of books to help grow my understanding not just what is required to and build a world-class app but also how to monetise it. The startup scene in London is amazing and I have met so many people who have given me lots of useful advice.
Fashion, finance and digital technology are 3 passions of mine and being able to combine these three loves of mine to create a platform that so many young adults can benefit from is something I’m really excited about.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to build their own app?
There are a lot of developers out there so it’s about finding the right people and attending events where you can connect with people within the industry. I’ve met some developers that are good and some that are bad but it’s important to find one that’s right for you. Also, because of the nature of their job they might be more tech-minded whereas you, as an entrepreneur, could be more of a creative so it’s about being able to find that balance with one another.
Another key advice would be to be able to understand articulate what your unique value proposition is. If you plan to create a replica of something that already exists, chances are your idea/business won’t go very far. There are a million and one apps out there and it is very difficult to stand out so whatever you’re offering has to be very unique and a game-changer.
From your profession of being a financial adviser, what are two things you’ve really learned about money.
I’ve learned how to budget a lot better because at work we have to look into our clients’ finances and understand how best to manage their investments in such a way that it will be able to provide their required level of income, especially when they retire. It’s a skill I’ve been able to transfer to my own personal finances. Also, I’m looking into how I manage my own personal investments. There are apps like Money Box and Plum that help people with no financial background start investing in a diversified portfolio (cash, equities and property) from as a little as£1 in a very low-cost manner.
In your younger years, is there anything you wish you’d done differently in terms of money management?
Yeah definitely, I’d save a lot more. I’ve worked since I was 17/18 but I wasn’t smart enough with my money. Luckily, I was able to save some money to pay for a proportion of my university fees (my parents helped with the rest) but I think I could have been a lot smarter with my money. It was only towards the end of my time at university when I started to wise up with my money, so I just wish I’d started saving a lot more earlier on.
If you could recommend 3 books for personal development and starting a business, what would you recommend?
- Lean In by Sheryl Sandburg
- The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz
- Girlboss by Sophia Amoruso
These are the three books that stood out to me about personal development and running a start-up.
This interview was conducted and edited by Bola
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