The Founder of LittleBlackDoor
I am so delighted to introduce you to Marina Pengilly, a great friend of mine who is a seriously hard working inspiration. Marina is the Co-Founder of LittleBlackDoor, the social wardrobe app everyone needs to know about!
What is Little Black Door, AKA, LBD?
Little Black Door app is the SOCIAL wardrobe app that powers you to see, style, share and sell your wardrobe items.
What made you want to create LittleBlackDoor?
In 2018, my business partner, Lexi Willetts, and I were on a work trip, living out of suitcases (again), and one afternoon found ourselves in Zara. Lexi picked up a top and I said, “you have that and you’ve got three of them!” And that’s how it started; a momentary life observation, coupled with a realisation that we’d lost awareness of what fashion we owned and it was leading to overbuying and underusing. That made us look at what else we were doing with fashion; how we were buying it, particularly online, how we used it, styled it, shared ion social medial with others and how we sold it in the secondary market. We took all off this and said, yep there’s a product that threads this together -for both the consumer to get them wearing or re-selling their fashion more easily and the fashion industry, who could use us to create more sustainable fashion customers. Aka Little Black Door, the social wardrobe.
When you were younger what did you want to be?
I wanted to to have sustainable fish farms all around the world. I know, niche!
What has been your favourite business moment to date?
That is a great question, and a hard one to answer. Every time we overcome a milestone, another one comes its way. At the moment two moments stand out for me. 1. Being acknowledged by the tech community a number of times, one being TechCrunch. 2. Mentoring over 300 female students across the country with LBD’s Digital Work Experience.
What elevates LBD from other apps?
LBD is the FIRST wardrobe app that is connecting the dots between retail, resale and the fashion community. We are sustainable and socially minded. We promote the repurposing and borrowing of clothing – we are cleverly linking with retail partners, resale platforms and have a borrow button between friends. Not to be lumped together with rental companies, LBD is pioneering the sharing economy for clothes.
Who is the favourite person you have worked with?
My business partner, Lexi Willetts, she was my former boss on two projects. It is great to work with someone who you admire and also someone that you can learn from. I owe Lexi a lot for the success that I have had so far.
What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
Don’t be scared of failure. Failure drives innovation.
Which is your favourite feature on LBD?
The Borrow feature, I am forever borrowing now. Why buy new clothes when you can browse your friends wardrobes?!? Not only is this feature a social one, I have discovered amazing brands and also have saved so much money. I no longer buy clothes, I borrow.
Who is your ultimate business inspiration?
Sara Blakely, founder of Spanx. She is EPIC, and such a great role model.
What are 3 words to describe yourself?
Kind. Determined. Loyal.
What is the secret to success?
Determination. Starting and running a business is not easy and not for the faint-hearted. You are going to experience a number of FAILURES and hardships along the journey - which you will leave you wanting to quit and give up completely at times. You need to see these failures as an opportunity and a lesson. Use this energy for growth and be determine to succeed.
What advice would you give to future female generations?
Have a dream, go for it! Nowadays, there are so many ways to UP-LEVEL your skillset to experience things that you are interested in. Think, online courses for example. Furthermore, we live in an age where communication is accessible to all. Have someone that inspires you, connect with them via instagram or LinkedIn. In life you never want to have, “What if I had done X?”. Go for and try whatever you are passionate about, and if you find along the way it is not for you, try something else. It is OK to change your course of action. I totally believe that in our lifetime we can do a number of different things, so don’t be scared to try something new. It is your life, make it the BEST one possible.
What motivates you?
Very simple; life and love.
Which 3 people would make up your dream dinner party?
Sara Blakely, Tony Robbins, and Jack Whitehall to add some comedic value!
What are you grateful for?
What is one thing everyone should do?
Try doing something out of your comfort zone at least once a month.
What are you reading right now?
The School of Life by Alain De Botton.
What is your spirit animal?
What are you most unapologetic for?
Being my authentic self.
What is the best aspect of having your own business?
I am in charge of my time and totally accountable to myself. Although, this can be a double edged sword at times.
What is the hardest part of having your own business?
Probably would be my work/life balance. Finding a healthy relationship between the two is essential for the sustainability of any business. As a founder, sometimes you can focus too much on the work side, and it can lead to a burnout, which I experienced when I launched Who Loves You.
What is something you’re currently working on?
It is an exciting time for LBD, we are about to launch our Swipe to Sell feature, which will allow our users to easily sell items to a number of marketplaces with one swipe. Yes, it will be that easy.
Where will you be in 10 years time?
I don’t know where I will be, but what I do know, it will be an exciting phase of my life. Hopefully, world domination for LBD. Now, let’s support the process, download LBD now!
Want to know more? Follow LBD on Instagram.