Ruth Thomas Interview


I recently interviewed Ruth Thomas about her Manchester based business.

What is the name of your business and what do you do?

Room31 – we sell fashion and sportswear retail and wholesale online through and

What made you start your own business?

Basically I was fed up of working for other people and really wanted to be my boss so I took the plunge and left a secure full time job to start a market stall in Bury in 2010. To supplement market takings I opened an eBay shop and starting selling surplus stock. It quickly became obvious that selling online was the wa forward and that you can literally sell while you sleep waking up to orders from all over the world and without having to freeze to death on a market stall. The eBay side of the business grew but my real passion was to open an online shop selling ladies fashion at prices to suit every purse and so was born

We now operate from a warehouse in Warrington with 10 members of staff and a wholesale as well as retail website.

If there was one piece of information you would pass on to someone thinking about taking that leap, what would it be?

Passion comes first and money second! If you are determined to make something work it will but it will take lots of sleepless nights and hard work! owning your own business is 24/7.

What have been your biggest obstacles

My biggest obstacles have been recruiting the right staff, creating a solid team who I can rely on and can move the business forward. Also realising what is important in the business, which areas to focus on and which to move on from.

Anything exciting coming up?

Room31 has another exciting year ahead, we have just moved into larger premises and our goal is to continue to add new and exciting brands to our portfolio for both the retail and wholesale side of the business. Room31 had a 3 month pop up shop operating in the local village from Nov-Jan 2013 and our plan is to have another 3 pop up shops before the end of the year to increase brand awareness.

In 2012 we won several prestigious awards and hope to add to this collection in 2013.

Overall, Ruth says….

'passion and determination will get you where you want to be'

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