As soon as my Celeb Boutique ‘Amara’ drape dress arrived in a hot pink box gift packaged box on my doorstep back in 2014 I knew I had upgraded in life. What made me drop £105 on a dress from a store I had never purchased from before at 18 years old? The quality and luxe feel the brand exuded that I’d seen a few celebrities snapped in that was available to young women wanting to get a taste of the luxe life. Admittedly, I hid the box in my cupboard to avoid my parents questioning my spending habits however, it didn’t fail to deliver when I finally had a worthy enough occasion to debut the dress 3 years later at my 21st birthday party.
Now being rebranded as House of CB with fans now being the likes of the Kardashians and Beyonce, it still serves a brand that delivers luxury with social media influencers raving about the opulent feel of the garments on YouTube. It’s remarkable to think a 26 year old is behind the brand having started it from her bedroom as a teenager.
At 17, Conna Walker began selling her dresses from her bedroom on eBay as a lover of fashion. She would manage the store from her Blackberry phone answering questions from customers before and during school and then pack orders to ship after school.
After finding eBay restricting, she then went on to fully launch her own website and without any experience in business or marketing, she capitalised on using social media as a way of predominantly getting the brand name out there and by sliding into the DMs of celebrities asking if they would be interested in wearing her brand.
Celeb Boutique would offer affordable high quality dupes of what celebrities wore on the red carpet to women looking for luxury on a budget and would have Brit celebs such as the cast of TOWIE (The Only Way is Essex) and TV presenter Rochelle Wiseman papped wearing the label on nights out.
Into 2014, Celeb Boutique graduated into House of CB as the brand started to take up momentum into becoming its own. In an interview with Galore magazine she explained how she evolved from selling dresses to creating her own designs “It started out with me drawing (in my really bad way!) designs I wanted and working very closely with the factories to make them come to life. After doing that for a while, I hired some designers and now I explain them what Im looking for and they come up with a few variations and I consult with them on how to make it exactly what I want.”
The brand has now grown into a global powerhouse with a flagship store in Westfield Stratford in London, stores in Manchester, Liverpool, Melbourne, Sydney, Los Angeles and New York as well as partnerships with over 50 Topshop stores. There’s an array of celebrity lovers such as Beyonce, Lady Gaga and Jennifer Lopez.
Despite being a highly successful CEO, this girl boss isn’t afraid to share with her 85,000 Instagram followers. that she is still learning through trial and error and how she’s improving as a young millennial running a global fashion brand.
Conna displays a true example of how believing in your vision and taking the leap to cultivate your own brand pays off in the long run, having always kept quality, consistency and style as the main points when it comes to perfecting her craft and establishing her brand
Having a vision of a having her own fashion brand despite being a teenager without any experience paid off thanks to her commitment and determination to making it a reality and consistently elevating herself. Conna continues to actively engages with customers via Twitter and addressing customer queries when it comes to the functionality of the brand to keep improving and serving her customers with the best quality.
In 2016, she went onto launch Mistress Rocks, the sister brand to House of CB based in Los Angeles and has plans to open a new flagship store in London as well as a store in Dubai and plans to launch a skin and cosmetic line in 2019.
We can all learn a thing from Ms Walker on the beauty of small beginnings and following your passion doing what you love. Because who would’ve known a 17 year old selling clothes on eBay would be at the start of launching a global fashion empire favoured by A-listers and gaining the stamp of approval from Queen Bey herself.