What's your background?
Having studied Economics at university, I went on to work in strategic management consulting with a strong digital focus for seven years. Gleam came after that, bringing together a few things I love. Whilst I bring in more of a business background, Gleam’s Co-Founder Andreia Campos, brings in a strong marketing, fashion and retail background. We ended up complimenting each other in both strategic and operational aspects of running and growing the company.
What inspired you to become a founder?
I think there’s something very appealing in the idea of creating and developing something that you can not only influence but also grow. By working on a start-up you get to move in a fast pace environment and see almost immediate impact of any decision you take on. This is great and fulfilling. There is also something very satisfying in the freedom you have to surround yourself with people who share that same vision and passion.
Gleam tries to help its users answer the question we all ask ourselves every morning – "what am I going to wear today?" The idea actually arose from a discussion in which I confessed that there are mornings when I stare at my closet and haven't a clue what to wear.
Please walk me through your day, what does the Founder of Gleam do?
Our day starts with emails and checking the App! Once we get to the office the hours fly by in a whirlwind of to-dos; from checking in with the development team to discussing design proposals, to business development and a myriad of other tasks. We try to be organized with a priority list, but sometimes life happens and everything has to be re-organized at the last minute. This is not a 9-to-5 job, but that’s what we love about it.
People who haven’t (yet!) worked at a start-up might think that the job description of a “Founder” sounds very glamorous, the truth is, its not. You basically have to do whatever is needed, and this goes from organizing coffee and biscuits for a meeting, to pitching to investors, and everything in between.
Can you see yourself in ten years doing the same thing you do now?
What is the best advice you ever received?
Focus on one or two very important goals for your business and channel all your energy into getting them done. Don’t spread yourself thin by worrying about every little detail and always keep the big picture at the top of your mind. If you get those things done, everything else will fall into place naturally.
What is the most important thing you’ve learned in the last year?
Building on the answer above, sometimes you have to let go of the tiny details. As a startup team grows it’s hard to let go of the things you were once responsible for. You may be a perfectionist at heart but empowering the team to deal with issues as they arise is the most important thing to allow the project to grow.
And what are your plans for the future?
We want Gleam to continue on the growth path we started in this first year of operation – we aim to continue expanding our current user base of over 250.000 to more global markets. Our roadmap and goals are all focused on becoming the best global fashion discovery and intelligence platform. We want individuals to have only one place that springs to mind whenever they are trying to figure out what to wear.
If you could do one thing differently, what would it be?
When we first launched the Gleam app we only did so in English, despite the fact that we wanted to become a global tool. It took us a while to understand that there was a market need for language localization, especially given the fact we wanted to launch into Latin American economies. Now I'm happy to say we have launched Gleam in the 7 languages.
Any advice for Portugal's women?
Technology and the start-up world may seem like a very male dominated environment, but there’s change in the air. If you have an idea you’re passionate about just do your best to try to make it happen and don’t be afraid to fail. From the micro to macro-level, from daily tasks to strategic decisions, trust your instincts, but never be afraid to ask for help. There are a lot of people out there who are willing to help and want to share their insights.