1. Creating the Brand
We spent a while putting together a brand and making it look professional. We came up with the idea of The Phoenix Project as just as phoenixes are said to rise from the ashes, we want to give clothes another life. We set up our Instagram page and got ready to start receiving donations.
2. Spreading Our Wings
We began to implement our project in College by placing donation boxes in boarding houses, as well as putting up digital posters, sending out emails and speaking in each of the year group assemblies. We were struggling to set up a website, but we sent out a survey and the overwhelming majority said they would prefer to purchase clothes through Instagram at that time.
3. Launch Event
Taking the feedback from our initial project plan we decided to hold a launch event to promote our project and build a budget to set up a website and fund the project. We organised a pop-up shop in a venue we were offered for no cost. We had an amazing response to this with the shop becoming incredibly busy. Some 50 people purchased items giving us nearly £400 to reinvest into the project.
4. Changes due to the global pandemic
Inevitably, we had to make some changes as the lockdown was announce. This did however, quickly push us to expand out of Bradfield and we can now send clothes to anyone in the UK. We have had to put a pause on donations but are encouraging people to use this time to sort through their wardrobes. This has shifted our focus to finding sustainable packaging and promoting our brand. An Instagram fashion influencer and blogger has offered to promote The Phoenix Project and we have had contact with Strictly Come Dancing professional Katya Jones which we hope will turn into another opportunity to promote our service.
5. Future Plans
The Phoenix Project has had a number of successes, but we don’t intend to stop. We want to expand and will be holding more pop-up shops as soon as we can. We want to support primary schools in holding their own pop up clothes stores as well as using contacts at other secondary schools to increase our reach and spread awareness.
People have been asking for more professional photos, so we’re going to invest in equipment to be able to carry this out. We will keep expanding our website as, despite the success of the Instagram and pop-up shop side of the business, we fully recognise that there are some people who simply do not have social media or prefer more conventional methods of shopping.