Izabella Tilley is a 23-year-old Business Management graduate from London and the founder of newly launched clothing brand, Affirmed Collective.
In the doom and gloom of the Covid lockdowns in 2020 and 2021, Izabella found she wanted to work on herself and improve her confidence, because, like many young women in their early 20’s, she found looking in the mirror a somewhat negative and daunting experience.
And so, the idea for Affirmed Collective was born.
What is Affirmed Collective?
Izabella launched her clothing brand, Affirmed Collective, in 2022 with a comfortable and stylish loungewear range that features embellished positive affirmations.
But there’s a catch.
The affirmations are reversed, so that the message is only revealed to the person wearing them when they look in the mirror.
Why did Izabella launch the brand?
Her vision was to create something truly unique, where every element of the piece is for the wearer, as opposed to the viewer.
Through this, she hoped to transform the experience of looking in the mirror from a negative to a positive one.
Izabella is really passionate about this, and emphasises the importance of passion if you want to start your own business and keep going through the tough times.
So the positivity doesn’t stop with the affirmations!
Each piece comes with its own aura card that features a playlist filled with tracks curated specifically with the particular affirmation in mind – be that “wellness”, “manifestation” or “gratitude”.
Affirmed Collective also rejects the negative connotations that can be associated with using adjectives such as “large” on size labels, and instead opts for using angel numbers such as “444” as a reference for your particular size.
What’s it like being a new business owner?
Despite the positivity both Izabella and her brand exude, launching Affirmed Collective hasn’t been all sunshine and rainbows.
The founder talks about there being lots of constantly evolving challenges, be that issues with the production of stock, delays with international shipping, or a whole host of other things.
Through her journey, she’s been able to reinvent herself from someone who took the bumps in the road personally, to a more confident businesswoman and brand owner that is calmer, more logical and solution focused.
In her own words – “things are never as bad as they seem”.
What advice would she give to other young entrepreneurs?
Like many first-time business owners, Izabella likes to do everything herself and has thrown herself into the deep end managing the end-to-end requirements of the business.
But with this comes the danger of running yourself into the ground whilst you try to build your business. She talks about often working until 3am to get things done!
Of course she doesn’t vouch for this, and stresses the importance of things like taking a step back to see the bigger picture, enforcing cut off times, and not getting caught up in nonstop ‘hustle culture’ (something that all too many young entrepreneurs fall into the trap of) in order to keep a healthy balance.
Izabella says that when starting a business, the most important thing is to “believe in yourself and just start – don’t wait until the perfect moment, because there won’t be one”.
So, what does Affirmed Collective have in store for the future?
Well, beyond expanding into new apparel categories, Izabella says the long-term aim is to be the ideal brand for manifestation and mindset by harnessing the energy created by social media for personal self-improvement in a more positive and productive way than is seen today.
What a truly lovely cause that is. We’ll certainly be keeping an eye out – what about you?
By Benjamin Parkes
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