My Way: Sarah Curran, founder of, the fashion retail website, on how to succeed at work

'Creating an online brand takes a lot of cash'
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The Independent Online

What did you want to be as a child?

I never had a specific career in mind, but I was always fascinated by clothes.

What did you think you'd end up doing?

My father ran his own business and we rarely saw him, so I was very anti-business.

Did you go to university?

No, I left school at 18 because I wanted to earn money and move to London. My first job was with a French steel importer. Not very glamorous!

What was the best and worst part about it?

The best was the team spirit; the worst that it was steel! I wanted to do something I enjoyed, so I became a sales assistant at a small fashion agency. Then I got a job with Laboratoires Garnier as merchandising assistant and space planner. After that I temped, first at News of the World, then The Times. I could see where online was going, and wanted to get in on that, so became a subeditor for Times Online, which was exciting.

Then what happened?

I had money from the sale of one of my father's businesses, and joined with a friend to open Powder, a fashion boutique.

You then moved to France – why?

My husband and I thought we'd have a better quality of life there. We kept our businesses going online, but six months after launching, we had such a fast-growing brand, we had to move back to the UK.

Do you consider yourself successful?

Success is something you judge at the end.

What are your interview tips?

I tend to look for personality more than qualifications.

What motivates you?

Creating security for my son Jake.

How do I get to be where you are?

Financial backing is crucial: creating an online brand takes a lot of cash. You also need to dedicate yourself to the business, be obsessed with your brand, and make a lot of sacrifices.