Today we are joined for Morning Coffee by Sabrina Sadiq, founder of pre-loved luxury shopping site, Luxury Promise who shares with us the unique approach her company has to recycling and sustaining luxury handbags.
Describe your morning routine.
So like all mothers, my morning starts with three active boys jumping on my head, then my morning call, then I get them ready for school, do the school run. Once my children are packed and safe, then I start my day. Like a Londoner, I grab my coffee on the go straight to the office and get on my day.
Tell us a little bit of Luxury Promise and what inspired it?
Luxury Promise is a marketplace for people to buy and sell luxury goods, from the comfort of their own home. How we differ from anyone else is how we use advanced technology, so we use artificial intelligence to help us price and authenticate our items. We are based here in Dubai with an office in London.
Why did you expand into Dubai?
Our business has really been built on what our customers and consumers want, so we had a big demand from the Middle East, and for me it’s a hub of luxury, it’s the ultimate destination, it’s a great hub to get to other destinations such as Asia, so really wanted to come here and have more access to a different variety of people, and be a global company.
How do you ensure authenticity?
We have highly trained staff with a combined 25 year experience in authentication, so every one of our items is checked by expert curators and authenticators. Each stitch, the hardware, the material, is all analysed by us. Once that’s been done, we run all our products through our AI technology, so we use advanced technology to help and enable the authentication process. We use image recognition, we run each image against three million photos and a microscopical image which zooms in 320 times into the products and really look deep, past the naked eye so it’s a very thorough process. Two human authenticators and an AI machine.
How has the business grown since the launch in 2016?
We were founded in August 2016 and business began in January 2017 where we had our first offices at the Bvlgari hotel in London, and from there our team is growing and our technology is growing. We have built an amazing echo system, we ship worldwide, wherever you are in the world we have a logistic to ship to you, and we don’t need your item for you to sell with us. Also growing out the technology and being innovative and creating artificial intelligence to price and working to use artificial intelligence to authenticate the item. We’ve done a lot in the year and a half and really it’s about building a community. We have members that join and we have a great communication with our consumers and our clients and you are communicating with the real experts.
Are there any brands that are particularly popular?
The three major luxury house are Chanel, Hermes and Louis Vuitton, they are the most sought after brands. Also classic pieces. Nowadays I think consumers are very savvy, they understand sustainability and they are smart shoppers so they know an item that is going to be a fast pieces and doesn’t last, so we attract and encourage our customers to go for more classical pieces.
What do you consider your biggest career success to date?
I’d like to think I’m modest. I’m still not happy where I am yet. I’m proud of what we’ve done and it’s amazing the breakthroughs that we’ve had. We’re the first company in the world to introduce artificial intelligence into the secondary luxury market, and it’s a $25 billion market. So I think we are very proud of creating a platform which is not just about the product and it’s about the clients and making sure that we have a model that is for everyone. Typically you see one model that fits all but it doesn’t work like that. So you have companies that have consignment model you part with your item, or you have companies that only allow you to upload the items yourself. We are a mix. If you are tech savvy and want to use a mobile phone to upload the item, you can do that, or if you are someone who is busy and doesn’t have time and wants us to do it, we will take that item from you too.
What’s is the motto you live by professionally?
I always say ‘don’t follow the rules of society’ just because society always gives people titles and you need to be able to do the things that you love to do and don’t try and put yourself in a frame, because society always tries to put you in a box. Everyone always asks ‘what’s your title? What’s my title going to be?’ And it should be a master of everything. Really own what you do and don’t let society to put you in that box. For example I’m a mum and everyone is like ‘you can’t be a mum and run a business, you should be at home with the children, you can’t follow your career and actually that’s not true. If you really put your mind to it, that’s what it’s about.
What’s your personal motto?
Be your own boss.
What has been the biggest challenge?
Every day is a challenge for a business. Every day you’re learning and growing and especially since we’re a tech company we’re really looking to innovate and grow a team. How can we have a global presence, and really take advantage of the digital world we are living.
Who has influenced you the most?
It will have to be my husband and my father. My father was a great businessman he followed his dream, he had an idea, he went with his gut, he worked really hard and was always a good family man. That’s what I strive to be, a good family woman and also follow my dream. My husband inspired me to do more and push myself to the next level.
If you could give your younger self one piece of advice, what would it be?
Don’t be a sheep. Even to my children I say ‘don’t be a sheep and just follow the crowd’. Do what you want to do, there’s no right or wrong.
What would you tell yourself 10 years from now?
That’s a good question. Just again, be independent, be strong, don’t be scared of failing, live out what you really enjoy doing. I was lawyer before I went into handbags, and typically you study law and people automatically think ‘you have to become a lawyer’ and it doesn’t necessarily work like that, now I sell handbags for a living. And enjoy it!
Complete this sentence: I’m happy when…
My children are happy, and of course when my husband presents me with a nice big Hermes orange box! I always say ‘happy wife, happy life’ and that’s probably his motto.
Describe your personal style in one word.
What do you say ‘no’ to?
I probably don’t say no to a lot actually. Because if you say no to everything, and are not willing to try, even if it’s outside your comfort zone I think it’s so important to do.
What book are you reading at the moment?
I’m reading the Fashion Journal 2019, talking about how everything is moving to sustainability. I think pre-loved luxury is all about sustainability, recycling and giving an item a new source of life.
How do you want the world to remember you?
Passionate and kind.