Celebrating its 1 year anniversary next month, Motilo is an online shopping community founded by Sofia Barattieri, allowing you to shop in real time with your friends. The online community is updated daily by the talented stylists at Motilo, giving shoppers plenty of pieces to create their own looks and styles that can be shared with friends.
As I was extremely excited to feature Motilo on AOF, the beautiful Ms. Barattieri was SO kind enough to answer some questions I had for her, even during her chaotic stint through London Fashion Week.
AOF: What were you doing before you founded MOTILO?
S.B.: I attended university in Rome and studied Economics and Political Science. Originally, I was looking to pursue an academic career but I ended up working as a project manager in Dubai after spending some time studying in the US. After that, I moved to London to work in finance, which kick-started my interest in business, and then I concentrated on raising my beautiful family.
AOF: What was your inspiration to launch an online shopping community? And how long was the process to actually get it launched?
S.B.:I was travelling with my best friend, Motilo’s co-founder, Maysoune Ghobash, and we had been living in different countries for years and were lamenting that we couldn’t shop together online. We imagined a space where we could create looks and style each other. From this, the idea was born and we’ve been working for almost four years to create the most interactive social shopping site on the Internet. The technology we use didn’t exist when we started, so we built what we needed. What we built was so impressive and unique that Motilo has been shortlisted for the Guardian Digital Innovation Awards’ Best Website.
AOF: Aside from being the CEO of Motilo, do you take on any other roles in fashion (such as styling or designing)? Or is that something you would ever take an interest in doing in the future?
S.B.: Being the CEO of Motilo is an all-encompassing role that takes up all of my time, but the beauty of Motilo is that I have a hand in every part of the business. I am as deeply aware of the goings on of the fashion team as I am the technical team so I am allowed the great pleasure of working within all areas of the business, including fashion.
AOF: I read in an interview you had with Global Blue you were born in Rome. What made you decide to move to London, as opposed to other major fashion cities like Paris or New York?
S.B.: My desire to move to London had little to do with fashion. I was looking to expand my career in finance and it was just a happy accident that I ended up working in fashion in one of the fashion capitals of the world.
AOF: I receive a number of e-mails from readers asking me how I got involved in “the fashion industry”, telling them the truth: I started a blog I was passionate about, I was nice, and I formed solid relationships with people. As a woman with an entire fashion business under your belt, do you have your own words of inspiration for those trying to become part of “the industry”?
S.B.: Being authentic is the best way to succeed in any business and you have to love what you do. Just as you love blogging, I am passionate about social media and fashion. The notion of togetherness is very important to me and continuing to create ideas drives me further with the business. I feel very blessed because Motilo taps into the best aspect of fashion; it makes people happy and really focuses on the playful side of shopping.
Many, many thanks to Sofia Barattieri for letting AOF into her world Register and invite your friends to shop on Motilo to create all sorts of fun looks and shop together, even from a distance!