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By Hannah Connolly
As the eldest child in her family, Eve Kekeh was shocked by how quickly her siblings grew out of their clothes, and how quickly the mountains of discarded apparel began to build up.
Today, Kekeh is climbing that mountain, taking on the waste produced by the early-years fashion industry. In fact, Bundlee is the UK’s first rental subscription business for baby clothes, offering sustainable styles for affordable prices, helping break the cycle of waste.
The goal? Creating a community of conscious parents who are giving their “little ones (and yours!) a better future to grow into.”
Kekeh is amongst the first Stack World Pitch Night alumni, and 12 months on from presenting to the room of investors, supporters and fellow founders, Bundlee has partnered with Patagonia, brought on new investors, made several senior hires and reached new heights.
Here we caught up with Eve about the impact of the Pitch Night, where her entrepreneurial journey began and what the future holds for Bundlee...
Where did your entrepreneurial journey begin and have you always wanted to start your own business? I’m the eldest sister in my family and as a teenager I was so shocked at how our home was suddenly overwhelmed with all these clothes when my little siblings came along! Fast forward a few years, and I was studying abroad in the US, and tried Rent The Runway, the designer womenswear rental service, for myself - I fell in love with rental! I loved being able to rent amazing dresses on a student budget whilst being kinder to the planet. When I came back to the UK, I started to think about other areas the rental model could be applied to - kids clothes made so much sense … and the idea for Bundlee was born!
So, can you tell us a little bit more about Bundlee? Bundlee is the first rental subscription service for childrenswear in the UK. The kidswear market is so archaic and wasteful - and is ripe for disruption. It really doesn’t meet the needs of modern parents. Parents are looking for sustainability, convenience and affordability in their lives. Bundlee’s rental model gives them all that, whilst giving them access to amazing quality clothes from some of the best brands in the business.
What has been your greatest achievement so far? Partnering with brands that I admire, like Stella McCartney and Patagonia, has been pretty surreal and incredible.
Can you tell us about where you were on your Founder journey before The Stack World Pitch Night, and where are you now as a result? The Stack World Pitch night came towards the start of our fundraise. The business had grown to a few team members and we’d increased subscriber numbers by 200% in a year - so I felt we were ready to raise investment to take us to the next level.
The pitch night was such an amazing experience - getting to meet other inspiring founders, practising pitching in front of a room of so many encouraging faces was so welcoming - and I got an investor in Sharmadean out of it, which was better than I could’ve imagined! Since the night, I completed the fundraise and have since hired 2 new experienced team members and started renting clothes for toddlers.
How important do you think events like the Pitch Night are in changing the investment landscape for women-owned businesses? So important! It’s also amazing to meet a group of female founders, I left really inspired. The audience was also so welcoming and encouraging and it was great to talk to everyone after the pitches and get their advice and connections to other investors.
What piece of advice would you give someone about to head into a pitch or prepping for that big meeting? My pitching hack is to practice in an uncomfortable environment. We all tend to practice pitches in quiet rooms with no distractions - the complete opposite of what it’ll be like when you’re actually pitching! Pop your airpods on and practice your pitch out loud whilst out for a walk, everyone's just going to think you’re on a call. That way you’ll get comfortable talking when there’s other things going on - like cars and bikes driving past you - which’ll make it so much easier to pitch in front of people and you’ll stay focused even with the usual distractions like doors opening or coughing.
Where would you like to see Bundlee in the next ten years? I want Bundlee to be the leading multi-brand rental destination for childrenswear - in the UK and beyond! We have sustainability at the core of our circular service, so for me, it’s amazing to know that as we grow the business, our impact also grows. It’s also so amazing to be part of so many families lives, and to get to see their little ones growing in their sustainable styles.
What have been the benefits you have seen from being a part of a network of fellow founders and investors? Having a network is so important, both for mentors, peers and mentees. You can learn something from everyone! And you have something to teach everyone too. It’s really important to build a group you can go to and help, because when times are good you can celebrate together, and when times are tough you have established relationships to lean on.
RSVP or find out more about The Stack World Pitch Night here.
From partnering with Patagonia to getting new investors onboard, Eve Kekeh shares how our Pitch Night helped her reach the next stage for her business, Bundlee.
By Hannah Connolly
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