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Real Humans of Entrepreneurship: Harriet Scriven, LBS MBA ’22, Founder of Re-Style

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An MBA prepares you for myriad careers, even those of your own make and design. Harriet Scriven graduated from the London Business School to establish her start-up Fashtech company, Re-Style. In this edition of Real Humans: Alumni, discover how her unique experience at LBS guided her journey from student to successful entrepreneur.

Harriet Scriven, London Business School MBA ’22, Founder, Re-Style

Age: 32
Hometown: London
Undergraduate Institution and Major: UCL, UK; Ancient History
Graduate Business School, Graduation Year and Concentration (if applicable): LBS, 2022, Concentration in Finance
Pre-MBA Work Experience (years, industry): 8 years, Luxury Retail
Post-MBA Work Experience (years, industry): Entrepreneur, Fashtech start-up

Why did you choose to attend business school?
I chose to attend business school as I wanted to change my career path. When I applied to LBS my plan was to stay within the luxury industry, but move to a different role: after spending 8 years in marketing, I wanted to expand my skillset and understand what it took to run other business areas, such as finance and strategy. 

Why LBS? What factors figured most prominently into your decision of where to attend?
I chose LBS for several reasons, the first being the chance to attend the Walpole programme which connects students with senior figures of the British Luxury Industry: when researching business schools there were very few with the luxury credentials and connections to match LBS. The international community fostered by LBS was also key to my decision making: the element that I’d enjoyed most in my previous career was working within international markets and LBS’ diverse student cohort allowed me to continue to learn from my incredible cosmopolitan community of peers. Finally, the academic reputation of the school meant that I knew that I would be exposed to some of the brightest minds, via both the faculty and my classmates.

What about your MBA experience prepared you for your current career?
I don’t think that anything really prepares you for the reality of launching a start-up, however I can honestly say that I wouldn’t be pursuing this career path had I not done my MBA, especially due to the unique experience at LBS. The two-year course structure gave me the time to explore other industries and roles; in comparison to a 12-month course, there was greater freedom to follow my interests without the pressure of needing to get experience specific to a hoped-for post-MBA job. Without this freedom, I would have focused on going back into the luxury industry and missed out on experiencing the excitement of entrepreneurship. 

This time also gave me the space to go more deeply into academic subjects for pleasure’s sake rather than strategic skill-building, which allowed me to challenge not only my intellect but also what I had previously thought were the limits of what I could achieve. Overcoming these mental boundaries was great preparation for what it takes to run a start-up and gave me the confidence that I could achieve more than I thought possible. 

Practically, the Entrepreneurship Club at LBS gave me the exposure to the tech start-up ecosystem, both through meeting other LBS founders and opportunities to connect with the London investment network. Through the LBS Booster competition, I met the MD of Techstars London, Saalim Chowdhury, who was one of the judges: he approached me to apply for their accelerator program and they became our first investor.

What was your internship during business school? How did that inform your post-MBA career choice?
I had lots! I wanted to explore a new business area that I thought I would never get the chance to be involved with again, which led me to the start-up scene. LBS encourages part-time internships during term time, so I used this to experience working with tech start-ups of all different stages, from ideation stage to my summer internship at a scale-up. This gave me lots of hands-on experience of the reality of working at a start-up, and I caught the bug! I also used internships to gain some VC experience which gave me insight into the other big challenge of start-ups, fundraising. 

Why did you choose your current company? What factors figured most prominently into your decision of where to work?
It chose me. RE-STYLE ( was borne out a personal frustration at how difficult I found it to find a tailor that I could trust with altering my bridesmaids’ dresses ahead of my wedding (in the summer of my first year at LBS). I felt that there had to be a better solution to word-of-mouth recommendations, so my co-founder, TJ, and I launched a curated marketplace connecting people with local, trusted tailors in London. It helped that TJ and I had met whilst we were working at Selfridges and seen the headwinds of change towards consumer demand for sustainable fashion options, so we felt that the timing was right to launch a solution for this.

How has COVID impacted your industry/career plans?
I was due to do an exchange term with NUS in Singapore, however, covid cancelled these plans, and I decided if I couldn’t go to Singapore I might as well work on my start-up idea instead. If I had gone, I wouldn’t have been there for the Booster competition and I wouldn’t have met Techstars… The rest is history!

Advice to current MBA students:
–One thing you would absolutely do again as part of the job search
Explore the different opportunities available, really learn the different avenues out there to you and what piques your interest, it may be completely different to what you anticipated. Get as much experience as you can to understand the reality of various industries and career paths.

–One thing you would change or do differently?
Covid restrictions in the first year were a challenge, but apart from that I don’t think so. I had a great two years! 

What piece of advice do you wish you had been given during your MBA?
Trust the process, go bigger and bolder in your ambitions than you thought you could!

Christina Griffith
Christina Griffith is a writer and editor based in Philadelphia. She specializes in covering education, science, and history, and has experience in research and interviews, magazine content, and web content writing.