SELF TALK w/

Isabelle

founder of IMAGEGANG

I was born in London, lived in Brixton but moved to and grew up in Essex, in my school there were only 2 black people out of 110 students. Being inspired by London style the jewellery I wore I would get teased for in Essex, being called a “chav” but I didn’t care because I loved wearing it. When I was fifteen my mum passed away, and being an only child I ended up living with my grandparents as my dad lived in Africa. When you’re young you don’t realise how strong you are, but looking back on it I’m like that was hard. At university I studied fashion marketing I got a third, the lowest grade in the year then moved back to London. I started working doing events and travelling a lot going from London to Ibiza, learning how to run a business. I guess it was in my mind to start a business of my own, I tried to start a business when I was twenty one reselling streetwear and called it the jump off. But realised I had like £10 so that was never going to happen, I didn’t have a clue on what I was doing.

 

In 2016, I moved back to Essex after going through a bad two year relationship, a family member passing and being fired from my job. Soon after got an email from a transport company thinking it was going to be a car garage job or something, I took my uni project along and it turned out to be a fashion logistics company which I got the job for the day before my twenty fifth birthday. The owner of the company was really supportive and put confidence in me, he was a business coach, I would help his clients with marketing, he would bring me into all of his meetings to train me so that I could do it on my own and after learning the role I went on to becoming part time.

 

On New years eve 2016, my grandma got sick, that’s when I said to myself I need to sort everything out because once she passes I have no family. I sold a Celine bag I had saved for by doing my side marketing and a Moncler jacket, which gave me a thousand pounds to start Imagegang. I made a website and bought deadstock playboy necklaces on my grandma’s credit card that sold as Imagegang x Playboy necklaces, once the launch of the website happened in 2017 Imagegang blew up because there weren’t many Instagram brands around. I shot a lookbook with my friends Izzy and Dahmira who at the time was living with someone working at ASOS who sent through my lookbook to the team. Which followed with going into ASOS on the 5th of December exactly 13 years after my mum passed and placed their first order with me in January. The next thing for Imagegang is Complexcon, working on a new website for customers to personalise their jewellery with charms, I’m trying to become a sick pandora. The best thing about this process for me has been the people I’ve been able to meet,  the value that they’ve brought to my life and how they’ve helped me. 

© The Note To Self