BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: Business
Front Page 
World 
UK 
UK Politics 
Business 
Market Data 
Economy 
Companies 
E-Commerce 
Your Money 
Business Basics 
Sci/Tech 
Health 
Education 
Entertainment 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
AudioVideo 
Friday, 14 April, 2000, 11:54 GMT 12:54 UK
Ready2 make millions

Who is the most high-profile of the dot.com entrepreneurs?

Martha Lane Fox seems to have lost some of her media lustre, and snapping at her heels are Susannah and Trinny.

Both are fashion journalists turned internet business people, and an aggressive advertising campaign has built on the public awareness created by their Daily Telegraph column and Granada television shows.

The campaign, featuring both naked except for strategically placed shopping bags, melons and fried eggs, made Page Three in The Sun.

"You couldn't buy Page Three in the Sun," Trinny Woodall crows.

Ready2shop might be their fashion advice website but Susannah and Trinny are the brand.

Their understanding of the brand and how it will launch them into the realm of internet millionaires is what makes the two stand out.

Selling the brand

The two launched Ready2shop late last year.

It is the first of a number of sites planned under the Ready2 umbrella.

The launch is supported by a multimillion pound advertising campaign by Bartle Bogle Hegarty.

"It was a very startling ad campaign," agrees Trinny. "I think we needed to do it because we needed to stand out. At the moment we have a bigger awareness than Ready2.

" It has achieved what we wanted it to achieve. We don't want to slap a model in our campaign."

Since the campaign, traffic has increased dramatically, Trinny said, and the site now has 120,000 users.

Even prior to the campaign, they had a strong following. A mention of a Marks & Spencer suit in their weekly Telegraph page saw the suit sell out in days, Trinny said.

Ready2 what?

So tear away the posters and the hype and what does the website offer?

Type in your details and they find the perfect fit

It claims to cut out the hard work by choosing the best clothes from the High Street.

Click on the website, type in what clothes you want and your measurements and it suggests clothes and where you can buy them.

It also features a database of gifts for men, women and children.

"It is still sending you back to the High Street, but it is a timesaver," Trinny said.

Later in the year, the Ready2 brand will offer advice on health and beauty, travel, weddings, divorce and career, which they hope will attract between 300,000 and 400,000 users this year.

Ready2 hopes to make money by e-commerce, advertising and sponsorship.

Those regular users will provide Ready2 with a wealth of information about their likes and dislikes, data which can be sold to potential sponsors.

The US and Europe are potential Ready2 markets.

"You can't go into the US and launch a site cold. If we go in with a media partner and we already have a TV show and a book, we'll get a better reception," she said.

Having raised 5m last year, they now hope to raise a second round of funding.

Friends in need

Ready2 works because of the founders' friendship, cemented when the two set up a fashion advice page for the Daily Telegraph in 1996.

Are they on the same wavelength? "Unbelievably so," she said. "It is a brilliant relationship."

Both, unsurprisingly, have worked in marketing.

On top of that Trinny brings to the partnership six years experience as a commodity saleswoman in the City.

Susannah has a career in fashion journalism and PR, and is responsible for launching Prada and Dolce & Gabbana into the UK market.

Behind the hard business sense of what they do, there are strong overtones of Absolutely Fabulous.

The 30-strong female team are to move to new offices, where the likeable Trinny promises Friday lunchtime yoga and a food bar that offers energy food as well as food that is good for PMT.

The two have employed only women and the site is designed to "think and act like a woman", the press release says.

The accents of Trinny and Susannah - a former girlfriend of Viscount Linley - place them at the posh end of the dot.com spectrum. Is this the secret of their success?

"It has nothing to do with privilege. It has a lot more to do with passion and perseverance," said Trinny.

"It is so irrelevant. I think for me where I am today is because I have worked very hard," she said.

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
BBC RADIO NEWS
BBC ONE TV NEWS
WORLD NEWS SUMMARY
PROGRAMMES GUIDE
See also:

09 Apr 00 | Business
Lastminute grabs travel spotlight
15 Mar 00 | Business
Floating out of favour?
02 Mar 00 | Business
Martha my very dear
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to other Business stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Business stories