Hiya Rebecca! Welcome to the blog, it’s amazing to have you here on Female Founders Friday! Could you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Absolutely, my name is Rebecca Marley (unfortunately no relation to Bob) and I originally come from Cheshire however I have been living in Newcastle for the past 7 years. I moved up in 2012 for University and after graduating, three courses and four years later, from Business with Marketing Management I decided to stay in the North East.
I knew as a graduate I would be able to live a better lifestyle than in other parts of the country, a little goes a long way up here so I really was able to work hard and play hard. Quite soon after graduating I was able to land a job within a fast-paced advertising agency who had a pretty impressive portfolio, it was extremely hard work and long hours but it gave me some invaluable work experience over the 3 years I was there.
I have always wanted to run my own business, it must be in my DNA because both my parents and one of my brothers have been or are business owners. I had the idea in my head for a few years but I wanted to get some real world working experience before I took it seriously.
It was a combination of events that gave me the push I needed to really go full time on my business and right now I could not be more grateful for them.
Oh that’s fantastic! When did you officially launch We Are Auburn?
I was accepted onto a pre-accelerator in September so handed my notice in and went full time with We Are Auburn in October 2018. It did originally start as something a little different but the publication launched in January 2019.
What does the brand offer to females?
We are Auburn is an online lifestyle publication that provides the tools, resources, products and services to give you the confidence to conquer your world. Whatever your world may be. We believe that competence comes from competence and that is why we aim to provide as much information as possible on a wide range of topics that we know are important to women in the UK.
We currently post around 4-5 articles on our website each week all with the purpose of empowerment. We want the reader to feel either inspired, uplifted, informed, driven or all of the above after finishing the article. To ensure our content is as accurate and informative as possible we also team up with likeminded women who feel as passionately about the We are Auburn movement as we do who are experts in their field to collaborate with.
We also send out a weekly e-newsletter on a Thursday that includes a weekly roundup of the latest and greatest as well as exclusives, sneak peaks and a behind the scenes look at a female founded start up business.
Could you explain the meaning behind the name – We Are Auburn?
So most people would say that finding a name for their business is the hardest thing to do and I do not disagree. I toyed for years with multiple names, looking at Greek Goddesses, empowerment in different languages, words that represent wellbeing and confidence but not of them really resonated with me until one day when someone asked me about my personal journey with self-confidence.
I was born with red hair but until 9 months ago it was dark dark brown – I dyed it the moment I turned 16 as I did what all young women wanted to do, blend in.
I hated how much it would make me stand out. I spent years as a brunette and at the time I loved it, it allowed me to be more than just my hair colour, establish who I was and what I stood for, it gave me the confidence to speak up without the constant fear of someone shouting ‘shut up ginge’ back at me. I needed that time.
Recently, I came to realise that what made me different wasn’t something to hide but it was something to embrace and stripping the colour out was one of the best decisions I could have made for myself. It was empowering to look in the mirror and see the person I had tried to box away for so long for the fear of standing out look…. Confident.
This journey of learning to accept who I was is the inspiration behind the name of my company. It does not represent my hair colour, it represents every single woman who is on the journey of loving who they are and features they were born with because at the end of the day that is what makes you unique, it’s your culture, it’s your family, it’s your history and you should be proud of that.
How would you describe your brands mission/purpose?
So when I was doing some market research into the UK female consumer I stumbled across a recent study by Dove that stated UK Women have the SECOND LOWEST confidence score in the WORLD! This really took me back, I mean, I knew self-confidence is something that affects everyone (men and women) I just did not realise how low we were in the whole entire world. I guess it was this fact that really lit a fire inside me and motivated to try and do something about it. Naturally, off the back of reading this I had countless conversations with some pretty kick ass women about the topic of confidence. It was interesting to hear how confidence is different for everyone and where speaking in public may be one woman’s Achilles heel, wearing the right clothes or accepting their features may be another’s. What was consistent though was information, every woman I spoke to told me that confidence comes from competence – the more information we have empowers us to make more confident life choices.
We are on a mission to improve the self-confidence of women throughout the UK.So whether your version of success is bossing the boardroom, travelling the world or just saving up enough money to move out of your parents house.We want to help women find what they might want their world to be/what their version of success is and give them the confidence to achieve it.
Love that so much! For those of us who are newly discovering We Are Auburn, what can we expect to see in the upcoming months?
Over the next few months we are going to be collaborating with even more empowering females who are experts in their field to deliver more content that is engaging and informativeas well as continuing to feature our in-house experts on a regular basis.
We also have podcasts on our radar, something we like to call CONFI-sations to feature all types of women and hero their own personal stories with self-confidence. In addition, we are working with some super talented female artists to create bespoke illustrations that we have some plans for up our sleeve so watch this space.
I believe you created a hashtag #weareconfident – how can we use and support this?
Correct – We want women to own who they are and make no apologies. We are not each others competition, we stand with each other – confident women empower women so created #weareconfident, I wanted to create a space where women can share their personal stories with self-confidence in the hopes that their journey may inspire, empower and help another.
We profile different and amazing women and are always on the lookout for more inspiring females to join the movement (yes, you). If you are interested we have a section on our website where you can just drop me an email showing your interest and I will get back to you with next steps.
Perfect! Can you walk us through a day in the working life as Rebecca?
Personally, 9 – 5 does not work for me as I am a bit of a night owl and have come to realise I am way more productive in the afternoon/evening. I know I can not work from home. At all. I have tried it and I end up doing one hour before Greys Anatomy goes on and then I am 3 episodes deep, working from the sofa also gives me a bad back so I rent a desk in Newcastle city centre.
I usually wake up around 8am then spend 30 mins in bed catching up with any social media activity that might have gone on over night. I then get the bus into town with my travel mug filled with coffee listening to a podcast; my favourites at the moment are The High Low, How I built This, Happy Place and MindBodyGreen.
I will try my best to get to a Yoga class for 10:30 and then back to the office to complete my tasks with maybe a coffee date thrown in for a bit of a break.
I have got into a bit of a bad habit with Marks and Spencers ready meals – the last thing I want to do when I get home is cook and when you are only cooking for one it can be a lot of work for a little, it also can get quite expensive if you want to cook something different from scratch every day. So I get the Count on Us range and that allows me to eat a variety of things and I also think it is way more cost effective. I then usually do an extra hour or two of work before I go to sleep.
Lastly, what advice would you give to anyone who is perhaps struggling to accept themselves?
Self-confidence ultimately comes down to you and only you are in control. Do not give anyone else the power to influence it. If you ever want to change anything then please think about who you are doing it for because if anything, it should be yourself.
If you are stressed out over looking a certain way or body feature for love from someone else then f**k them because I can tell you that they are not the one for you. If you are doing it for society then f**k that too because I know for a fact that people who are true to themselves and live an authentic life really do strive. Confidence really can make you unstoppable and empower you to reach for your goals. There is no magic potion. It is literally just you and you are enough.
Thank you so much Rebecca! It’s been amazing to learn so much about you and your biz. I look forward to following you on this new journey.