Getting to know you: Erika Nilsson-Humphrey

What do you currently do?

I’m the Founder and CEO of Dappad, a new bespoke shopping service for men. Dappad invites men to sign up online and discuss their styling needs with the Dappad stylist, and then they will receive a personalised box of clothing and accessories delivered direct to their door. The name Dappad comes from the word ‘dapper’ and ‘pad’ – a dapper man doesn’t need to leave his pad to get his clothes!

What is the inspiration behind your business?

Traditional in store and online shopping just doesn’t suit a lot of men anymore or even women for that matter, it is simply not a very convenient way of getting things done in modern life. Consumers want an easier and more personal experience. Previous to Dappad I worked in finance, which is a male-dominated industry, and I realised that most men don’t have the time or energy to visit a busy high street at the weekend, or trawl through online shopping sites in the evening.  We outsource so many elements of our life where we utilise experts to ensure we receive the best possible service, so why not do this for our clothing needs?

Who do you admire?

Natalie Massenet has been my role model for a very long time now. I admire her so much for how she built up Net a Porter and created this quality stamp on Net a porter – if you go there you know it’s good – I want to do the same with Dappad. She also comes across as being grounded which I think is so important. She has also had two daughters whilst running Net a Porter which shows work life balance is achievable and gives all working mums a great role model. She is very in tune with trends and can spot trends in society before they become mainstream – which I want us to do as well.

Looking back, is there anything you would have done differently?

When I launched the business I was also diagnosed with breast cancer. Since being given the all clear I now definitely have a different outlook on life and in particular how I run the business. I still want to achieve the things I wanted to achieve before I was diagnosed, but I am certainly going about achieveing those things in a different way. Previously I would always put myself last when it came to life and work, but since the diagnosis I have realised how important self care is and I now try to put myself, my health and my family first, before anything else gets tended too. If we are in good health and feel well, this can only have positive effects on work and business.

What defines your way of doing business?

I would say that the atmosphere in our office is very positive and the whole team has a very ‘glass-half full’ kind of attitude. Everyone is busy and stressed in life, but we try to remember that life goes on outside the office, and if something doesn’t work out, we learn from it and grow.

What advice would you give someone starting out?

I’d definitely say the most important piece of advice I would share with other budding entrepreneurs is to have a clear strategey and stick to it. That’s the only way to grow the business. The journey has been such a rollercoaster of emotions; excitement, fear and exhaustion to name but a few, but as long as you’re patient then it will all come together in the end.