At the heart of our business is people. Customers, staff, friends and fans. Suppliers, freelancers, associates and peers. However we are connected, this business wouldn't run without all the different amazing people who bring our mission to life.
When I wrote my first business plan in 2009 the primary stated value was that "we are inclusive". In every updated version including this year's that remains true.
Initially this was a desire to build a sense of community and to create a welcoming space in our bricks and mortar shop. That desire was based upon personal experience of being made to feel like an outsider, having been judged, experiencing prejudice and having been treated like a second rate citizen. I know I am not alone in that experience so where it is within my power I will do all I can to ensure no other person is made to feel that way. Not on my watch.
Ten years later my commitment to inclusivity is unaltered but my perspective has broadened, in part thanks to the interactions with the many fabulous women who I have met in the shop, have introduced me to their perspective, have shared their experience and we've discussed their ideas about the things that matter. I also read and research beyond my comfort zone, I network extensively and care about what's happening in the world. I try to adopt a more thoughtful approach, one that is rooted in but isn't bound by my own lived experience.
People deserve respect, it's fundamental, right? So, as a business owner i.e. having some degree of influence / public profile / an audience that is listening, there is a level of responsibility. I take that seriously. If I can be a leader I will forge the way, where I follow I will try to listen and learn. If I let you down I will ask how I can do better, because hand in hand with respect is trust. Trust is important.
It's the law not to unfairly discriminate but a commitment to encouraging equality, diversity and inclusion should go beyond that. At Revival Retro we try to do more. The whole team is engaged and motivated behind this objective. In the hundreds and thousands of little actions, many seemingly insignificant, which add up to not just what we stand for but how we conduct ourselves. We try to check for unconscious bias, encourage open forums of discussion and lead with a diversity agenda - even where our industry / sector is still failing to adapt and change. These are all part and parcel of how we emulate our values in all of our endeavours.
A diverse workplace encourages diversity of thought, expression and innovation which is good practise and good for business. We aim to recruit, develop and retain talented individuals. We hire, work and collaborate with an extensive pool of skilled freelancers where we try to play a part in developing people to their full potential. Equity and intersectionality being recognised as important parts of striving for greater equality.
I am Rowena Howie and Revival Retro is my woman owned business that I have been running since 2009. I am also proud member of the LGBTQ+ community. I am a mixed race person of colour. These identities do not reduce or define me, they are a part of who I am and how I choose to conduct my business.
Rowena Howie (she/her)
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The Revival Retro Boutique
30 Windmill Street, London, W1T 2JL (Goodge Street, Tube)