Small Business Owner - Rowena Howie

My small business is my passion. Why? ‘I love people!’ If I could spend all day every day chatting to my customers I would.


People are inspiring! My staff inspire me every single day. All of us believe and contribute to Revival Retro being an exceptional place to work, we care and that’s what makes the difference. Every award we have ever won, every accolade and accomplishment has been an achievement by the whole team. They are amazing!


London Small business owner Rowena Howie


Integral to Revival Retro is the London boutique. For me, bricks and mortar provides the dedicated hands on service, personal recommendations and fantastic, first name basis, relationships with customers that defines exceptional retail.


You can read more about how I came to start up a London shop here.


The London shop is where we connect people, products and passions and I hope that’s evident looking at our social media, take a look at @revivalretro


Our customers are all over the world and although the shop is a destination if fans are ever visiting London, innovating and improving our e-commerce channels has to be a priority. Whether it’s offline or online though, our customers admire and appreciate the team’s friendliness, expertise and dedication.


London shop womenswear boutique


It’s just as well I have the enthusiasm, the conviction and the dedication to steer this ship because the fashion industry is in turmoil, retail is being challenged to breaking point and the British economy has taken repeated knocks these past few years. I’m often asked how I have the strength to carry on?


The truth is that small business owners are the most resilient people around. Where others see problems, we see opportunity!


One of the key ways I have taken control over our future and prevent us being rocked by every new challenge is by starting to design and manufacture our own range of clothing. This has added a whole new aspect to the business and has been a huge learning curve for me personally given I have no fashion industry background or and no prior experience in garment production. Yes I’ll admit it, I can’t even sew!


To me though, launching our own products isn’t just about growth and scale it’s about how we choose to do business. Now I can better respond to customers needs but I also now have more control over our environmental impact and am freer to examine what aspects of social responsibility we can do better at.


Rowena Howie shopkeeper London


In 2019 I celebrated the ten year anniversary of this London based small business. I wrote a series of blogs about the early years, about my love of swing dance, the journey from ‘hobbypreneur’ to shopkeeper, how I was able to open an independent shop in London, choosing a location, what bricks and mortar retail means to me and what unexpectedly turned out to be the best bit; hiring staff and creating jobs that people enjoy.


It’s not just Revival Retro either, I’m known as a small business champion, a mentor, a public speaker, a policy campaigner and lobbyist. You can find out more about what I’m up to via


My personal instagram, I am @retrorow
A professional connection on LinkedIn, I am Rowena Howie.