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Alumni Stories: Alice and Fleurette

Fleurette Mulcahy (Geography, 2014) and Alice Holden (Geography, 2014) have started up their own lingerie company offering D+ cup bras after identifying a untapped gap in the market. The girls became friends just before Freshers’ week and grew closer during their time studying Geography at King’s. As part of our Q&A series, they tell us more about how their experience at King’s has shaped their career.

alice and fleurette

Please describe your career to date.

Our career to date is more or less Attollo! Both of us currently have Saturday jobs which we’ve had for years, and both have had previous jobs such as tutoring, coaching, and teaching at international summer schools. Our goals and ambitions for our future career, likewise, are centred around Attollo. Until we, as a team have solved the current issues which D+ women face, there is a place for Attollo in the market. Until that is solved we as a brand have not fulfilled our mission. Once we have improved D+ bras (and matching knickers), we’re setting our sights on improving nightwear, swimwear, sportswear and possibly shapewear. We even have ideas for improving men’s underwear! We are a problem solving team, currently solving them one bra at a time. 

What has been the most exciting experience in your work/business endeavours?

Every day is completely different and that’s the beauty of it. One of the most interesting things about our job is meeting the people we have – and speaking to people such as Richard Reed, cofounder of Innocent Smoothies and Nick Jenkins, founder of Moonpig. To top it off, and having gained confidence, we’ve now written to entrepreneurs and business owners that are great inspirations to us, and had the privilege to meet with them as a result. We’ve also been lucky enough to meet Anita Le Roy, the woman behind Monmouth Coffee, and Chrissie Rucker, founder of The White Company. 

Having the advice of people with such an aptitude for business and knowing their opinions about Attollo is one of the most exciting things to date. It’s such an honour! The most exciting experience so far has been holding our sample lingerie, which really put all our hard work into perspective. When we initially had the idea to solve the problem of D+ bras as Geography students, we had no idea how we would bring it to life. Finally holding our first range was incredibly rewarding and seeing them worn really proved that we had achieved what we set out to.

In what ways did your time at King’s influence you?

King’s couldn’t have been more influential for Attollo. For starters, without King’s Attollo wouldn’t exist! Having met and become course friends, it only took 18 months before our friendship turned into us being business partners. A drink at the Waterfront Bar is responsible for this, having decided at the end of a second year coursework deadline that better bras were needed in the world for D+ women.

Is there anywhere on campus/in London that holds any special memories of your college days, or do you have a favourite memory from your time at King’s?

King’s Strand campus will always be a special place for the two of us. Attollo was born in the Waterfront Bar, therefore that’s a very special place; maybe the view of the Thames had some input in some wacky blue-skies thinking! 

The Maughan Library – we jokingly say was the first Attollo HQ; it was the first office if you like, where we worked so late and so frequently that the night bus was caught more times from the Maughan in our final year, than from nights out! The Maughan is where we worked for the first year of Attollo’s existence, from incorporating the company to designing our first logo and website.

Somerset House is without a doubt one of our favourite places in London, and it’s a tradition that as a pair we go and skate there at Christmas. We frequently still work from Somerset House, especially now it’s the summer and we can sit by the fountains catching up on emails, still within range to pick up King’s Wi-Fi.

What advice would you give to students/alumni for success in life after King’s?

We’re still on the road to success with Attollo, but since leaving King’s we’ve experienced people’s great respect for the institution and its graduates.  Therefore, having a qualification from King’s is an incredible foundation to build your career on. 

Our advice for success in life after King’s is simple; find your passion and work hard at it! 

Who/what has been most inspirational to you in your life?

“Carpe diem, carpe noctem, carpe monde”

‘Seize the day, seize the night, seize the world’ is something that has been true with us since the day we began Attollo, and these are sayings that stick with us daily. 

Our families instilled in us that anything is possible if you work for it, and are determined, driven and passionate – all important lessons that we put into practice every day. 

D+ women and their experiences of the market also act as one of our biggest inspirations. There’s nothing greater for us than hearing how women can’t wait to wear Attollo lingerie and finally solve their everyday lingerie qualms. They keep us on track, motivated and really inspire us to deliver the best brand and products.

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