New Generation: Inês Lebre

Inês has a degree in International Business Administration by Católica Lisbon School of Business & Economics. In 2017, she creates INLU.
How did this project start?
It started by putting together an excellent team of the creative and design areas with whom it made all sense to be to launch this brand.
It arose from the intent of combining my knowledge and experience in management to a strong creative component.

Working on the footwear sector was a natural choice?
It was an area in which I saw an opportunity full of potential. Ally with great industrialists with many years of experience in footwear production but, as the majority, don’t have the necessary know-how to create and launch a brand with all that it entails (define brand position, develop the marketing plan, explore the trends and be bold about the options).

How does INLU distinguish itself?
INLU is a cool, funky and an offbeat brand. We’re fun, contemporary, unpredictable and handcrafted.
We’re part of the generation 4.0, which has to highly invest and take risks in the differentiation to leave a mark and join strategical and available production partners (it’s not easy to convince manufacturers due to daily requests for new projects).
We invest in exploring new materials, bold aesthetical combinations and in a creative and innovative communication.

As you’re going through a crowdfunding process, how is the public acceptance going?
Crowdfunding was the way we found of “being globally born in most efficient way”. In other words, we all know the Portuguese market is not enough for the survival of a high quality and differentiation brand. Gaining access to the international market is increasingly easy (namely the access to information regarding channels), but at the same time increasingly difficult (when creating a website, you’re just one more among the already thousands).
The biggest crowdfunding platforms, such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo, can be a launching pad to reach the other side of the world with a simple click.
On the other hand, 70% of the projects fail. Again, without a strong positioning, storytelling, marketing, design and team it’s almost impossible to achieve the goals.
Following the great feedback, we had a lot of opened doors in terms of sales channels and a vital reinforcement in the press and social media. Everything is getting in place at this moment.

In your opinion, what does the new generation of entrepreneurs has to offer to the sector?
An approach according to the current modus operandi, for instances, aesthetically, with a more contemporary design.
A knowledge about the fundamental tools nowadays in terms of brand communication (digital marketing, SEO, social media, websites and positioning).
Greater exposure and predisposition to embrace and explore international markets.
Ability to approach clients in a more creative way (broader, optimized and more appealing customer experience, not only just focusing on the sale).
Willingness to creative collaborations putting together international people from several domains, such as design, creativity and innovation, even if remotely.
Better access to information and support via associations, incubators, state programs, etc.