The Startup Interview: Mallzee

Cally Russel (second from right) and the Mallzee Team

“I really like buying clothes — I like having nice clothes and stuff — but I really hate going to shops. I mean, it’s quite a broken experience; people harass you or there are loads of people and I just really dislike that whole experience of shopping.”

— Cally Russell, Founder of Mallzee

“So how do you tailor the choices to suit your customers’ tastes?” I ask Cally. “You can build a style feed for different parts of your life. So you can build a work wear style, a weekend wear style, etc and you build a profile linked to that which goes out and finds you clothes.” Although we don’t compare style feeds, I can safely assume that Cally’s work wear style feed and my own are miles apart — he’s sat in front of me wearing a casual grey shirt, black trousers, sneakers and a pair of Rayban sunglasses, a stark contrast to my ironed work shirt, chinos and pointed brown leather shoes.

“Some people are really terrified by it but, if you’ve got a good proposition, you understand your market and you can prove that you can deliver — and that’s the most important point — then there’s people out there who will want to back you.”

— Cally Russell, Founder of Mallzee

Before I finish my interview, I want to know what it is that makes Edinburgh the right environment to launch and grow Mallzee. There appear to be a few factors, not least of which are Cally’s six minute walk to work and being a passionate Scot. “I think Edinburgh proves that you can achieve and make big businesses here,” he says. “I was reading a report last night about the top ten places to start a startup in Wired magazine and they didn’t even have Edinburgh as one of the cities. We have two billion dollar companies here and a lot of the cities they covered didn’t have that. It’s time to put Edinburgh on the map and say ‘we can do this.‘” It’s fighting talk but he hasn’t finished yet. “We have fantastic technical talent, we have an entrepreneurial kind of society which is getting really strong, we have great transport links from around the world, a direct flight to wherever you want to go to, and London’s just four hours away if you need to go there and get cash out. Quality of life is fantastic as well.” Well that’s that argument made then.

The Startup Interviews

A series of interviews with the founders of Scottish start-up businesses, conducted by Christopher Sladdin in 2014 and 2015.

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Christopher Sladdin

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Digital Consultant @PwC_UK 👨🏻‍💻 | Musician | British & Wannabe German | Passionate about #Startups 🚀 & Transparency in Business

The Startup Interviews

A series of interviews with the founders of Scottish start-up businesses, conducted by Christopher Sladdin in 2014 and 2015.