Nina Brener-Hellmund - Secrets to Becoming a Successful Fashion Entrepreneur

Describe your style in three words.
Original, vintage-inspired, statement

How did you discover Bulletgirl Jewelry?
My cousin, Jessica Meyer is the founder, and the first pieces of bullets were made from reproduced bullets from one of our family businesses. I have followed her journey from the very first day. I am so proud of the amazing brand that Jessica has built. 

How do you feel when you wear BulletGirl Jewelry? 
I love wearing BulletGirl because it’s a conversation starter. There is always an interesting story to tell behind every piece, which can mean so many different things to each individual. For me personally, I feel bold wearing BulletGirl - not only because I think the jewelry elevates any outfit, but because of the deeper rooted meaning behind the bullet, as a protective charm. 

You are the founder and CEO of Cult Mia - an incredible platform for unique fashion discovery. How did you come up with the idea and what inspired you to start your business?
I saw three exciting opportunities in the luxury marketplace model during my time at Moda Operandi. First, there was a problem of differentiation. I noticed that despite attempting to curate unique offerings, luxury marketplaces very rarely offered a truly differentiated assortment. I found existing platforms repetitive: the same designers, the same experience. Clean and efficient, but sterile. Second, was a problem of discovery. The process of true discovery wasn’t hassle-free or engaging. It’s very time consuming to find something unique. Where do you begin the search and how can you vet quality? Third was value. With luxury prices increasing and fast fashion competing on razor thin margins, It’s difficult to find unique quality pieces at affordable prices. I started Cult Mia to solve these customer pain points, knowing that shopping has become about stories, but equally about experiences. Cult Mia’s customers have the world at their fingertips, with access to exclusive drops every Monday. The curated selection takes you from Rio’s Swim Week to Copenhagen’s athleisure catwalks in a matter of clicks. One year into our journey, Cult Mia has grown as an e-commerce platform centered around emerging fashion curation, scouting for the unique, but at more accessible price points. 

One of the most exciting parts of your job must be scouting for new brands! How do you pick which emerging designers to feature on Cult Mia?
We have a dedicated fashion team that evaluates around 50 brands a week and handpicks 3-4 brands to showcase in our weekly drops. We follow our onboarding criteria to ensure brands tick our boxes in terms of quality, price, sustainability, design, trends and customer demand. We have built a brand sourcing partners network that consists of PR agencies, influencers, fashion authorities and schools, to name a few, who share their pipeline of most exciting new fashion designers with us.  But our favorite place to source brands is our community. We give our community the power to influence the brands we sell on our platform, by voting and sharing the brands they want to shop on Cult Mia. 

What's one thing you've learned as a founder, that you wish you could tell yourself when you started? 
Set-up your analytics from day 1! There is so much you can learn, pivot and test from the onset. 

One year ago, we featured BulletGirl Jewelry on Cult Mia! What was your favorite piece? 
We loved collaborating with BulletGirl last fall. We put together a physical pop-up in Belgravia (check out some of the items we featured). Personally, I loved this thin pearl choker - perfect for every night out. My Pomeranian puppy, Siesta, loved her BG dog tag.  

nina in green slip dress

Having lived in London for the past few years, how would you describe London fashion in a few words? 
Very different to the Texan style, that’s for sure! While London is still a major fashion capital, the city has such a wide range of styles. I think there is a strong luxe minimalist feel, combined with romantic and iconic British influences, with a bit of a punk rocker undertone. Think floral flowy dresses, long cashmere blazers and combat boots. 

Do you have a life motto? 
Don’t do things you can do today, tomorrow.