Amber Atherton
Founder and CEO of
My Flash Trash, 
United Kingdom

Q: What drives you crazy?

A: When I watch people visit our website, load up their cart…and then leave! I’m obsessed with improving our user journey.

Hustling from one learning experience to the next

I was always obsessed with the idea of running my own company. At 9 years old, I used to hand out business cards in the playground with the aspirational, albeit fictitious, address of 1 Beverly Hills, New York. Clearly geography was not my forte, but I loved spotting gaps in the market from an early age. From an online store selling CDs and books, to a customized toy company (Cuddly Couture), to dim sum – my mini ventures were fueled by the desire to create something that people felt cool being a part of.

When I was 16, I founded a blog that scaled into one of the biggest online jewelry marketplaces in Europe – valued at over $5 million. Along the way, I interned at Vogue, dropped out of university and raised money. With no family background in business, I just hustled my way from one experience to the next, learning as I went along and overcoming challenges like hiring and managing a team. As an only founder, it’s key to link up with other entrepreneurs who are on the same journey as you and who can remind you to keep believing. Sure, it’s fine to pivot and fail, but perserverance is what really counts.

Amber Atherton learned to code from an early age and set up her first online business at the age of 9 selling books and CDs. After modeling and appearing on TV, Amber founded her multi-million pound jewelry company, My Flash Trash, when she was 16 in 2007. She was recently featured in the Forbes 30 Under 30 list and judged at the National Enterprise Challenge Finals. Amber is a frequent speaker at global conferences, schools and universities.

This article was published in ‘the Hundert Vol. 8 – Female Startup Founders Europe’, May 2016.