Attire Accessories -Jul/Aug 2018 (Issue 71)

ATTIRE 129 UP AND COMING am really excited that we are now pushing this further into newer categories. It was important with both brands that we felt aspirational and luxurious. From product to packaging, I felt that this should be accessible. How were the initial products developed, and what was the response? We have a fantastic team of designers now, and we create all our designs in-house.The first collections are still some of our most iconic and well-known. From our perfect pouches to our little jewellery cards, we saw a gap in the market and wanted to create something very new and special. All our jewellery is CAD-designed in the UK, and our other graphics are made here and sent to China for production.The initial response for the Katie Loxton brand was just phenomenal. We had built a large network of gift stores via our jewellery business and were lucky that they supported our newest brand. What challenges did you face, and how were they overcome when starting the business? I’d say one of the biggest challenges at the beginning with our jewellery brand was trying to find and work with suppliers that were smaller. At that point, we didn’t have as much buying power as we do now, so it was a huge struggle to keep the quality high. Luckily, because our brand power was a lot larger by the time we developed our Katie Loxton brand, we were able to work with incredible suppliers with fantastic quality control programmes. Also, just managing our growth is a challenge, as we have an incredibly popular product and a phenomenal worldwide expansion happening. However, we always keep a very close eye on this and have clear development plans in place to ensure we don’t grow too quickly. We now have a team of over 150 people in the UK and 50 in the US and more than 2,500 stockists worldwide. Moving forward, a big focus for us is building both brands overseas while growing these teams. What is it that sets you apart from your competitors? I believe we have a product that truly delivers a higher quality than that of our competitors, especially at our price point. We work incredibly hard to ensure this happens. Also, because everything is designed in house, we have great power to lead the way with trends and new styles. The fashion industry moves incredibly quickly, and by the time our competitors are influenced by our designs, we are already on to the next big thing! We also look after all the little details. Every stitch, colour, texture and how the product is packaged is vital to its success, and we always focus on the little details! How important is the location and history of the company to its success? We are incredibly proud to be a British brand; it’s part of our brand logo and also our design. We are so lucky to have such a talented team that works with us here in the UK, with many having worked with us from the very beginning. With expansion into the US our British heritage is an incredibly powerful part of our branding and story, and I feel really proud to see this being such a positive part of our success overseas! How has the product offering changed since you started, and how would you describe your current collection? Our jewellery brand has probably changed the most over 10 years. At the beginning, we were mainly working with semi- precious stones and sterling silver. About two years into the business, the price of silver skyrocketed overnight, and we had to make a huge decision to either go with it or change. And I’m so glad that we changed to a silver-plated product. It completely reshaped how we created products and our main focus became high quality at a good price point with a strong focus on the gifting industry.This core value has translated into our Katie Loxton brand, although our product offering hasn’t changed as much with this brand. We are continuously developing new product categories and are excited to introduce more within our baby and home product ranges this season! Our current collection is heavenly high summer. We have embraced vacation chic, and our newest collection is all about bringing summer to you, whether you are home or away. Our jewellery brand has a gorgeous selection of pop-up collections, from iconic summer pop bracelets to golden sunburst charms to timeless silver classics filled with sentiment. Our Katie Loxton collection is filled with effortlessly chic products, such as our perfect pouches and our bamboo-handle bags.This collection is more design-led than ever, and we’ve had such a wonderful response to it. How often do you launch new lines? Twice a year: Spring/Summer and Autumn/Winter. We introduce about 200 new lines per brand for each collection. What trade shows do you attend and why? We hold private trade shows in the UK. We are able to show our collections earlier than the main gift trade shows, and this helps us work ahead with our new collection launches. It also allows us to spend more time with our customers and really helps them to choose the best products for their stores, which we feel strengthens the brand and makes it a success. In the US we have been showing at the NY Now show and the gift show in Atlanta.These are both phenomenal trade shows for us and are a huge part of our international expansion. We have plans to exhibit in Las Vegas this ➨