Here is a selection of features from Attire Accessories magazine.
Pomegranate London Founder Katie Bulatovic evolved her brand from market stalls to a bricks and mortar stall in London, and has developed a loyal customer base that returns year-on-year. Tell us a bit about your store and how you came to open the business. I had been trading for many years through fairs and various market stalls and my sister, who owned the restaurant next door to my shop, let me know that it was available to rent and I jumped at the chance to finally have a fixed address – and also to work next door to her! Is the location important to the success of your store? Our shop is on one of the oldest garden squares in London and, whilst not on the high street, it is a frequently used walk through up to the high street. We are in such a beautiful spot and I think customers like us being this hidden gem they have chanced upon.
Hot Tomato Director, Alex Machin, sees challenges as a learning curve, and has built a successful and thriving business offering guilt-free, affordable products. "We started trading in a very modest way in 2007. I was working as an agent at the time we set up the company and ran both businesses in tandem for the first few years. Our first range consisted of one style of silk scarf in 24 colours from Vietnam – I sold them out of the boot of my car as I travelled around seeing my customers – those were the days!"
Merci Maman founder Beatrice de Montille shares how the company holds motherhood at the heart of everything it does, and how it grew from a work-from-home job to the successful jewellery business it is today. Beatrice de Montille started Merci Maman over 15 years ago. After the birth of her second child, her employer rejected her request for a part-time role and she couldn't get the work-life balance she needed, so she started her own activity, originally as a sole trader working from home. However, she always had that entrepreneurial flare. She was hoping to create a few jobs but did not envisage that it would become so big. The company has had over 60 employees spread between London, Paris and Belin at the peak last year!
Ronin Jewellery designs and makes all of its jewellery in its own studio, and is proud of the fact that the brand is British made. When did you start up and why? We (Simon Morton & Kay Griffith) set up Ronin Designs in 1997 but at that time we were producing greetings cards. We didn't start doing jewellery until 2009 and we quickly decided to focus on that, giving up greetings cards. What prompted you to launch the business? We both have a creative background in photography and textile design respectively and we wanted to work together.
The supply chain affects every industry to some degree, from the movement of products and labour to finding the right tools for the job. And making sure that you can provide your customers with the best experience is key for the running of any business. Customer satisfaction can cause loyalty for your business, making it an important factor to consider. To maintain this, you need to adapt to changes and challenges which you will face, including problems with the supply chain. Here, Peter Campbell of Snowshock, a UK based slush machines and slush syrups business, explores what the supply chain is, what issues it can face, and how businesses are managing to navigate these issues successfully.
Having launched 34 years ago, Opticaid has had its fair share of trials and tribulations. Now stronger than ever, it's 'fashion & function' ethos and stylish glasses range is one to note. We started in 1989, which makes us 34 years old this year – a great achievement. My father in-law Roger Marchbank started the business in his mid '60s! Roger was very entrepreneurial – he knew that the regulations had changed and you no longer had to be an optician to sell reading glasses. So in his words he found some potential suppliers and bought totally the wrong thing!
Starting in the height of the Pandemic, Wag&Wool creates matching pet and human accessories – a growing trend in the UK. March 2020, the pandemic gave us all a chance for pause and introspection. For me, it was an opportunity to put the vitality of the high fashion industry on hold and concentrate on a project closer to my heart. Having shared my life with dogs since I can remember, I wanted to begin designing a beautiful range of gift-worthy knitwear for dogs. The lightbulb moment came to me when I met my friend and her dog, Monti, on a particularly chilly day in Brighton. We wrapped Monti up in one of my hand-knitted lambswool scarves to keep him cosy and I never looked back. Wag&Wool was born.
Alison and Simon Henderson took a leap of faith and launched Earth Squared following a redundancy in 2001. Stronger than ever, the company keeps an eye on trends and listens to customer's needs with its popular products. As with any business, every day is a learning day! They have faced (and overcome) lots of challenges but the main one has probably been establishing a reliable and long term relationship with their production partners in Vietnam – who they have worked with almost since the outset.
Prior is a not-for-profit independent shop and workshop space in Bristol committed to creating a conscious and mindful shopping experience by only stocking sustainably made modern lifestyle products: homewares, accessories, clothes, jewellery and skincare. They support local brands and are a hub of information for local makers, wanting to ensure everything created has a positive impact for its local and wider community, and of course, the planet.
E-commerce jewellery marketplace Pearls & Pomegranates offers a curated experience for customers and jewellers that focuses on sustainability, ethics, quality, and independent design. Founder Natalia Kübler tells us more... Pearls & Pomegranates is an e-commerce jewellery marketplace for ethical and sustainability-focused independent jewellery designers and makers. With Pearls & Pomegranates, my focus is to empower independent design and craftsmanship while giving consumers a centralised place to shop from small business jewellers, who otherwise can be difficult to find.