When my boyfriend and I made the decision to completely change our business model - to no longer sell wholesale, to no longer work to seasons and to work in a much more sustainable way, the majority of people we spoke to made the (understandable) assumption that COVID19 was the reason behind all of this.
Incredibly and rather strangely, COVID19 had absolutely zero to do with any of these decisions. In fact, we were making all of these changes behind the scenes, before there was even a whisper of the virus.
Our reasons for making the changes were many and varied;
~ The styles that our brand focuses on had never been trend driven. Our pieces are designed to tie in with what you already own, to be worn time and time again. The need for designing to seasons started to feel less and less in line with our ethos.
~ Our online sales were really growing and we wanted to focus on this and in turn have more of a relationship with our customers.
~ By working in this new way, our direct customers would have the opportunity to buy our high-quality styles for very reasonable prices, without the shop mark-up.
~ We own a separate interiors business that was really growing, and having more flexibility with our clothing label would allow us to juggle both businesses more easily.
~ We wanted to have more time to focus on the sustainable and ethical sides of the business.
Another more personal reason, that was such a focus, was freedom. Working for myself always appealed to me, as I loved the idea of having complete control over my own time. Not just on weekends or holidays, but everyday. Working to seasons however meant that deadlines were always imminent whether it be designing a new collection in time for Paris Fashion Week or getting production ready to go into shops by very specific dates. I loved the opportunities that came with this and I love that it has set our business up so well, but it also took away the freedom that I craved.
Fast forward a year and I'm exactly where I want to be. Deadlines have been taken away which allows me to work in such a flexible way, we have an incredibly supportive customer base for both our clothing and interiors companies, it's so much easier for me to juggle both businesses and I love the idea that going forward, I can work anywhere in the world.
I love the idea of spending most of our time in London but also living part of the year in another place/places. The possibilities feel endless which is a pretty incredible feeling.
Looking back, it feels like we were setting ourselves up for everything that 2020 was about to bring….but we didn't even know it. These strange times have made me believe that everything happens for a reason and sometimes there really is someone watching over you.
Going into fresh, new territory can sometimes take all of your strength, but it's always worth it. If you find yourself at a cross road, stay strong. Everything always works out exactly as it should.....
Photo by Jon Aaron Green