Two close friends and I founded Artell Accessories in 2015. The company was born from a dream of creating a world-renown luxury fashion brand. This vision began early on, in my final year of secondary school. However, the dream was too big for us to start at this time due to the high costs of starting a full clothing brand, especially for a couple of 15/16 year olds. We finally embarked on our journey in the summer of 2015 as I consulted two close friends and we decided to start small focusing on accessories. We launched our first collection in the winter of 2015 as we entered our final year of undergraduate studies.
The journey to creating a successful business is a difficult one; this is something we learnt very early on in our company. We launched our first collection with Croco leather iPhone 6 cases and cardholders. Many friends expressed their desire to purchase the products. We put a lot of hope in this to happen. However, it did not. A week after launch, two weeks, three weeks, the orders were not pouring in in the way we expected. This taught us to manage our expectations. This also taught us not to rely on friends and family to buy from you.
Boxing Day of 2016, we launched our second collection. We decided to double down on our dream, and poured more money into the company to create Saffiano leather iPhone cases and cardholders, offer personalisation on the products, do a high quality photoshoot and update our website. We strategized and decided to start sending fee items to social media influencers. We experienced a lot of growth in 2017 and as a result, introduced eyewear into our product range. However, we still had a range of constraints. With all of us working/studying (at this time two of us were in postgrad studies), running a business and juggling normal life can become extremely difficult. However, to become successful at anything, you must be willing to make sacrifices. That meant cutting down on certain social activities and spending to invest back into the business.
Early 2018 we launched our third collection, which included Suede iPhone cases and Cardholders. This year we wanted to work on improving the quality of our products and the quality of the content we put out on our social platforms. It is important that your brand DNA is consistently communicated to your existing and potential audiences. Again, this is not an easy thing to do; creating high quality content can be costly. However, we decided that we would make the absolute most of what we have. We invested in a camera so we would not have to keep paying for a photographer and we used friends or mutual friends who would make good models to keep costs low. In business, if you are constrained for resources, you need to be able to maximise what you can get out of what you have and leverage your connections.
In December 2018, we decided to rebrand our company from Artell Accessories to Maison Artell. This move was made based on our original dream. To create a world-renowned luxury fashion brand. It was important that we ensure there is no confusion with our name when we move into clothing items. In 2019, we aim to continue to improve our company, bringing new items such as caps, bags and some clothing items along with much more engaging content. I hope that this post allows you to see that dispute the obstacles, if you believe in your dream; you will always find a way.
You can shop Maison Artell’s latest collection here!