Generation Start Up
Yearning to start her own brand, London blogger and surfer Kylie Griffiths teamed up with her partner and did just that. Here’s how:
I’ve always wanted to start my own dream clothing line aimed at women who love sports and the fitness lifestyle.
I grew up in a city and got into surfing at a later stage in life, so I wanted to create a clothing brand to reflect my balance of city and ocean life. My partner Carl’s background is in skateboarding, whereas mine is in fashion and now surfing, so we decided to bring together our shared knowledge of street, skate, surf and city life to create (hopefully!) a fun, wearable line.
The inspiration behind our first collection is the retro surf culture and our recent spate of travelling in places such as Venice Beach and Hossegor. We’ve called it ‘Peace Out’, to reflect the retro surf slogans and suggest instant affiliation with the surf and skate culture. The collection is designed to be the sort of clothing you would chuck on after a long surf or skate.
I drew the designs myself, which made the process more lengthy but it was important to me as we wanted the brand to have a DIY feel and see our designs come to life. We then screenprinted the finished logos and designs onto hand chosen items. There is a huge amount of products to choose from so it’s important to find what is right for your brand and what will be the best in terms of printing. I contacted lots of friends in the industry for advice – people are always happy to help and point you in the right direction.
We decided to keep the first collection small to start with, to see how it was received and ensure we had defined our market. Funding a brand isn’t easy – we first had the idea for Peace Out four years ago, but kept putting it on the back burner due to lack of funds. We decided to save and start small to make it more affordable so that we retained full ownership over our brand. I find social media a priceless and free tool, so our marwketing plan is aimed around growing a loyal, almost cult following and to build our market organically.
We want Peace Out to have a strong aesthetic that will be reflected on social media and throughout all our imagery, which we hope will gain followers who will want to buy into the brand and the lifestyle affiliated with it. We’re looking to have a group of ambassadors ranging from skaters and surfers, to girls just doing fun creative things – such as musicians and photographers. We’ll work with these girls on social media projects, seeding and more.
My biggest advice for starting a brand is to just go and do it. Don’t put that idea on the back burner as somebody else could come along and do it. That’s been my biggest fear and ultimately what pushed me into action.
The biggest issue we’ve found is funding and making the decision of owning the brand 100% or getting investment. If you’re struggling with investment or gaining funding I would always start small and go from there. You can build over time, see how you’re being received and work on your own niche market as you go along. I would also say to utilise what you have available to you – platforms such as Instagram are amazing for growing your brand and following and they are all free!
We’ll be releasing the items in September and we’re so excited. PEACE OUT!