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:

Surf Girl - - – Juice – -

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!

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