A New Online Retail Space For Independent Designers
So you've designed your collection, you're ready and raring to go - now you just need to find somewhere to sell it. This brings with it a whole new set of challenges, talking to buyers is tough business, and can be tricky for a first time designer.
That's where places like TARLEE.com come in. TARLEE is a new online store exclusively featuring independent designers, bridging the gap between consumers looking for unique and interesting items and the independent designers making them. I met co-founder, Liz, a few months ago and she was brimming with excitement about the imminent launch her business. Today, I've interviewed Liz and Tara (the other co-founder) to find out why they started the platform and what you can expect to see on it.
Why did you launch TARLEE.com?
Tara: Liz and I studied together and then went into very different careers after university. I spent six years at an investment bank and was frustrated by not being able to find something special on the high street. I was looking for high quality, unique pieces for work and holidays. Liz on the other hand worked for a start-up designer and experienced first-hand the struggles designers face, especially when it comes to selling their collection to stores, as well as to end customers.
Liz: There was nowhere for customers to discover independent designers and for designers to access these customers, which is why we founded TARLEE.com.
You’ve recently hit your 6 month milestone. How has the launch gone?
Liz: We only launched in February and we’ve already seen a lot of demand from customers for slow fashion. We’ve also received a huge amount of interest from amazing designers requesting to be featured.
Tara: We’ve had amazing feedback from our customers. Many of them have commented on the hand-written thank you cards that they have received from designers with their purchase and how this has made their shopping experience really special and personalised!
What makes you different from other fashion websites?
Liz: Our customers are at the centre of our business. Tara and I personally select and vet all designers before we feature them on the TARLEE platform. We know that our customers expect high quality and unique pieces from us, as well as a seamless shopping experience. They shop on TARLEE and know that we will always hunt down the most exciting, up and coming designers!
Why have you decided to make slow fashion such an integral part of the TARLEE platform?
Tara: It was a given for us. In our personal lives Liz and I have always been conscious of the environmental impact of our modern lifestyles and recognised the lack of sustainable and ethical fashion available. This is why we launched the ethical tags on TARLEE.com, so that our customers could easily understand the ethical credentials of each piece. We have become much more conscious about how and where our food and coffee is produced however this is still missing with fashion!
Liz: Also by nature, most independent designers produce ethically, as they are very involved in the production process and regularly visit their suppliers and factories. Before featuring a designer we ensure pieces are designed to have long life cycles and we steer clear of trend-driven, throwaway items. We are strong advocates of the slow fashion movement. Less is more.
What is a typical day in the TARLEE office?
Liz: Every day is different. Every Monday morning, the whole team sit down and review the past week figures and set our agenda for the week ahead. Our days are spent meeting designers and reviewing collections, as well as ensuring our customers are happy. Every Friday we have a team lunch at our favourite café, The Proud East by our office in East London.
How should new designers approach you to feature on TARLEE.com?
For all Offset Warehouse readers, TARLEE is offering an exclusive 20% off your purchase using Code: OFFSET20 - so get shopping!
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