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vegan designer bags

FAQ’s – questions you’ve been dying to ask!

  1. Do you ship Worldwide?

Yes, we do! And if you spend over £50 ($65) it is totally free no matter what country you are based in. Yipee!

 

2. What is a vegan bag?

The fact that our bags are vegan means that they are simply not made using any animal materials. The leather we use is a high quality faux alternative.

 

3. Why are your bags a premium price? 

I design all of the bags myself, and then I have them made in a factory overseas. This means that I have to take my own time into consideration, as well as the factory workers time and cost of materials. Not only this, but it is super important to me that the bags are not mass produced in poor conditions, hence the slightly higher price point compared to budget stores.

 

4. Do you do any other sizes or colours in the rucksacks or holdall?

At this moment in time, I only have what is available on the website. I do have designs ready for other colours and sizes, but there is a huge cost involved when launching a new product. Keep your eyes peeled!

 

5. Do you sell the bags anywhere else?

I sell my bags in a lovely shop in Scotland, called Uptown Girl. I also stock them online through The Bias Cut. I would certainly love to have a few more stockists for my bags, and have my sights set on taking them internationally.

 

Anything else you’d love to ask me? Please do get in touch here, as I love to hear from you!

Katie x

best british brands

3 Great Vegan Brands in Britain

Obviously I could sit here and write about how awesome our bags are at Katherena all day long, but I decided to focus this weeks blog post on other vegan brands in Britain. Ones that you might not have heard of. So here we go, my top three British vegan brands at the moment are:

Urban Veda

Someone recommended having this gorgeous skincare brand included in my list, and after some research I realise why. ‘We believe in the value of nature and source natural, fresh, and pure ingredients to create our holistic products’.  As well as using natural ingredients, they also use recycled packaging which I absolutely love! I can’t wait to test some of the products myself this month, the facial oil is going to be the first in my basket 😉

Check them out here- https://www.urbanveda.com/gb/ 

Dr. PawPaw

I first heard of this company through someone’s Instagram story yesterday, and I thought I’d have a little look to see what they do. I was instantly drawn in to their over-the-top yellow branding! So Dr. PawPaw is a multi-purpose balm for lips, skin, hair and nails. Which is super useful! They also do a 7-in-1 hair styler designed to save time and money by protecting hair against heat, reducing split ends, adding shine, and more! I’m definitely going to give this one a try as the ends of my hair often get really dry!

british vegan brand

Check out their products here- https://www.drpawpaw.com/shop/

Helen Moore

The story behind this luxury faux fur brand is so beautiful and inspiring to me, and I wanted to share it.

‘Helen started the business whilst raising her three children. Today, along with a factory full of inspiring and hardworking women she works with her daughter Hester and daughter-in-law Jessica, both of whom are mums juggling the day-to-day life of working whilst raising children’.

“Throughout my adult life I have had the luxury, and I mean luxury, of being able to work and have a family. Being self-employed has been a huge advantage for me and the nature of my work has changed and grown as the children grew. Of course, it wasn’t perfect, and sometimes a tight deadline would take priority over spending time with the children”.

British vegan brand

Take a look at her website for a wide range of fashion and home accessories- https://helenmoore.com/

Part 2: What happened after I decided to start my own business

So, I must admit, I kind of left you with a bit of a cliffhanger on my last post and a few people have asked me to continue it on. So, here you go.

September 2015. I packed my things and moved out of London, and back in with my parents in Norfolk. Within a few weeks I had booked an appointment with a not-for-profit enterprise agency to assist me with a business plan and getting a startup loan. I had weekly appointments with an advisor (who I still see now) to discuss my business idea and the logistics of how it would all work, putting together this business plan and pitching it to the loan company. It felt like forever, but after a few weeks I received the loan and our appointments were made to monthly instead of weekly.

In my original plan, the bags were going to be made in my Dad’s factory here in the UK, and whilst waiting for the loan and business plan to be approved, my Dad and I were working hard to try and make them ourselves. My dad was fitting the boxes together and I was sewing the fabric to wrap around the box. It may sound easy, but it was really difficult! We spent hours each day, each week trying to find the right fittings, materials, tools, etc. We decided after many attempts that it was just taking too long and costing too much money for each one. This is when we decided to go to China and source a supplier over there instead. Thank goodness we went for this option!

Here I am in Hong Kong in January 2016!

Many people pull a face when they hear me say “it’s made in China”, but I’ve been there and I’ve witnessed the craftsmanship that goes into each of these products, and they truly are incredible workers that turn these designs of mine into actual quality, beautiful products (if I do say so myself). I wouldn’t have a business without them! Oh, and the condition of the factory is better than most factories I’ve seen here in England, so I’m not worried about the conditions they work in at all.

From the point of me moving home and setting up that initial appointment with my advisor, to launching my business, was a year and a half (I worked part time in retail to help with my investment into the business). It wasn’t a quick and easy process that’s for sure. But, I now know the ins and outs of setting up and running a business and now I want to help others do the same. If you want to hear more about my journey and free training’s that I offer please join my new Facebook group here.

 

Katie x

vegan bags business

Why I quit my dream job and started a business

Ever since I was a little girl I’ve been a natural leader. People would always call me a ‘bossy boots’ (I’m imagining my brothers right now, haha). I just enjoyed taking the lead, rather than blending in I suppose.

I’ve also been incredibly driven and hardworking all of my life. I swam competitively from a young age and was very disciplined in showing up and giving it 100% every race or training session I went to.

When it came to my career, I decided to go to college and study fashion after becoming obsessed with it when I started watching MTV’s ‘The Hills’. My friends and family were quite surprised at first when I chose fashion, but I loved it and worked hard to get to University. Throughout my time at University a few years later, I worked my socks off to get an internship because I knew it was what I needed in order to stand out when I graduated. The constant emails paid off, as I managed to get my absolute dream internship working on the X-Factor as an assistant stylist!

I kept in contact with the head stylist of the show and amazingly a year later when I graduated I sent him a text to let him know that I was available and he phoned me to say he needed a new assistant asap! I couldn’t believe it. I moved to London a few days later and started working for him as an assistant stylist, it was literally my dream job!

vegan bags business

One of my favourite jobs whilst working in London as a stylist- Frankie Bridge & her son Parker on the cover of OK magazine

 

During the year I worked in London for him, it was like something just wasn’t quite right. It wasn’t this glamorous job that everyone thought it was. I was working ridiculous hours for little pay. I didn’t know anyone in the city, so felt lonely. But something that kept bugging me was that I was working so hard and doing such a good job for someone else to have the rewards. I thought “If I can do this for someone else, why can’t I do it for myself”? So I phoned my dad, told him my idea of starting my own business and handed my notice in.

I moved back home to my parents and instantly felt a massive sigh of relief. I’m so much happier now, which is the most important thing. If you’ve ever considered starting your own business but haven’t made the leap, join my Facebook Group where I share my experience and tips.

Katie x

Katherena designer vegan bags

Why a bag business?

I often get asked ‘why were bags the product of choice for your business’? So, I’m going to explain why…

I’ve always loved fashion. I remember having a photoshoot and makeover day when I was about ten years old, and I picked out this white skirt and blazer suit with a sparkly purple crop top. It was so fab! As I grew up, I started being more interested in accessories and became a bit of a ‘bag girl’, rather than a clothes girl. I mean, of course I love clothes and shoes as well, but there was always something about bags growing up that I just loved.

When I was about 16, I went to Las Vegas with my family and some close family friends. Us girls went shopping and the boys went go-karting. I remember going into the Guess store (it was my favourite at the time for bags), but I could never imagine owning one myself. My parents had given me some money for the trip to get myself a present, and I had just about got enough to get one, so I spent probably an hour in the store trying to decide on which one.

Anyway, I got in the queue and paid for the one I chose and then realised that my family friend (she’s like an auntie to me) was at the till next to me paying for the other bag I loved… yes, she’d bought the bag for me! I walked out of the store that day absolutely gobsmacked to have two of my dream bags in my arms, and feel like this was an important factor in my love for bags.

vegan bag designer

I’ve always kind of thought that as long as you have an AMAZING, STAND-OUT bag, you will look fab. No matter where your outfit is from or how much it cost you, if you invest in a decent bag it will upgrade your entire look. So I guess it makes sense for me to design bags 🙂 What would you sell if you ran your own dream business? Let me know in the comments or connect with me in my new Facebook Group for start-ups.

business coach katherena

1 Year In Business…

TODAY MARKS ONE YEAR OF KATHERENA!

I cannot believe the year I’ve just had. Finally working for myself and doing what I absolutely love after a year previously of blood, sweat and tears! I’m going to open up to you and share some of my journey up to this point…

First of all though, you should know that I’m not here to brag, and to make it clear I’m not making a ton of money in my business. I’m not even making hundreds of sales yet. But, WOW have I been on a rollercoaster ride this year.

  • I’ve surrounded myself with those who don’t hold me back, and let go of those who do
  • I’ve worked my butt off day in & day out, spending a small fortune on developing new skills
  • I’ve tried so many new and scary things (some worked, others didn’t)

After discovering and being inspired by some amazing female coaches that I can now call my friends, I have decided to branch out into business coaching- as well as running Designed By Katherena of course, because that’s not going anywhere! I’m often asked by people “how did you source your products” or “what website do you use to sell your items”. I enjoy talking to people about these things because it’s what I love and what I am good at.

So, I’m going to start helping people build a business of their own from scratch and getting out of the 9-5 that they’re sick and tired of. I hate hearing people complain about their jobs, to do absolutely nothing about it. I also hate when people tell me how lucky I am to ‘not have a job’. Firstly, it’s not luck, it’s having a dream and going after it. Secondly, it is a job, I’m just employed by my own company and get to set the rules. You should try it! 😉

If you’d like to hear more about my services then please feel free to join my brand new Facebook Group where I’ll be sharing more.

Katie x

vegan purse clutch

Wedding Season: How to be the Standout Guest

We’re halfway through the month of May, and I’m seeing a handful of Facebook friends countdown to their weddings (or best friends weddings), as well as all the talk of this weekend’s highly anticipated royal wedding which means that we are officially in wedding season. Yay, I do love a good wedding!

There are always so many questions around what to wear as a guest at someone’s wedding. What colours are acceptable? How much skin should I have on show? And most importantly, how can I standout as one of the guests? Well, I want to take this opportunity to promote my signature product, because honestly I just don’t talk about it enough. And now is the perfect time!

Catch the Bouquet Clutch

Most of you will know that my clutch bags are called ‘Hollycroft Trunk Clutch’. Well, I’m changing it up this season and calling them the ‘Catch the Bouquet Clutch’- because they will absolutely get you all the attention you deserve when you wear one at your cousins wedding next month.

You know how it goes- the bride throws her bouquet of flowers into the crowd of guests (traditionally just single women) and whoever manages to catch it is supposed to be the next person to get married. For a few minutes out of the entire day, the center of attention is totally switched from the bride and groom to the lucky guest with the great catch.

This attention is exactly what you’ll be getting with wearing my clutch bag to the wedding. It’s not like anything else anyone will have seen. And certainly no one else will be wearing one. The other female guests will be totally envious of you for sure!

The bags come in four different colours as well so you don’t have to worry about it not going well with the outfit you’ve picked out. You can check them out here, and I’d love to hear what colour you would go for so just let me know in the comments.

Katie x

Would you like a free bag?

Erm, hello.. who wouldn’t?!

Now’s your chance (and actually there’s not much time) to get your hands on a Katherena bag of your choice just by simply entering our competition on Facebook. All you have to do is like our page, share the post and then wait until Sunday the 13th to find out if you’ve won. What are you waiting for?!

The link to the competition is here. T’s & C’s:

  • Competition is open to any country.
  • Tell us which bag you would like in the comments, or we will pick for you.
  • Winner will be picked at random on Sunday the 13th May.

Good luck!

P.S. Oh, and have you noticed our new branding? We have a lovely new logo and colours, which we are so excited about. AND there will be some more exciting news very soon so keep your eyes out!

It’s all in the bag…

What bags will be worn by the Royal Family at the wedding of the year next month?

With it being exactly one month today until Prince Harry marries American beauty Meghan Markle, I wanted to do a post on the bags that are likely to make an appearance based on what’s hot right now, and what some of the Royal’s are often seen sporting.

Going off what’s ‘in’ for Spring:

– Satchels are back on trend as a popular shape for bags

– In terms of colour, tan is supposed to be huge for bags and shoes this season

– Branded logos will likely be seen printed onto the fabric- (see the Louis Vuitton bag below)!

Image source: Louis Vuitton US

 

Going off what they’re usually spotted wearing:

– Her Majesty the Queen will no doubt wear her go-to classic brand, Launer (see image below)

– Kate Middleton usually opts for a sophisticated clutch bag, and is a fan of LK Bennett

– Princess Beatrice also favours a clutch bag, but hers are a bit more jazzy than the ones Kate wears!

Image source: Hello Fashion

It will be interesting to see what bags do actually appear on the guests next month, so I’ll try and remember to do a post after the wedding to talk about it.

As for the bride herself, I think Meghan is going to be wearing two dresses for the big day. One traditional dress for the ceremony, and a glam number for the evening celebrations. I must admit, I think I’d opt for two different dresses for the day as well, it must be so hard wearing a wedding dress all day and all night. How are you supposed to dance in it?!

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the bags you think they’ll be wearing, just leave a comment below.

Katie x

Colour Combos To Try This Year

When it comes to designing a fashion collection, whether it be dresses or bags, colour is a super important factor in the process. It’s not just thinking about the colour of the product itself, but it’s also useful to think about other colours that will go well with the product, and colours that won’t go so well.

With my Pink Romola Rucksack being the bestseller at the minute, it got me thinking about colour combinations. Obviously this means that people are loving the pale pink and grey combo, so I want to share with you some other great combos that are worth giving a go this year to spruce up your style.

Khaki & Tan 

Image: Youngjun Koo

So, even though this is kind of a classic colour combo, you don’t actually see it very often. I love the colour khaki, and it always looks so good paired with white, but I can’t say I’ve ever worn it with anything brown. I’ll be giving this one a go myself and hope to see more of it!

 

Red & Pink (did I actually just type that)?! 

Image: Getty

OK, OK, just bear with me on this. If you’re anything like me, you’re probably cringing right now. I don’t have many rules when it comes to fashion and style, but wearing pink and red together has honestly always been a true crime in my eyes. Until now. I’m actually loving this combo! Anyone else?

Metallic Silver & Orange 

Image: Emily Malan

How great is this one? I’m obsessed with metallics! They’re usually seen as a winter trend, but I’m feeling it for Spring as well (especially with the showers here in the UK at the minute). Who’s brave enough to rock this silver and orange trend?

 

Let me know your thoughts in the comments please.

Much love,

Katie x