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!
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.
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.
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.
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?!
As you probably already know, our products are made without using animal materials. So we use a leather alternative called Polyurethane (PU) leather and we also use polyester twill in our rucksacks. Both of these materials do not come from animals. It was important to me from the start of my business journey to ensure that our products would be cruelty-free, because I don’t agree with killing animals just for the sake of fashion.
PETA (people for the ethical treatment of animals) is the largest animal rights organisation in the World, and they have just approved Katherena for being a cruelty-free brand, so I now have the rights to use their logo in any way I wish to promote that my bags are vegan. Proud moment for me and the brand!
Even though I have managed to create a line of products that are cruelty-free, I still have a few obstacles to overcome in order to be a more sustainable and ethical brand. I am currently working on alternative packaging for my bags instead of using plastic, as this will make a huge difference to the environment, and I really want to help in any way that I can. I will also be looking into using recyclable materials for my next range of bags too, so keep your eyes peeled!
So, you may have heard me mentioning it over the past month or so, but today I have officially launched my first ever introductory course online. It’s been a massive learning curve for me, but I’ve really enjoyed working on it and I can’t wait for women to take part in it and start loving themselves inside and out!
What’s it all about?
You’re probably wondering what on Earth my course is all about (unless you’ve been reading my recent blog posts) so I’ll break it down for you. This easy to follow course is covered over 5 modules, plus a short introduction video. I cover mindset & confidence, budgeting, decluttering, body, colour and style analysis and trends for 2018. I want women to have a basic understanding of style but not feel overwhelmed with it all.
You may also be asking yourself why I’ve decided to create this course… Simply because I’ve recently heard a lot of women speaking about their body image and how it affects their confidence. I too used to face these same issues, until recently when I discovered a way to deal with it through mindset techniques and ways to dress for my particular body shape, etc. I’ve worked with dressing celebrities and fashion models before, but now it’s time to work with ‘real’ women and make them feel like a celeb!
I can’t believe how fast 2017 has gone. Seriously. I say it every year, but it must be true when they say the older you get, the faster the years go.
I’ve had a nice little break over Christmas– spending quality time with my partner, friends & family. Eating and drinking lots. I am, however, so happy to be back to my business and getting ready to focus hard on hitting my goals for the year.
I don’t know about you, but every year I always set myself a resolution or something I’d like to achieve by the end of the new year. I refer to them as my goals rather than resolutions. The year before last I done dry January (I needed it after a very overindulged Christmas) and last year I launched this brand. Yay! Whether they be personal or work-related though, I think it’s really important to set yourself goals for the year, because otherwise what are you working towards? What do you want? How are you going to get it?
When you manage to find a spare few minutes in your day, grab a pen and piece of paper and jot down some things you’d like to happen this year. Trust me, it feels great to actually think about it and get it written out in front of you. You don’t have to share these with anyone, but if they’re not particularly private then it can be quite nice to discuss them with people that you are close to.
No one’s going to hunt you down if you don’t achieve what you wrote down. I mean, hey, they may not even be relevant to you after a few months! It’s just nice to go into a new year with a clear vision of how you’d like it to look at the end, so what resolutions are you going to set this year? Let me know in the comments.
Oh my gosh, I am so excited to finally share some news with you all that I have been working on for the past month or so. As you may have seen or heard, I have a new styling tab here on this website, because I am rolling out some styling services starting in January.
This isn’t totally random, I have a degree in Fashion Styling, and I then went on to work for an amazing Celebrity stylist in London after graduating in 2014. So I had been thinking for a little while of how I could merge my love for styling people with my already existing brand of bags, but then I realised that I am the brand and it’s all fashion related anyway, so of course they can work together!
To kick things off in the new year, I am in the process of putting together a 5-module online course covering:
mindset & confidence
shopping on a budget
de-cluttering your wardrobe
personalised colour & style analysis
and key trends for 2018
The course is going to be available from mid-January, so I will keep you updated with it’s progress and let you know how to sign up.
In the mean time, I have decided to put on a FREE STYLE CHALLENGE in my Facebook group to give people an idea of what they can expect on the course. I’m super excited for the challenge, as it’s going to be really laid back and fun, with lots of useful tips! If you would like to join the challenge starting on the 3rd of January click here, and please get in touch if you have any questions.
P.S this will probably be my last post until after Christmas now, so have a fab one if you don’t hear from me before!
I’m going to show you how to style yourself from day to night using the same bag (one of our Hollycroft Clutches).
Firstly, for a comfortable and casual look during the day you can pull this off by running your fingers through your hair- leaving it lovely and natural but not too much of a mess. I never worry about styling mine with heat during the day, partly because it takes too long and partly because it damages the ends of my hair. Anyway, next you’ll need to attach the strap to your clutch bag and wear it over the shoulder of a slouchy top. Maria is pictured wearing a slouchy checked shirt, but a t-shirt is cool too. Pair the top with your go-to pair of jeans and ankle boots, and away you go!
OK, so first things first- remove the bag’s strap and just carry it in your hands for the evening. Next, apply a little lippy to make those lips of yours pop and be sure to pack the lippy in your bag in case you need to re-apply later. Finally, wear something that shows off your best features (Maria here for example is displaying her pins), put on a pair of heels if they’re comfortable enough for you, if not a pair of flat thigh high boots is a great alternative. And one more thing- have a fab night!
Earlier this month, my best friend and I got the train to London for a day of both work and fun. We absolutely love London and often have days in the city together (I didn’t enjoy living there but that’s not to say I don’t still love the place). I had a meeting arranged at midday and my friend had an event to go to in the evening, so we spent the afternoon wandering around Covent Garden whilst being photographed. It was very strange for me because I am so used to being behind the camera! I really enjoyed it though actually, and I think the photos look great!
I’m thinking of having one of the images of the two of us framed and hung up in my room- organising a photoshoot like this would also be a perfect present for your best friend, or maybe even a mother-daughter shoot! I shall put the photographer’s details at the end of this post, so if you do feel like booking one for yourself you can get in touch with her 🙂
Rocking our matching Katherena rucksacks of course 😉
^ This one is my favourite shot, I love it!
A huge thank you to Nadia Ivanova of Truly Natural Photography for these stunning images that she took and edited for me.
You can find her website here- https://trulynaturalphotography.wordpress.com/ or go & like her Facebook Page.
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