We take great pride in the fact that Spitalfields Market acts as a launchpad for small, independent businesses who might be just starting out, and provides an accessible platform for them to showcase and sell their product to an audience of visitors from across the globe. A truly brilliant success story is FABLOU, which started its journey into the fashion and accessories world right here at Spitalfields and now ships worldwide from their stunning eCommerce website. We caught up with FABLOU founder, Yudi, to find out a little bit more about the brand and their journey to where they are now…
Talk to us about your journey into the accessories business…
FABLOU was born out of pure love for handbags. The goal was to create beautiful, minimal, hassle-free bags that would cater to the needs of modern women. Since the budget for the business was extremely limited, FABLOU was always meant to be launched with a single design only. This design had to be suitable for a wide audience, perfect for everyday use and size had to be right. This is how the City tote was born, the perfect everyday bag. The brand was launched with the City available in 6 colours. A lot of people said that we wouldn’t be able to build a successful business based on one product. Well, we did. To this day, the City tote is our best-selling style.
It has been a very bumpy ride to get where we are now. Whatever we had we put into the business, and it doesn’t only mean money. It has been an insane amount of hard work, stress, determination and risk. We had to learn everything, money management, running a business, selling, marketing, manufacturing, importing, protecting our intellectual property etc. We had no relevant experience when we embarked on this journey and we made a lot of mistakes along the way. Mistakes were either painful or very costly, but most of the time both. It has been an amazing adventure.
Where did the name Fablou come from?
FABLOU comes from playing with different words when searching for a domain name. It doesn’t have any meaning, but most people associate it with the word fabulous. The name is amazing, it has something very special to it and we absolutely love it.
How did trading at Spitalfields Market help you get to where you are now?
Spitalfields was the place where we started our journey. We were not in a position to use paid advertising or PR to introduce our brand, so the market was a no-brainer. It was the only channel we could afford. Spitalfields was our top choice because of its reputation. It was well known for being a launchpad for independent designers and brands.
Spitalfields is where we made our first sales and put the bags out to the world. This is where we learned how to sell and identified who our customers are. It has also been a great place to run market research and test new ideas. All of this knowledge was invaluable and helped us grow other sales channels.
What advice would you give to young brands who are considering a spot at Spitalfields Market?
First, ask yourself what’s your ultimate goal and then how Spitalfields can help you to get there. The market is one of many steps along the way but if you approach it seriously it can help you make things happen. It helped us. People are very vocal; they love to say what they think, and they will tell you exactly why they like and don’t like your products. If you listen closely you can adjust and build your whole sales strategy based on their feedback and then use it for different channels i.e. online. It always works. It’s priceless.
What do you love most about Spitalfields Market?
It’s an amazing learning platform. You will learn how to run a business, how to handle people and about volatility… It is also full of amazing life stories and really beautiful & creative products. This place is super entertaining and certainly deserves its own reality show. It would be an absolute hit!
Where do you find inspiration for your products?
Our inspiration usually comes from nature. All FABLOU bags are very simple with clean lines and it stems from the love for simplicity. Simple always works. There are no unnecessary details, every element is there for a reason. If the reason cannot be justified the element will be removed. Colour is where we can really go wild!
How important was it to find a vegan material to create your product?
In today’s world, using animal-based materials really isn’t necessary. There is a lot of alternatives to real leather and we feel extremely happy that we were the first brand to introduce the silicone as a vegan material. For us, it is not only about veganism, but it’s also much wider than this. The whole manufacturing process must be cruelty-free. It means working conditions, wages, sourcing has to be ethical. We are very much against any form of cruelty, regardless of whether it is an animal or a human being.
How would you describe the Fablou customer?
She is a busy, multitasking, modern woman, who loves fashion but is not a fashion victim. She appreciates design and functionality.