Sep 20, 2019 | By Athena Chen
Mar 01, 2017
By WGSN Insider
Throwback to 2010 and remember, if you can, how the luxury brand Louis Vuitton expanded its online store to introduce the Louis Vuitton Mon Monogram service, offering up personalised accessories to consumers. This noteworthy brand experience meant that those lucky enough to purchase a Vuitton Speedy or Keepall travel bag were now able to customise them with up to three initials and 17 colour options which were readily available to them.
This trend has since expanded exponentially. We are seeing personalisation everywhere, from those must-have Anya Hindmarch stickers, to monongrammed Cambridge Satchel bags, and of course Tatty Devine jewellery with the big hero piece the Name Necklace.
Now, one online destination has taken the idea that us consumers really want our stuff to look unique and personal, and created an Instagram account (and corresponding fashion line) to feed all our personalisation needs: SAYWHATYOUC.
I stumbled across SWYC Instagram page a few months ago after I was drawn in by one of the peronsalised tote bags. Side note: I am a sucker for tote bags, any large bag that can hold my growing collection of on-the-go books, magazines, laptop and ipad is good for me – and, one that is leopard print with bright pink fluffy initials on – sold! How quickly can this be delivered!?
Saywhatyouc is a jewellery and accessories line by London designer Charlotte Holmes with has a big emphasis on personalisation.
It was the signature name tag necklaces that kickstarted Charlotte’s business, she got the inspiration for these after a trip to Thailand in 2014 where she purchased necklaces with her name on from several night markets and got a lot of interest in them from friends when she returned home. Charlotte thought there was something in this so she launched SWYC. Charlotte wanted to keep her customers interested so she introduced new lines which included make up bags, and then tote bags. As subtle monogramming was already available on the market, Charlotte wanted bold designs with large letters for a bigger and bolder statement. The tote bags were so well received, new designs are now added all the time, and the demand just keeps rising for her products.
WGSN’s Laura Welch caught up with her to find out more:
• How and when did you come up with the idea for personalised bags/ jewellery?
It was after a trip to Thailand is 2014 with my mum and dad. I bought a couple of necklaces with my name on from the night market and put a picture on Instagram. Lot of my friends started to text me asking me to get one for them and bring them home. I thought “there something in this!”
When I launched the SWYC name tags the brand grew quickly thanks to being featured on several fashion blogs. I knew I had to keep people interested by introducing new lines so I introduced makeup bags. I wanted the actual item to be stylish and desirable, with the personalisation element as an added bonus if you know what I mean. These sold well and then I designed the tote bags. I like bold designs so wanted the letters to big and stand out (not subtle monogramming which was already available) it was a risk but fortunately they were received very well and I am continually adding new designs. People will always have initials after all.
• Was it bags first and then the rest of the lines?
No it was the name tag necklaces, jewellery, make up bags and then bags.
• Do you have your own office/ studio/ do you work from home?
Yes, I work from home which is great as my daughter was born a year after SWYC launched. I love it as we get to spend all our time together. At the beginning it was easy as luckily she slept a lot so I could fit in orders around her. Now she is two-year-old it’s getting slightly more difficult. She goes to nursery school for two days a week, which gives me time to work uninterrupted. The spare room has just been turned in to my office and I am just finalising premises for a studio. It is very exciting!
• Where do you get your inspiration from/ who inspires you?
I love travelling and visiting new places. If there is a market I literally can’t sleep the night before as I’m so excited to see what treasures I can find. I like mainstream fashion but I like things which are a bit different – I don’t like to stand out but at the same time I don’t want to look like everyone else – if that makes any sense at all?
I’m also addicted to Instagram which gives me lots of ideas on colour and design. My dad is my biggest inspiration. Growing up I have watched him work so hard building his own business and taking us on wonderful holidays all around the world where a lot of my inspiration has come from. This is what I want to do for my own family. Dad had a red dot in his logo and when I started working on the logo design for SWYC I was adamant that it incorporated a red dot, not only as a nod to my dad but also as a little good luck charm 🙂
Like this? Follow Saywhatyouc on Instagram here.
And follow WGSN author Laura Welch on Twitter here.
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