Beth approached us about the concept of Studio B in June; a curated selection of brands which present high quality, ethically produced items collated on one platform. With first hand experience working with Mulberry, Matches Fashion and Anya Hindmarsh, Bethany has turned her focus to present a selection of brands to customer's looking for products of substance and longevity. Since launch in September, Studio B has been building a reputation for its playful yet curated selection of niche brands. We sat down with Bethany to find out more about her idea of the perfect marketplace.
Studio B is an edited online retail platform for independent, new and niche brands offering womenswear and accessories. All are premium but attainable and offer something a bit unique, whilst simultaneously can style well together. The focus of the site is on style, stories and celebrating an ethos of buy less, love more. I really want to champion craftsmanship and independent brands, bringing them together in one place to tell their stories. We have a whole Stories content section on the site where each brand has its own page and interview on there, I’ve found this really interesting and just tells people more about what they’re buying, where it comes from and who’s behind the brand! We also have stories from professionals, creatives and entrepreneurs from various industries to add over the coming weeks.
I just wanted something different, I was so bored of finding the same brands, or wearing the same high street options as other people. I always liked something different and had found so many independent brands through Instagram that all made beautiful products but were just not so known. Once meeting with a few it turned out a lot of them use local production, knew their suppliers well or even handcraft themselves – and actually have very high cost prices, which of course impacts their selling price. To me this then became another great feature about these brands and one I thought needed to be told! Especially having worked in luxury fashion and knowing where they produce isn’t necessarily what it seems – margin is a big factor and they definitely don’t handcraft anything!
I’m not saying all the brands on the site are 100% strictly ethical and sustainable, but all the brands produce a premium product and are very focused on quality.
I mostly find them all through Instagram, this has been such a massive tool for this! Usually print, colour, shape, styling or a unique design feature or strong brand image makes a brand stand out to me. Just that something a bit more creative about it, a bit of difference in the product or something that has a story behind it.
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To capture the vibrancy of each neighbourhood and further tell their stories we collaborated with artist Elsie Evans, to create a series of paintings which are captured on each micro-fibre cleaning cloth that accompanies every frame purchased. We talked to Elsie about what first inspired her as an artist, her daily paintings, and how she established The Elsie Evans Art Retreat which opened this year in her ex-pat home, Thai Land.
Helsinki is known for its hard-working residents, amazing design culture and variable weather patterns…I arrived in Helsinki in the evening to glorious sunshine and a bitter cold spell in the middle of April. In the morning I woke up to explore the city and opened my curtains to be greeted with a snow blizzard – not typical discovering weather. But the next two days were for exploring the 2012 ‘World Design Capital’