We always like to have a productive working relationship with our stockists, one of which being the awesome Wear Eponymous in Glasgow's prestigious Princess Square. Having been stocked in the store now for a few months we felt it was about time we sat down with Alan one of the owners and ask him a few questions.
Hey Alan, tell us a little about yourself and your brand Wear Eponymous?
Wear Eponymous officially launched in February 2015 after we identified the need 6 months earlier for an independent retailers platform that did things differently. Coming from a creative background ourselves (I was in IT development and Elaine was in Makeup Artistry), we knew that it was incredibly hard to be seen in an already overcrowded marketplace, but that there was strength in numbers if you get the right blend of brands together in the right format. Patience is key in brand development though, which isn’t always easy!
How long has Wear Eponymous been up running for?
We just had our second birthday in February and the brand itself began it’s journey in October 2014.
We love your passion for both local and designers around the UK, there is plenty so much talent around, amid there time to list your favourites? and any you would you to feature like in store?
Yes, there is so much talent out there! That’s an impossible question to answer as we’re introduced to new brands on a daily basis and our outreach is now evident in countries that we’d never have thought would have known of us at this stage in our growth. We don’t have favourites but our customers will let us know what they are looking for and it varies from online to in store. What I will say is that a well designed product at the right price in front of the right customer will sell, so don’t lose heart if you’re not engaging immediately as it could just be that one of the mix isn’t quite there yet.
And Scotland is a goldmine for resources isn't it?
We can be guilty in Scotland of thinking we’ve got it tough when it comes to resources when in actual fact we’ve got it better than many! We have access to so many resources (in a variety of avenues) and we can see just how talented brands are when they use something easily accessible, such as tweed, and design using it in so many different ways that each brand keeps it’s individuality and finds it’s audience without repetition.
Any future plans for brand you would like to chat about?
We love the concept store in Princes Square and hope to keep providing that service for independent brands to get in front of their target market for as long as possible. People still forget that we’re a very young company and this is partly down to our branding connecting with the audience from very early on, so while we’re really happy about that we’re also very much in gaining traction phase, with plans to get us to established brand status in the next 2-3 years. The website continues to grow in size and reputation and we’re working with some great companies who are experts in their fields to help us scale up in the strongest ways while maintaining our ethical business methods as we grow.
Which moves us onto the next question, you have landed yourself a really great location, do you feel it's really right for your brand?
Princes Square is a beautiful location in a stunning city and the team behind the centre are some of the hardest working, nicest people you’ll meet. We don’t take it for granted for a second and we’re pleased to say that the camaraderie between the shops was evident from day one and we want to add to that with brands featured in store that share the same values and appreciate these opportunities as much as we do.
How's it been working with the Edison?
You guys are brilliant! Your branding is strong, your product is well made and your social media is connecting with your target market, so we’re really looking forward to watching you grow it this summer, especially when all the holidaymakers hit Glasgow. You’ll need to organise an Edison event on Buchanan Street - we’re thinking a flashmob ha ha!
What do you look for in a brand to enable to stock it in store?
Firstly it’s got to be a matching ethos and expectation from both sides as the number one misconception in retail is that a stockist can guarantee sales. We look for good communication (so that we know if a customer needs a quick answer to something we can get it) and an understanding of what both parties are looking for. Then it very quickly moves to quality of product, price, ethical production chain and whether there is brand consistency. If a brand thinks they can increase their prices to tap into a more affluent market then they are mistaken as the first thing most customers do is Google your company and check you out. If they see your pricing and product varies wildly over various stockists then it often makes them wary and they can lose trust in you before an initial sale was made.
We visited one of your in store events and was a lot of fun, so much so that we will be putting on an event in the near future. Definitely feel this type of networking is the way forwards for brands and customers to get to know one another.
Definitely and we’re very happy to hear that you’re going to have one soon! We love going to events where you can speak to the stranger next to you without feeling they’re going to look you up and down before walking away (and we’ve all been there!). I think that goes back to the ethos of surrounding yourself with positive, like-minded people who all want to grow their individual businesses in a way that doesn’t impinge on their competitors. We work with some great people, such as Maria Ure (from The Glasgow PR Girl) and Karen Bennie Events, to make sure each event is tailored to the individual brand and the both customers and invited guests feel welcome as soon as they step through the door.
Is there any shout outs or thanks for support you would like to give?
Thanks to every single brand who’s believed in us and joined us in our mission to give independent brands the opportunity to test their market and get in front of customers in a luxury location. Without customers who are willing to shop independent we wouldn’t be here, so massive thanks to those who look for something different. We also couldn’t do it without our family backing us all the way and the key advisors and mentors who are available in our local area to guide business through from start-up to high growth. They keep us on the right path and help us to strive for the next level.
If you get the chance to visit Glasgow, pop in and see the store, or visit online; www.weareponymous.com