The Giftware Association spoke to Abi Fashesin founder and designer from Collectajoy.
Can you tell us a bit more about your company?
Collectajoy offers a range of printed home accessories, which are hand designed by me in my home studio and proudly made into products here in the UK.
I began working on Collectajoy at the beginning of 2018 when I became heavily inspired by vintage print, decorative ornaments and patterns within nature. Initially it was a small project but then as I progressed with my design ideas and did a bit of market research within the home industry, I noticed that there was a lack of diversity in terms of print styles available. This lack of newness and originality inspired me to take a fresh new approach to creating and designing a home accessories range.
Within my range I play with familiar motifs/forms combined with fresh exciting ideas and colours. The range was created especially for people who are enthusiastic about collecting aesthetically pleasing colourful products for the home. It’s a brand that focuses on the idea – that to live a happy life – is to live a colourful one, and this all begins in the home. Our Ethos is to live ‘four seasons in colour’ for a more enhanced and happy life.
Who is your audience?
Females. In their late 20s – 60s. Fun, sociable, outgoing personality. Design focussed, and very enthusiastic about home interior/colour. She regularly updates the living space to keep the home fresh and exciting and enjoys shopping for the latest unique home, fashion and design pieces. She enjoys spending time with family and friends and loves to cook and bake in her spare time.
How long have you been trading and what is the history of the company?
I’ve been trading since September 8th 2019 so not much history just yet.
What three words best describe your business and its products?
Colourful, fun and practical.
Where do you find your inspiration?
I’m inspired by 60s/70’s design, and colour/patterns within nature.
Do you use Social Media to promote your business?
Yes, I use social media to promote my brand. I have only really begun this process but I can see that the bigger brands (in the home and gift industry) successfully use social media to directly engage customers. Specifically through the use of sharing product launches, sharing discount offers and sharing giveaways, as well as collaborating with home decor/lifestyle influencers to offer promotions or share new products. These are all strategies that I’m applying/will continue to apply in order to increase brand awareness and build an (online/offline) following. The rise of social media has enabled smaller home and gift brands (as well as the bigger brands) to have a bigger voice within the industry. Today there is more visibility, which in turn creates more opportunities to organically grow your presence on and offline. Social media has made home and gift a more popular everyday topic.
Do you do any advertising/PR?
I promote (paid/non paid post) via social media channels and also do PR in-house.
What do you wish you’d known at the very beginning of starting your business that you know now?
How important marketing is and the list of all the various components you can apply to increase brand awareness. I’m now fully aware of this.
Do you feel the economic climate is improving or is it getting tougher to trade?
I have to say I’m indifferent. For the more established brands (like Emma Bridgwater and Cath Kidston) they seem to still be thriving, and then I have come across much smallest home decor brands that are doing ok but not growing substantially – yearly. This could be related to Brexit but it’s hard to tell.
What do you see as being the biggest problem for giftware suppliers in the gift industry?
The rise of internet shopping companies such as Amazon, and in general internet shopping. A Lot more people are shopping online because it’s easier and companies like Amazon sell everything so it’s become a space where you can get any supplies often at a lower rate than if you were to go directly to the supplier. I think if a consumer is a design driven buyer then they’re likely to shop directly with a giftware company for original/unique products.
If we could help you with one aspect of your business, what would that be? Marketing, as that’s the main component that assist with increasing brand awareness.
What news do you have to share with us so we can celebrate your achievements in 2019? My products will be featured in a credible magazine but I will confirm this once I see it in print.
What are you looking to achieve in 2019?
I would like to continue to establish relationships with boutiques in order to secure more wholesale interest. I would also like to continue to increase brand awareness, in order to generate more sales.
to find out more about collectajoy and her products, please visit Abi’s website here – https://www.collectajoy.com/