meet the makers stabo
20 Sep

Why and when did you decide to start your business? 
I started the business in 2001.  It was very different then.  I was making womens tops recycled from mens’ shirts which I sold on a stall at Portobello market in London.  I had graduated a few years earlier (in Philosophy and Psychology) and didn’t really know what I wanted to do but always loved making things. A friend suggested I try selling what I made so I took the bit between the teeth and did.   Eighteen months after I started my then boyfriend (now husband) Ed and I decided to go travelling to New Zealand.  We lived in Wellington which has a really great independent shops scene.  We took on the lease of a lovely old fashioned shop (which probably wouldn’t have survived the predicted Big Earthquake) Ed joined the business and the future of Stabo as a partnership was set.

Where do you seek inspiration from for your product range?
We are quite pragmatic we have a broad product range and will look across the range to focus on a direction.  Different products do well at different times so if we notice one area is doing really well we will focus our efforts there.  One of us will have a strong visual idea for a product or collection and we will either work on a new collection together based on that or one of us will do a range following that original idea.

What are your greatest achievements to date?
Still being here and managing to turn Stabo from a partnership we ran together to a partnership we have run successfully whilst having three children something which prior to having children seemed absolutely impossible.  Business wise working with internationally renowned shops and museums such as the National Portrait Gallery and Heals has always been very exciting.

Who inspires you?
People with big ideas who are interesting interested and hold true to their beliefs.  They are not design icons but I think Mary Beard is wonderful, an intelligent woman with her own ideas in a world where we don’t often see intellectual women. I’m also a massive fan of the journalist Evan Davis the thing I love about him is that he always seems genuinely interested in the way things work.  On the business radio programme The Bottom Line he is genuinely interested in looking at the challenges, issues and paths to success of all sorts of different businesses every week.

What is important to you in business? 
Feeling what I do is worthwhile, enjoying what I do and taking a pride in the products we produce.

What do you enjoy most about your business?
It’s great when you design a new product and it really takes off, it makes you feel confident and happy as you know at least some things are working as they should.

What has been your biggest endorsement to date you have received for your product/s
For me the biggest endorsement is quite general, when you see someone wearing one of your products or you speak to someone you’ve never met and they are familiar with your product range that’s always a great feeling.

Why did you choose to list your products on oodlique? 
It was a great opportunity to work with a business based in Ireland.  Also we get a lot of offers to join market places and it is a lot of work listing products in lots of different locations so we often say no.  Oodlique just seemed to have a sensible and realistic strategy they didn’t claim to be massive but had ambitious ideas for the future and a good strategy as to how to achieve those ideas so when they asked us to join we said yes.

What has your experience been like working with oodlique? 
Professional, helpful, friendly and proactive in regards to our business.

What does the future hold for your business?
We are working on a collection for a local museum and are trying hard to develope new wholesale clients.  At the moment it is heads down for Christmas but when we get out the other side I want to have a big think about what the direction for 2018 is going to be.

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