New Kid on the block – Joe Petchelco

Fashion, an industry that is worth £26 billion, make it largest creative industry in the UK*. New brand, new designer is born everyday, and many showrooms to visit during fashion weeks, especially prior pandemic, buyers and press may look glamours but what people don’t know is how competitive and hard work everyone needs to put in to make everything happen.

Today I have my mask on, trotting through Surrey all the way to East London Haggerston, visiting my old friend, old colleague Joe and talking honestly about startup a business, his brand and how the business thrives through this pandemic. A showroom launched early this year, has aspects that many businesses may not even be able to achieve for many years, they have a beautiful East London showroom, a digital platform and even a store within the renowned Harvey Nichols Knightsbridge. Joe opened up honestly and chat about and his business/ showroom Arddun, below is our conversation.

I stepped into a beautiful space, we had our brief friend chat, and Joe was very open and honest about his very first year…

Joe: Starting business this year has been hard and stressful, but we are so small, we can pivot our business multiple times fast, we shed brands that are party driven, we shed brands that need a lots of work. I feel lucky that we managed…This weekend is the first weekend we had some time off, we just keep going…

KF: How did you come up with this unique idea of launching Arddun? And when were you started planning?

Joe: it came in with luck, few brands asked me to look after their sales, I worked in house for many years, and the last three roles I  worked, I was dealing with the fell out of the relationship between agencies and brands, not necessarily the agency was in the wrong, it’s the balance between the agency and the brand wasn’t working. I’ve seen it from the other side, and it’s an opportunity and ability to do it better. I know what it takes to run a small business, I know what it takes to run small brand, the cash flow is important. If you don’t negotiate the terms for the brand and if you don’t help them for that first season to make sure the orders get out of the door, even with big companies they often don’t know wholesale. 

With many brands approaching Joe, he always asks ‘what do you want to get out of this?’ Based on the answer with the clients, he forms a strategy aim for long term relationship benefits the brand image and sales growth. 

KF: When you were planning, did you participate the pandemic? Did you always want to set up a digital showroom? 

Joe: No…We are a wholesale agency, that’s the first, that’s our brand and plan. This year we accidentally opened a store, HN presented us an opportunity and many of our brands are known in the US and Australia but relatively unknown in the UK so it’s a branding exercise to be in our store. It’s there to support our brand, also we put money where our mouth is as an agency to tell people to buy our brands, well we also need to know if we can sell them too and we need to know what works and what not. We can speak first hand. It makes our wholesale business stronger too. It’s an accidental project and fun. 

In terms of digital, Joe says: ” I want to build a platform that is more exciting, so you can feel the drama, it can also be a platform we can use as a showroom tool and we can use as after sales, it’s like portal. So our platform you can make note, place order, it’s just like a simple on line order. It’s very fluent. We can sell this platform to other brands too”.

KF: What type of brands you are looking for to be apart of your curation?

Joe: We look at brands acknowledge all aspects from suppliers to the make, but not a sustainability driven but everyone is conscious about their brands. 

Every brand needs to be unique, definitely not copying someone. We avoid brands who just want to make a quick buck, we can see through that too and that’s not a sustainable business model so we try to avoid it. We like to work with interesting people with nice point of view, everything has to be unique. We are very open to brands we work with, we have womenswear, homeware 

KF: What was your biggest challenge throughout the business plan, launch and now? Have you overcome the hurdle?

Joe: Not a big leap down for us. I’ve been in the same Industry in similar capacity for all my life, so parts of it was fairly easy, but like I said, we enter this expecting the worst for the first year therefore I think we are quite prepared. I would suggest for anyone who’s about to launch their own to do the same, don’t except to make tons of money in your first year. The pandemic also pulled us back, our first big season was end of February beginning of March, two weeks later the world shut down, we did okay for that season but then it pulled us back for 4 – 6 months but hey, it’s fine, we budded our way through it. 

I guess I was fortunate that I did not launch a business on my own, my partner Ian who is a graphic designer so he managed to help so much from carving out the DNA of the brand when you don’t have a physical showroom and you can’t talk to people in person, we are lucky as a team to overcome this. 

This year has been so tough for so many people, sometimes it’s hard to stay motivated, in the early days we wondered if we are making mistake trying to do this in this time period, but just keep going, keep going, keep going, you think you’re losing your mind and I think it helped to talk to other people who started their business two years prior that was helpful. 

There are times, you feel you are insane, but taking time off is essential because the business will still be there. 

KF: What is your vision for future business now you have showroom, online and brick and mortar? 

Joe: Stay organic and natural, I don’t want to make the same mistake as others, growing too big and too fast. This is to me, our baby, we are happy in this lane now.  For everyday that is stressful running a business, I am also thankful that I am not reporting into somebody else that is losing their mind trying to keep their company flow, we are in control of our destiny, so from an anxiety perspective that is very important. 

We are not rushed, we are not trying to make million bucks, we will keep going so hopefully we will be the go-to agency for brands with longevity and brands that are meaningful and making the right choice.

KF: Advice for young entrepreneurs.

Joe: You will make mistakes, but don’t dwell upon those mistakes, try to move away from them. In a year we made few mistakes and if we hold on to those mistakes it really bring us down. We should know things are not always going as planned, things are not always going to be successful so be open to change, let the wind take you, also try to stay on track. Keep moving forward, keep pushing forward. Be prepared to work as hard as possible!

I am really happy for Joe and with my background and sense of fine design, I have to say I am well impressed with the brands mix and the execution of the project! Well done Joe!!

You can visit Arddun Store locates inside 4th floor, Harvey Nichols, Knightsbridge, London. Or shop via their on-line shop. For brands and retailers who are interested in collaboration with Joe, contact directly via their instagram or website.

* Note from British Fashion Council – click here

Follow me on instagram @kfyangoconnor for more updates and news; tag me if you are sharing any contents. Thank you!

中文:

時尚,是英國最大的創意產業,每年營業額約英鎊 260億。每一天都有新的設計師和品牌的誕生,每ㄧ季總是有看不完的Showroom,在沒有疫情之前,在時尚週的媒體,廠商,品牌,還有買手們乍看下光鮮亮麗,很時尚,事實上大家的辛苦,競爭和背後的努力才能把這個產業創造起來,往往幕後心酸無人知。

而今天,我興致勃勃地戴上口罩,開心的前往倫敦東部一個叫Haggerston的地方,坐車約兩個小時,來拜訪我的老同事,他年紀輕輕自己創業,成為Showroom老闆。不但如此,他也開了ㄧ家Select Shop, Arddun Store, 位於知名的Harvey Nichols London, 專賣自己簽的設計品牌 ,所以不但當agent, 也賣產品;這還不夠厲害,他們的Showroom 與 Arddun Store 也同時有網路行銷!!! 現在來看看我與JOE 這的對談:

Showroom部置好美,JOE已經開始分享自己當老闆的感受。

今年創業的確特別的辛苦,壓力也大,但是我們才剛開始,還很小,所以我們轉變的很快,比如,以品牌來說,太禮服式的風格我們不接收;牌子需要更多督導的,我們也沒辦法幫助,整體來說,我們辦到了我們想要做的我覺得我很幸運。從二月到現在,這是我們第一個有休假的週末。

KF:創業辛苦!請分享一開始怎麼策劃和怎麼有開showroom的想法?

JOE: 我覺得這一切都算是運氣,就是一開始蠻多牌子要請我幫他們做sales,那你也知道我在品牌裡面做了蠻多年了,我上三個職位,等於都是幫agent還有品牌關係做協調,這並不代表示agent做得不好應該是說他們的平衡度沒有調理好所以默契不佳。那我自己就想如果我有這樣的機會的話我一定可以做得更好 ,因為我知道要怎麼樣來開戰一個小的品牌還有要怎麼樣來創造一個小的事業還有在這一個cashpro上也是非常重要的往往很多品牌還有公司即便說他們了解什麼是CASH flow但是事實上他們都不知道。 還有在做品牌的時候如果你不幫他們和大的百貨公司談好條件你如果不幫他們把第一季送的貨送出去,這對牌子來說的影響會是非常的大,但是我也常常看到甚至是大的牌子也不知道是要怎麼樣做批發。

現在有很多的品牌慢慢的找上JOE來幫他們做批發他第一個會問的問題就是你希望我們合作的關係後來你能夠得到的是什麼?那以他們的回答他會來決定整個策劃的概念,基本上是希望能夠以長久的合作關係為主。

KF: 那你當初在策劃這一個showroom的時候你有想到疫情影響的關係嗎?還有你當時已經有策劃要有一個數位式的showroom嗎?

JOE: 完全沒有! 我們就是一個批發牌子的agency,這是我想要自己做的牌子還有就是我的計畫。那今年是一個奇怪的一年我們就意外地也開了一家店,因為harvey nichols這個百貨公司給了我們一個很好的條件那還有我們的拿到的品牌在美國和澳洲算是有知名度的但是對於英國和歐洲來說他們才剛剛開始所以這對我來說開這一間店等於是一個做品牌的策略然後也是讓我們可以支持自己旗下的牌子我們等於是把錢放在自己的嘴巴裡面的,因為很多的批發agency叫人家買牌子但是事實上在店面上的時候賣得好不好是另外一回事,那如果我自己也開了一間店那我覺得能夠真正的可以了解哪些品牌做得好哪些樣式做得好那對我們批發的 sales這一塊也可以做得更好開店這一個Project是完全的意外發生的但是也蠻好玩的。

那數位式的showroom,我一開始也沒有想到這個但是我就是想要創造一個平台是比較有戲劇化的因為很多showroom的網路平台做的不好那我就希望我的事能夠有戲劇化讓人家真正想要來買東西因為我們說老實話現在沒有任何人是需要再多一件衣服了他們想要買東西都是因為看到了這個櫥窗或者是這個平台有什麼特別的產品讓他們心理上的感受希望能夠擁有這些東西。

KF:還有什麼品牌你會希望能夠拿到銷售權呢?

JOE: 我們現在看的牌子是他們對於自己的供應商 製造工廠等等的 都是尊重和確認還有友好關係的,但這不代表我們是一個專門推廣永續性時尚的銷售agent ,可是大家都有共同好的意識。

每一個我們結的品牌都必須要非常的特別不會有任何抄襲別人家的感覺,還有我們不接受任何品牌只想要賺錢不顧一切對我來說這不是一個能夠持續發展的生意方式。我們喜歡跟有趣的設計師還有他們的品牌有比較特別的概念一起合作。我們與我們合作的品牌關係是非常開放的所以我們下面有女裝生活器材保養品女鞋飾品等等都有。

KF:那到目前開創自己事業面臨到最大的挑戰是什麼呢那你解決了這件事了嗎

JOE:我覺得並沒有一個很大很大的挑戰因為我已經在池上這一行做了很久了所以在很多方面感覺上是很簡單的但是就像我之前有說過我們要創業就應該要想到最差的時候的狀況會是怎麼樣所以我們準備得蠻好的我也會建議自己想要創業的新人也是要好好準備不要想說你可以馬上把錢賺回來那這次的疫情的確是把我們完全拉回來了因為我的一開始第一個季節算是做的還不錯當時我們還在巴黎時裝週是二月底到三月初的時候沒想到兩週之後整個世界疫情擴大全球封鎖雖然我們那一季銷售算是不錯的但是等於是之後的4到6個月都要非常的謹慎但是沒關係啦做生意就是這樣子我們就慢慢的繼續前進 。

還有我想我很幸運我並不是 自己一個人開創這一個showroom我的男朋友一眼和我一起他是一個平面設計師所以他對我的幫助非常的大蔥品牌整個的DNA的管理還有數位上網路上的設計的幫忙非常的大所以我很幸運我們是一個團隊

有動力一開始的時候我常常在想我是不是做了一個很大的錯誤在這1個時候開了一間公司但是你還是要繼續下去一直繼續不斷努力你甚至常常會覺得你已經快發瘋了但是我覺得如果你能夠和同行的一起聊天還有跟一些前輩問問看他們是怎麼過來的這些對你來說都是一個很大的幫助還有我覺得適當的休息也是很重要不用害怕自己的生意明天就會關閉因為你醒來之後你的公司還是繼續會在哪裡持續下去

KF: 那你可以給一些年輕的創業者任何的建議嗎?

JOE: 你一定會出錯的,但是當你出錯的時候 與其責備自己停留不滯應該是要想要怎麼樣不要再犯同樣的錯誤然後繼續前進。今年我們犯了一些錯誤但是如果我們當時一直不斷想著為什麼會放這樣子的錯誤的確就會讓我們覺得非常的難過還有 自責。我們應該都要知道往往計劃不會完美的成功也不是每件事情都可以非常的成功的做好所以我們必須要對於改變是很開放的讓風帶你走,那也盡量保持正軌繼續前進還有準備非常非常努力的工作。 

想要有更多新創業家或奇才的消息,追蹤我的IG @kfyangoconnor 現時動態有更多的消息,謝謝關注!

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