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Self Interview with Steamer Lane Clothing

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by Startacus Admin

Steamer Lane We started planning Steamer Lane Clothing or (rather our aspirations to start a business together) by checking it against four essential criteria- the viable business test.

Firstly it needed to be home made, in the sense that we could be almost completely self-reliant using our own initiative, skills and labours without the need for expensive equipment or ultra-specialist personnel.

Secondly, it needed to be home grown, in that we could run the business from home, allowing us to fit in with school times and terms and didn’t require formal premises.

Thirdly, it needed to be, as Peter Jones would say ‘scalable’ but more importantly capable of up-scaling organically, that’s to say financially self-propagating and under our own impetus.

Lastly, it needed to have a relatively low cost to enter the market, without compromising our core ethos of delivering real value in terms of the quality of our products and services at fair prices.

Concept

Clothing wasn’t our vocation or even our first choice, but rather part a selection process based upon the above criteria and involving a reverse engineering costing process. In essence we started from the last point above, in looking at what we considered to be constituent to a premium product and consumer experience and working backwards, assessing what it would cost.

It seemed to us that the predominance of big businesses , especially those in the ‘high street fashion brands’ are working from an accountants view point i.e what is the minimum cost expenditure to generate the maximum profit margin, thereby compromising the quality of the consumer value experience in favour of shareholder value.

Steamer LaneClothing

The arrival at clothing as our business model came from passing the viability test; we have an interest and hobby in art and design, thereby being able to create potential designs. There are many types of garment including the wardrobe staple T-shirt that are relatively inexpensive and don’t require a degree in quantum physics to ascertain how they’re made and from what products and fabrics etc. That’s not to say that a huge amount or research was not required to be able to make informed decisions about the fabrics, manufacturers and the process.

Antonia’s experience as a former insurance underwriter and my academic training as a lawyer, served us well in terms of research, analysis, objectivity and evidence collation. We may not have known anything about fashion, clothing and manufacturing but we know how to investigate and find out what we need to.

Lifestyle sector

The lifestyle fashion sector was a natural decision for us, Antonia’s Mum is Australian with family in New South Wales, and having visited many times and living there for extended periods, the beach culture and surfing is in the blood.

Both of us, like many others, love the Ocean and all of our domestic and foreign adventures invariably are focussed around the coastline. In fact the name ‘Halfmoon Bay Company’ is taken from an isolated and unspoiled beach in Antigua we enjoyed, that can only be reached on foot, after an hour’s cross country hike.

Our heritage, passion and adventures provided a catalogue of inspiration for our clothing and the brand; they’re like a wearable postcard of our travels.

Brand identity:

When registering our logo and trademarks with the Intellectual Property Office, we chanced up the portal marked ‘Register a Brand.’ The first page was headed with the definition;   ‘a brand is the promise of an experience.’

We believe that the inspiration and process of realising Steamer Lane is an experience shared by our customers through our clothing. Our philosophy and culture is encapsulated by the American Golden Age in honouring originality coupled with old fashioned values.

The American Golden age of the 1950’s and ‘60’s reflects a Technicolor revolution against a black and white tradition. An explosion of colour, originality and freedom of expression rebelling against the coercion of convention, captured by the spirit of beach and surf culture. It’s more than a look or feeling; it’s the promise of an experience, a lifestyle.

To find out more about steamer lane, why not pay a visit to their website, like them on facebook or follow them on Twitter @steamer_lane.  If you would like to tell your story on Startacus dop us an email to [email protected]

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Published on: 8th June 2014

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