HOW DID YOU GO-ABOUT STARTING THE ACEY.COM?
My boyfriend is a graphic designer and made the website for me. I had the idea to create an elevated environment for sustainable styles and ultimately he made my idea come to life! I decided which brands to feature and he layed it all out – which was a massive help. Then I heard that there was a grant being offered by the local council in Hull for a tech company, I applied and got the grant. From there I was able to work with web-developers in the area. That’s how it started.
HOW DID YOU MANAGE THE STOCK INITIALLY? DID YOU HAVE TO BUY THE PRODUCTS UPFRONT?
Yes, which felt quite risky because I had to use my savings to buy my first set of stock. To be honest it actually scares me more looking back now! When you first start out you are so in love with the business that you think you’ll make it happen, so it didn’t seem as daunting then as it does on reflection! The most nerve wrecking part was pitching to brands and convince them to stock when we first started. Now we have different set ups with different brands.
HOW DID YOU FIND YOUR CUSTOMER BASE?
When we first started it was mainly through social media, and we were really lucky with press articles. I remember being on a photo-shoot and the Financial Times How To Spend It team got in touch with us to publish an article on The.Acey. It was all very organic. We then had a page in the Telegraph and later in Vogue. Our customers are all really loyal, which I love. They really do stick with us again and again!
HOW MANY DESIGNERS DO YOU HOUSE?
We’ve got over 30 designers stocked now, which is quite a lot! We’re just constantly thinking about ways to work with them differently. For example we worked with one of our jewellery designers on a collection where three of the styles are exclusive to The.Acey. Creating new ways to work with designers is really fun and I love it!
IT’S A BUSY TIME IN RETAIL ON THE LEAD UP TO CHRISTMAS, WHAT’S YOUR SCHEDULE LOOKING LIKE?
Yes, there is a lot going on. We’ve just finalised our SS18 buys and so there’s no more buying until Febuary. Now it’s just all about selling before christmas. We have all of our AW stock in and will be hosting a pop-up “Touch and Try” event in november as well as a christmas pop up mid-december. Lots to do!
HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THE ECO-EFFECT ON THE HIGH-STREET? I THINK IT’S GREAT THAT BRANDS LIKE ASOS AND H&M HAVE ECO-EDITS, BUT DO WE REALLY KNOW HOW ECO IT IS?
Yes I know, I feel like there is a lot of green washing going on nowadays with brands saying that they are eco. As a shopper you take their word for it. I don’t want to be negative because if brands are taking action to be more sustainable in one area then that is good. However, if you’re buying from their green collections you are still putting your money into their business. As consumers we have purchasing power, and so we should try to support brands doing good. For example, I couldn’t complain if my local deli – which I love – disappeared if I didn’t shop there.
WHICH ECO-BRANDS ARE YOU LOVING AT THE MOMENT?
It changes a lot! At the moment I love wearing PP, which is a Brazilian design duo who up-cycle leather scraps and turn them into beautiful skirts. I also love our sustainable tights brand Sweedish Stockings which are made from recycled yarns. I wear Veja alot and love Justine Tabak’s dresses which we’ve just started to stock this season.
WHAT WOULD BE YOUR THREE TOP TIPS ON BUILDING A GREENER WARDROBE?
Firstly I’d say use Ebay, I buy a lot from there. Secondly, try swapping with friends, we all have enough clothing and switching up your closet can make it feel new again. Thirdly, invest in key pieces that you will wear all the time. For example a good pair of boots and jeans, the style that you know you will live in.
Will you be taking a look inside The Acey cupboard? Chime into the comment section below and let me know your favourite eco-brands!