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With the arrival of 2016, it’s time to look back on another year of SHERENE MELINDA.
This time last year, we wrote a similar blog looking back at the year of 2014. It was a year of big developments, with the launch of our website, the opening of our business to the public and the release of three new styles. You can read more about 2014 by clicking here.
2015 has been equally as fast paced and we have continued to grow, with the launch of two new styles, the Ella Tote and the Sophy Clutch, exhibitions at more retail shows nationwide as well as a debut at Africa Fashion Week London and at Pure London.
2015 marks the year of the Ella Tote and the Sophy Clutch, our two latest styles. These handbags have combined classic shapes with the distinctive, unique and playful fashion of SHERENE MELINDA. We spent many hours in the design studio to create a collection of perfect handbags that both old and new customers would love. The Ella Tote and Sophy Clutch were officially released to our online store in November but garnered an exclusive debut at Africa Fashion Week London in August.
A significant event
When we first heard that we were being offered the opportunity to showcase at Africa Fashion Week London 2015, we were bursting with excitement. We knew that Africa Fashion Week London (AFWL) would be the perfect platform to launch the new collection that we had worked so hard on in the first half of 2015. The impending arrival of our 10-minute slot on the prestigious runway had our hearts racing; but as the minutes went by, our nervous energy turned to excitement and joy. The aftermath of AFWL-15 offered us some vastly positive feedback including an award for the best looking stand. AFWL showed us that the new collection was something people really loved, and garnered us some welcome exposure including a BEFFTA nomination for Best Female Fashion Designer!
Growing a presence in the press
It was during the same period that we were fortunate enough to have met Apsley PR, who quickly convinced us of the advantages in a partnership between our two companies. Apsley PR has certainly developed our presence in the press, particularly with a placement in new! Magazine and on the Instagram page of the beautiful Nyané. Aside from Apsley, we have also filled the blank spaces of Elle South Africa and Tatler Magazine this year.
Introducing customers to the new collection
The new collection was not only made to be walked down the catwalk or grace the pages of magazines; but especially with our customers in mind, and what better way to introduce them to these handbags than at various retail shows across the country. This year we increased the number of retail shows we did and also made sure that we could be found across the country, including Liverpool, Lincolnshire, and Yorkshire. We grew our presence at London retail shows by doing more including The Spirit of Christmas Fair, Ideal Home Show, The Spirit of Summer and the Country Living Christmas Fair. The retail shows have given us the chance to meet many customers, both old and new, grow our following and award a lucky few of you a handbag for free!
Selling to the trade
As well as offering our new handbags to retail customers, we were also eager in 2015 to start selling to the trade so that more people across the country could be introduced to SHERENE MELINDA. There was no better place to begin this journey than Pure London, Europe’s biggest fashion-dedicated trade show. We took to the halls of Olympia London once again with a different purpose in mind. Our presence there was boosted with our handbags being featured on the show’s catwalk. Pure gave us the opportunity to have several stockists nationwide and we are excited to announce we will be there again in February.
Happy New Year!
Looking back at 2015 makes us realise how much we've grown in the past year and also how much fun we've had in doing so. We want to take this opportunity to say a big thank you to friends, family, customers and all the people we've worked with to make 2015 a success for SHERENE MELINDA. Without your help and support it would not be possible.
Happy New Year! We wish you all the best for 2016.
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Photo Credit: Dave Cook