Fashion

How I Started: Fletcher and Derby

Get to know how these young entrepreneurs behind this up-and-coming leather brand started their biz while still in college.
IMAGE Clare Magno

Looking for the IT bag without breaking the bank can truly be a challenge, but not anymore! Fletcher and Derby is a brand that strives to deliver both class and affordability in their leather goods. We had a little chat with one half of the Fletcher and Derby team, Karys Co, and she's sharing  with us how she and her partner started their biz, how they juggled school and business, and how you can start your own, too on this week's How I Started!

When it started. "We started on May 2015. I can't actually believe that it's only been a year since we started Fletcher and Derby."

 

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Why it started. "I started Fletcher and Derby because I was having a hard time looking for simple, classy, timeless, but still functional bags with an affordable price tag. At that time, all the classic and functional bags were pretty expensive, and not student-friendly at all. I couldn't find any brand that delivered my need so I decided to create my own instead."

 

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Young Entrepreneur. "It's quite hard to juggle academics and business at times, but I believe that if you love what you're doing, it's possible. So get up, do the daily grind, and just do whatever makes you happy. In this instance, business just happened to be my happy pill. At times being a young entrepreneur, it can't be helped that you question yourself if what you’re doing is right. But at the end of the day, you just need to be your biggest supporter because you are your biggest investment."

 

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Drawing Inspiration. "We draw inspiration from anywhere! Even the colors of the wall can be an inspiration. There was this one time all my things were in pink, and I thought to myself, 'Hey! I want to make a bag in this color.'"

 

Fly Solo? "Fletcher and Derby is more of a partnership. On the contrary, a partnership is not hard as long as you find someone who complements what you do and the way you work. I believe that in doing business, it is important to surround yourself with people you can learn the most from. But always remember that a partnership is a give and take relationship because no two people think the same way."

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Little Challenges. "Challenges are inevitable, but even after all that just go back to why you started your business in the first place. Why are you doing this? What do you want people to feel when they interact with your brand? Draw your strength from that."

 

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Make It Stand Out. We keep our brand different by always prioritizing quality over quantity, and making sure our customers are always happy. After all, business is more than just the product you make and it doesn't end as soon as you make a sale. It's more of building a relationship with people

 

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What’s next? "We really want to make Fletcher and Derby global. We have five pieces in France right now, and one in Australia so that is a great start. We're actually currently rebranding to make the Fletcher and Derby even better and we’re really excited to show it to everyone."

 

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To Young Entrepreneurs. "Never forget your dreams and why you wanted to start up your business. It's going to be hard and you will have to fight tooth and nail for it. Sometimes you will clash even with the people closest to you. But keep doing whatever it is you are doing because if there's a time to be risky, it's definitely now while you are still young."

Know any young entrepreneurs? Leave a comment below and you just might see them on the site next week!

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About the author
Janelle Yau
Fashion and Beauty Assistant
The Rebecca Bloomwood of Manila. I spend half of my time obsessing about the latest fashion craze, and the other half overthinking and over-analyzing just about anything under the sun. When I’m not busy as a bee playing with fifty shades of pink lippies, you can probably catch me swiping my plastic for yet another pair of shiny, pointed gold flats.
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