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.
VIEW OTHER ARTICLES FROM Janelle

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Nicole Caluag 10 hours ago

5 Mystery-Thriller Novels to Read

If you’re stuck at home and out of Netflix shows to binge-watch, then you might want to try and read these mystery-thriller books to match your homemade Dalgona Coffee.

1. The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

The debut novel, and Goodreads Choice Awards Best Mystery & Thriller of 2019, follows Alicia Berenson, a well-known painter married to an esteemed fashion photographer. Life seemed perfect for Alicia, until one evening when she shot her husband five times, and… never spoke again.

2. Lock Every Door by Riley Sager

From the author of Final Girls comes this page turning novel about an infamous building in Manhattan called the Bartholomew. After stumbling upon an ad to become an apartment sitter, Jules Larsen has set out to look after apartment 12A under strict and somewhat odd conditions. Not long after stepping foot in the building, Jules has been met with unfriendly tenants, eerie noises in the apartment unit, and an abrupt departure of a fellow sitter named Ingrid.

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3. The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James

If you loved Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho or David Lynch’s Twin Peaks, then this book is for you. After the disappearance of her Aunt Vivian while working as a night-shift clerk at the Sun Down Motel in 1982, Carly has set off to Fell NY, to work the same job at the same place as her Aunt had 35 years ago – with hopes of uncovering the truth lurking behind the Motel walls.

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4. Verity by Colleen Hoover

While known for Young-Adult Novels such as Slammed and Maybe Someday, Colleen Hoover offers readers a romantic thriller about Lowen Ashleigh, a struggling author who was given the opportunity to finish the three remaining novels of a successful series after its original author, Verity Crawford, suffered an accident and has become immobile. After receiving an invite at the Crawford manor to sort through Verity’s notes, Lowen discovers an unpublished autobiography revealing the truth about Verity. With the eerie atmosphere of having Verity confined in her own home, and who is seemingly aware of her surroundings, Lowen is certain Verity is not what she appears to be.

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5. Dark Matter by Blake Crouch

A mind-bending science fiction thriller from the best-selling author of Wayward Pines – Dark Matter is packed with the concept of the Multiverse and the philosophy of existentialism. The novel follows an ordinary Physics professor, Jason Dessen, who was looking forward to dinner with his family while walking the streets of Chicago. The next thing he knew, he was being held at gunpoint – by a man wearing a mask – and injected with an unknown drug and blacks out. When he regains consciousness, he learns that the world he woke up to was different from the world he knew.

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Here's a poem I wrote a while back reflecting on what it's like over-rationalize a simple thing like crushing on a dude -- hence, the title "Scientific Method"

Scientific Method

You were a phenomenon I cannot wrap my head around

When I first met you, my heart forgot to make its signature sound

And it's overwhelming, your presence;

And underwhelming, so science will be the only language I'll hide in-- For now.

Observation--

At first glance, I notice your top button unbuttoned,

and your shirt fully cotton

Complete with a smile as nervous as me

And a swagger in your step only I can see

Further on, I find your wit to be at a pace

That doesn't leave any space for tension to rise

and it's all too nice

And ridiculous and a bit too suspicious

That this isn't another (well,) circus.

Hypothesis--

Now, let's take a wild guess,

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Oh, but it has to be smart, yes,

That this could lead to something with potential

That this isn't another differential easily solved

With a formula, tried and tested but never evolved

Experiment--

For so long, we've both been independent of any dependent

Keeping our variables fixed and ourselves distracted

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With anything, everything,

But not a single thing

Could stop me from pushing this blindly to find its threshold,

Hoping that it's a quantity my hands could still hold

Over hours, days, and weeks

Through minor revisions and tweaks

Then comes the analysis -- that these weren't accidents

So, now I find myself in a conundrum

With the anomaly in a blue shirt right in front of me,

That this had to be processed logically,

But the findings are as follows:

None of which were shallow, so I therefore conclude that it's true,

I therefore conclude that it's you.

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Ancilla Diamante 11 hours ago

Mi Luna: The Light in My Dark Soul Locked in… Alone…

Why do I feel comforted by darkness? Oh cause maybe because… I am a jolly and very enthusiast kid back then. All I know is to have fun, laugh and play. But as I grow older, everything has changed, a lot. I can feel the changes. I know the more I get older, I’m turning to something I’m not. You know what, I just realized I like it even more. And that’s how I turned a monster. A monster to my own self. Always questioning life and even God about the things that are happening with my life. “Do I deserve this?”. Every day was a struggle. “Which mask should I wear now?”. And every night is my judgement time. “Should I still continue with my miserable life?”. This certainly sum up my whole life. I have this mindset since I was young. I can say that my experiences made me like this. I always want to escape, but every time I tried to pick up myself up, there is always shits that pulls me down. And there, I get tired. Hoping that no one would ever see this. As I despise myself as well. What I can do now is to just embraced everything, I just embraced darkness- reflecting my own self.

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“Look at the moon, it can shine alone and it can give us light at night.” A line I was keeping in my mind that a friend of mine helps me realize things and been there to fix my path. And there I started seeking for my moon but I do not know which part should I start. As days passed, I started to open up myself. I started to act as what truly inside me. It is very hard at first and there is this time that even the situation got worst. But as I continue exploring with my life, a question pop out on my head “Why did I still get this far?”, I can say that maybe I should do this, maybe I really can do this but it is myself who is holding me back because I’m afraid.

Now as far as I am trying to revive my soul, there I know that many people care. Yes, I learned to open up but not to all, on different situations there are people who can understand me because they have the same situation as I am. I learn to open up as long as they did not force me. I learned to navigate and open up for whom I trusted and at the same time when I am ready. The light that I am seeking is my own understanding and acceptance about myself. My light is myself and I am Mi Luna. So it is not too late to save myself. I have thought that, I should be a survivor and winner. That I should also be the ruler of my own mind and soul. Eliminate the room for darkness and let the light shine through you, that I can say how I earned myself again. Mi Luna’s darkness have turned to spotlight.

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