Once upon a time in a faraway land of whimsy and culture, better known to some as West India, two students from a little town called Stamford happened upon a fortune from an old toothless man. They bought a brown leather bag which had been handmade by the man and flew it over the ocean and back to their hometown.
Fact or Fiction?
It was almost surreal hearing the tale of the conception of Burghley Bags. It sounded like the plot to a fairy tale and not the beginnings of a new business venture.
The bag became a statement piece attached with the poignant question, “Where can I get one of these?” according to Alice Essex, one of the founders of Burghley Bags. She and her partner Jacob Margiotta soon tired of directing people to Rajasthan and sought to find similar bags closer to home. It wasn’t an easy task, as the bags were hard to find on the high street, more so at a reasonable price. With this realisation they saw an opportunity and clasped it in their hands. Leading them to combine traditional English style and Indian craftsmanship as a unique selling point and there it was, the start of the company.
But the partners could not just stop at creating statement pieces and providing employment for the craftsmen who individually handmake the bags in India. They saw that the Land of Kings was home to many street children and decided to donate a £1 for every bag sold to the charity Railway Children.
What makes Burghley Bags a unique brand is the quality of their product, all their bags are made with genuine goat leather and created with love and great attention to detail. They come in 6 different styles and can suit every occasion, be it an interview or a festival. The vintage feel of the bags gives a touch of class and style.
Here are my favourite bags from the collection:
These two students are an inspiration to fellow students, as they have managed to not only start a business but to self fund. In this tough economic climate, they saw the importance of avoiding unnecessary debts on top of the student loans they already had and in doing so, they avoided any catastrophic implications of their business venture failing.
They assured me that they still have plenty of time to socialise, even if it means inviting their friends over while they’re packing the bags up ready for delivery. Starting a business doesn’t have to mean giving up your whole life and investing all your time in the business. Organisation and time management is key.
The main business start up tips I received from them were:
1. Self fund to avoid unnecessary debts. It also gives an other Incentive to work harder than you would because the money is yours.
2. Use the skills you have available to you e.g. Alice studies Fine Art and used the practical skills she learned on her course for the business card design, website designs and other creative aspects of the business.
3. STOP PROCRASTINATING! The pair started brainstorming their ideas in January but April they were already selling bags.
4. Focus on the positives of starting a business. There will always be a risk. Be the one to take it and do something spectacular.
What more advice could you wish for? These are tips from the brain-boxes behind this fast growing small business. Get yourself out there doing what you dream of and get yourself Burghley Bag!
For more info check out: http://www.burghleybags.co.uk/