My name is Keri Jamieson, and I am the founder of www.kerikit.com I create beautiful practical, luxury handbags for multi-tasking, multi-faceted women who are fed up with having to choose between function and fashion.
My designs meet an unfulfilled gap in the market – addressing the needs of stylish, affluent, women, often mothers, who find themselves constantly rummaging around, endlessly looking for their keys … or pen … as their water bottle tips upside down in their handbag because there isn’t a special pocket to put it in… until now! We empower women and mothers to feel confident, effortlessly organised, and ready to take on the world in style.
How did you come up with the idea for the company?
When I was pregnant, I was frustrated by the lack of beautiful yet functional bags available. I didn’t want to lose my identity as a new mum and knew even if I felt like a hot mess, if my bag was nice and it kept me organised, that would be a great start!
This frustration combined with over 26 years’ experience as an accessory’s buyer and designer, made me realise that this was my calling – to design beautiful and practical handbags and accessories to help busy stylish mum’s stay effortlessly organised and confidently stylish when they need it most, generally running from one place to another with a kid or two in tow or switching from being a mum to a businesswoman depending on the time of day.
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How has the company evolved during the pandemic?
The pandemic threw up many challenges along with other opportunities at the same time. We had a fantastic six months at the start of lockdown with unprecedented sales which led us to the decision to move to fulfillment centre.
This has allowed me to free up more time each day to be strategic about my business instead of packing up orders, but it has increased our overheads too. Fortunately, as an online-only business, I have already created a good connection to my customers online with regular social updates, I believe it was this relationship with my customers which really helped me in the earlier parts of the pandemic; whilst traditional retail and wholesale models scrabbled to connect with their audience.
Deciding to invest in a showroom on-site was an expensive decision but I am so glad we did it as it has allowed me to do live zoom appointments with customers and more recently face to face sessions.
This has enabled me to connect with my customers even further and give them the experience of shopping in a store even if it’s via zoom. Allowing me to talk through the products and assist potential customers with matching Kit provides me with valuable feedback as well as increasing my average order value.
I cannot wait for consumer fairs and events to start again later this year but until then will happily take bookings online via our website.
What can we hope to see from KeriKit in the future?
We have lots of exciting plans for the future
We are continuing to increase our range of Kit and accessories with stunning journal covers and bag charms to match our bags, as well as house those small essentials such as ear pods, a spare mask or hand creams and lip-glosses.
Having moved to a new supplier recently we are now able to tan our own leathers and we will be making more limited-edition production runs. This will help us stay lean inventory wise and prevent us from having too much cash tied up in stock.
More limited-edition pieces will help us to maintain exclusivity which helps drive the impetus to buy knowing they will most likely sell out. This protects our margin as we have fewer products to go into markdown.
We are also introducing more bundle offers which is an exciting way to increase our average basket value but also give our customers an amazing deal. It’s a tough time right now for so many businesses, us included, but far tougher for those with bricks and mortar or in hospitality.
We’ve had ups and downs and I won’t pretend it’s been easy. I think many businesses have different stories to tell from the pandemic. Ours has been a bit of a mixture. The importance of connecting with customers has been key and my community on Facebook is a major factor in why I’m still here today. We will continue to listen and learn, even as we grow and aim to keep that personal dialogue going. They are my inspiration, and we hope to continue to create more beautiful yet practical bags and accessories that really solve a problem within their busy lives.