We spoke with one of the co-founder and chief executive officer of luxury accessories firm Harber London. The family-run company is dedicated to creating handcrafted, high-quality leather goods that help you to carry better.
What Was the Inspiration Behind Harber London?
We made Harber London because after a few very disappointing shopping experiences we wanted to create a brand we ourselves would be proud shopping from.
Did You Have Previous Experience in the Accessories/Leather Industry Before Starting the Company?
No, it was a real challenge and took a lot of time to learn everything about leather, how things are done, designing our products and running an online business. We literally had no idea about running a business and had to learn everything from scratch and some times even the hard way.
We spent most of our free time researching, meetings in tanneries, talking with craftsmen and women about the job all on our free time when we were not at work.
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How Did You Find the Process of Starting a Business, Any Surprising Challenges That Came Up?
The process was hard, a lot of time was needed and we were doing other jobs while getting started in order to pay the bills. However, a lot of research made it easier than it could have been and other things we learnt the hard way by making the rookie mistakes. A lot of trial and error, active listening to our customer’s feedback helped us shape Harber London to what it is today.
What Makes Harber London Different From its Competitors?
We are not a business interested to make a million pounds, our interest is to make happy a million customers.
We treat our business like a product maker of goods we love for ourselves, so when we make a product we trully are pouring our heart and soul into it, we dream about it, we wake up thinking about it and we refine the idea for days, months and even years until we get it right. This is the only way we know we are doing the right thing.
Is There Anything You Wish You Knew Before Starting the Company?
Yes! Does everything count? We wish we knew more about the industry and how to market our products better. However not knowing everything really helped us become experts at one or two things that help us with our everyday business operations. Starting from the bottom and fighting our way up has really been one of the best things that could have happened to us.
What Does The Future Look Like for Harber London?
Promising, our ideas have always been very clear in our heads and can’t wait to show the world what’s on the pipelines. Our number one priority has been and always will be to stay true to the very first thing that made us open our business, ensuring we would be proud of shopping from our own brand. (and that includes a lot, customer service, product quality, delivery, etc).
What Piece of Advice Would You Give Someone Looking to Start an Accessories Company?
This is not for everybody, so be consistent and be prepared for a shock of surprisingly satisfying endless hard work.
You may not make a lot of money to begin with. However, if you stick to your plan, do your research and have a bit of luck then it will pay off.
You will spend ALL of your time building your brand/business, but if you feel passionate about it all the countless hours you may work a day will be like a walk in the park.