From failure to founding fashion brand Ezelle
My journey to creating EZELLE starts from 2012 after I’d graduated from university in Printed Textile Design. I’d just completed a 3 month entrepreneurial and work skills course for women in London called ‘You-Make-It’ founded by Asma Shah, who accepted me onto her pilot programme in September 2011. At the start, I was very shy, lost and confused. I’ll never forget the impact this course had on me and my confidence to achieve my goals. After this course, I made two commitments to myself for my future; to create beautiful and elaborate print designs and to be a champion for social change. I didn’t know how exactly I’d do this, I just knew that’s what I wanted to do and I was going to do whatever it took to achieve that.
I embarked on my business straight after graduating from YMI and enthusiastically did everything myself. I worked on my business at every opportunity I could get and my passion and motivation never died despite constant challenges. The whole process took 5 years as I was juggling this with my jobs in retail and admin, as well as other personal commitments. I desperately wanted to make it work and had high expectations, but of course I’ve come to know now that most first start-up businesses usually don’t go exactly to plan. I wouldn’t change anything I did, if I had the chance though. Through the process of building and launching my first business, I met and worked with some wonderful people who have become long term friends and co-workers. I fully enjoyed all the creativity behind it all, and although very stressful at times, the fun of it definitely outweighed everything else. I lost a lot of finances I’d invested, but I gained so much experience and knowledge and as a result was better equipped for building EZELLE!
After the launch of my first brand in July 2017, I decided to re-brand and create something bigger and better that represented and provided exactly what I envisioned back in 2012. Since around June 2018, I have been working hard to build EZELLE from scratch.
As a believer in God, I fully trust that whatever happens, whether a ‘setback’ or not, is 100% supposed to happen to help you grow and learn as a person and as a result, help propel you to achieve your goals.
After the ‘failure’ (I use this term loosely as I believe nothing is truly a failure) of my first brand, I carried on networking and looking for people to help me create EZELLE. I had a vision but wanted to make sure that the vision could not only be executed visually, but structurally as well. I wanted everything from visual identity, products and communication between my brand and its audience to come together harmoniously to make the brand a success. Eventually I found the right people to help me, and slowly but surely it has been coming together.
It took a long time to come up with the right name for my brand but eventually I found the perfect one. The name Ezelle combines the Turkish word “Ezeli” which translates as “eternal”, representing the brand’s commitment to sustainable production creating pieces that are loved for a lifetime, and the English “Ezell” which is a name given to both girls and boys and holds the meaning “nobel acts of kindness”, representing inclusivity and compassion as the brand’s core values.
EZELLE will be fully transparent about every aspect of the business from where the profits go, to the cost of production of products, and the manufacturers EZELLE work with. Honesty is an integral value of ours.
Our products will be limited in quantity, and print collections will be released every year with new products in our three main categories; fashion, home décor and lifestyle accessories. We hope to offer something for everyone’s tastes through our variety of product options and prints.
EZELLE will give 10% of its profits to a different charity or social enterprise every 3 to 6 months. We presented three charities to our audience on Instagram a few months ago, including You-Make-It, which of course I have a personal connection to, as well as Acorn Overseas and Global Handprints. Votes are still open up until two days before we launch, so if anyone would like to vote, please do so on our Instagram page via the ‘Community’ highlight.
We have also partnered up with the Unicef society at SOAS university who, in exchange for a small donation every month (from my own personal finances), are supporting myself and EZELLE to get to where we need to be through collaborative campaigns up until March 2019.
We are aiming for 100% eco friendly production within 5 years and within the next 2 years we’ll hope to have put together a programme of regular events and workshops that help nurture creativity within our local community.
If anyone would like to become part of our community, get involved in the upcoming events we are curating or just hear about how we are working towards making a difference, please sign up to our newsletter where we will send regular updates about our products and work.
Additionally, if anyone would like to link with us and others who share the same core values join our Facebook Group where you can be part of a wider discussion on how we can all contribute to positive social change.
Ezelle is currently working hard behind the scenes on their launch, follow them on Facebook: ezelleofficial.
Written by Hannah Fellerman – founder and creative director | Photography: JJ Jordan