The “Introducing” is a series of interviews of independent lifestyle and design brands that our readers have not heard of yet. It’s an introduction to the brand story told by its founder. This interview is with Liv Lindley, the founder of a namesake sustainable lifestyle brand “Liv Lindley Silk Studio”, where she tell us how she transitioned from being a fashion buyer to a small business owner.
Can you tell us more about why you started Liv Lindley Silk Studio?
I launched Liv Lindley Silk Studio during the pandemic, when the company I was working for as a Fashion Buyer sadly fell into administration. Around the same time, I had really struggled to find a timeless, quality dressing gown to wear on the morning of my own wedding. Being made redundant, plus the obvious gap in the market for this sort of product, led me to launch Liv Lindley.
I decided to use my experience of developing beautiful products to create a luxury silk Bridal dressing gown that would make Brides feel like the goddess they are on their wedding morning but would also last a lifetime and could be a gorgeous keepsake for years to come. The inspiration for launching my business started with accessories for weddings but the collection has now expanded to include other silk accessories for everyday self-care.
Did you previous experiences help with setting up the brand?
Working as a Product Developer and Buyer for the past ten years for several large retailers definitely helped me set up the brand from a product perspective. My last role was as a Menswear Accessories Buyer so I worked a lot with silk as a fabric (albeit for men’s ties and pocket squares!) Having factory contacts and relationships with suppliers was beneficial, as well as fabric knowledge and experience with logistics, packaging and shipping/imports. I had experience working closely with marketing departments but I probably underestimated how much there was to know so that I could market Liv Lindley as a brand! However, I have really enjoyed learning lots of new marketing tips and gaining new knowledge in this area.
How did you transition from working for somebody else to working for yourself and becoming a small business owner?
I would say this was definitely one of the toughest transitions. As a Buyer, I would be constantly working really closely with the rest of my buying and merchandising team as well as liaising with lots of other stakeholders on a daily basis. I am a people person and enjoying working as part of a team so I have sometimes missed this aspect becoming a small business owner. This is one of the reasons why I currently also teach on a freelance basis with the Fashion Retail Academy so I can still have the social interaction of working with lots of other people. One of the big positives of working for myself is the flexibility to work when and where I want and, with a baby on the way, this will definitely be a huge advantage in the future.
Why silk in particular? What are some of its benefits?
The brand is underpinned by the belief that we can all benefit from a little affordable luxury in our everyday lives. Silk accessories deliver just that – they make us feel indulgent and improve our sense of wellbeing. We can’t always afford a fancy holiday or trip away but my silk products aim to deliver that luxury hotel experience in the comfort of your own home.
Whether it’s the natural hypoallergenic and anti-bacterial qualities of silk or its ability to help skin retain its moisture and stay hydrated, silk has been scientifically proven to have many benefits for skin, hair and our sense of wellbeing. As silk is naturally temperature regulating, my pillowcases improve sleep quality and the frictionless surface helps to reduce fine lines. Silk also contains amino acids meaning my silk pillowcases and hair accessories help hair retain moisture and prevent frizz and split ends. The many advantages of switching to silk are still not widely realised, so I created my ‘Silkology’ concept to help explain the health and wellbeing benefits of adopting silk into your everyday self-care routine.
What are your brand values and sustainability beliefs?
Sustainability and slow living are important values of the brand; I aim to promote a slow fashion model by developing beautiful, timeless accessories that last a lifetime. Reducing consumption and instead purchasing products that are made to last is one of the best ways we can help save the planet. All of my silk is free from toxic dyes; only eco-friendly dyes are used, certified STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX®. (This is one of the world’s best known labels for textiles tested for harmful substances so you can be confident my silk is harmless for human health).
20% of global production waste comes from the textile and apparel sectors; there is a huge problem with clothes made from synthetic fibres ending up on landfill sites that then cannot biodegrade. Silk on the other hand is a natural fibre, so can biodegrade easily, and uses less energy than many other fibres during the production process. Furthermore, the washcare instructions for my silk are either to handwash or machine wash with cold water on a delicate, quick cycle which uses half the energy of a warm wash. I am also part of the eco-packaging alliance, meaning my packaging is eco-friendly, sustainable and recyclable.
A summary of my brand values is below:
Timeless Accessories For Everyday Self-Care – My aim with Liv Lindley Silk Studio is to promote a slow fashion model. I develop high quality, timeless products that are made to last and that bring a touch of luxury to your everyday self-care routine.
Pure Affordable Luxury – I source the world’s finest quality mulberry silk, recommended by dermatologists and beauty experts, without the excessive price tags that traditionally accompany other silk brands.
Planet Kind – All of my silk is free from toxic dyes; I only use eco-friendly dyes, certified STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX®. I am also part of the eco-packaging alliance, meaning my packaging is eco-friendly, sustainable and recyclable.
Support Small Business – I am a small UK business. I use my experience of sourcing fabric and developing beautiful products to carefully design a range of luxury products and I am personally involved in each and every order.
Silkology is my concept that I use to encompass all the health and wellbeing benefits of silk.
Your favourite product and why?
This is so tricky to name one! I use my silk scrunchies every day and love how well they hold my hair up, whilst remaining gentle to my hair. When I was made redundant, I definitely noticed my hair got thinner due to the stress of the situation but switching to silk hair accessories and pillowcases has really helped my hair become the healthiest it’s ever been. I also get quite hot in bed, especially during the summer, and so using a silk pillowcase has helped my sleep quality and has stopped me from waking up in the night.
But the main inspiration behind launching Liv Lindley was my frustration at being unable to find a timeless, quality dressing gown to wear the morning of my wedding day (that also didn’t cost the earth!) I was fed up of all the fast-fashion options and synthetic fibres that had flooded the market, so I decided to create my own and launch my band. Even though my scrunchies and pillowcases are my best-sellers, my dressing gowns are probably my favourite product, because without them, I wouldn’t have launched my business and the rest of the range.
Any plans for this year?
I really would like to focus on growing my audience this year, having my brand feature in the press and gaining more exposure would be amazing for my small business. I also really want to focus on the wholesale side of my business, trying to get my products in boutiques and independent gift shops. I will be taking some maternity leave towards the end of the year but I would love to use this time to design and develop a capsule collection of loungewear/nightwear.
Visit website: livlindley.com
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