It is hard to believe that it is the anniversary of our first year in our Burlington Garden store. It has been a very exciting move - with new spaces and larger rooms giving us the space to be able to showcase our product to the customer in its best light. Additionally, with this extra room, we now have the luxury of space to be able to expand our collections and evolve our ranges. So I thought for this newsletter I would highlight some of our new products and our expanding collections.
We decided that as our new home is Albany we would create a diverse range under the same name with the introduction of a slightly different kind of product which has a gentle twist and contemporary feel. We had huge success with this stock range in September and as a consequence we will be repeating it with a bright, new Spring collection in April. Within this new range and with my love of butt-edged, raw-cut products, we introduced a range of wallets at Christmas with heavy contrast coloured edge stain, and this month we have added a deep burgundy to our luggage collection in addition to the existing sand colour.
We have always had a reputation for our different trinket, jewel and stud boxes so we have developed our core collection further by adding a few new items such as a smaller watch roll that includes a mini stud box - perfect for travel. In addition to this we have developed a new lockable watch box alongside two new jewel boxes which have all been hand made in a softly grained calf and are lined in our signature coloured suede.
This year we have made a concerted effort to introduce and evolve our scarf collection, introducing new designs on a quarterly basis. For pre-Spring and in lighter gauge yarns, December saw the arrival of the floating feathers, the geometric, abstract keystone and the rather cheeky Indian elephant print designs. These are in soft, warming tones from teal blue to a rich bordeaux.
We have finally created a small range of rucksacks – we were rather slow off the mark but we were looking to make sure we could offer a chic and stylish range rather than just copying sports bags. Since the style’s introduction we have found our rucksacks to be a huge success and will be developing more for the year ahead.
It’s a bit unorthodox to be offering stock that we have not yet got available on the website, but we thought we would give you a sneak preview of our new handbag collection. A rather ‘cutesie’ cocktail bag, a refined about-town saddle bag and a sophisticated day bag with a clasp to lift the simple elegance. As ever, the female briefcase is a challenge - to be business-like and carry a briefcase can be too severe, but an extension on a handbag lacks gravitas. So I hope with this bag we have found the perfect balance!
With the introduction of the leather library and Harriet, our bespoke manager, finding a new work space next to it, we have seen an increase and growth of our bespoke offering. With the product all being hand made in the United Kingdom by some of our most skilled craftspeople we can offer our customers anything from copying a new item to tailoring any of our current range to their specific requirements.
Over the years our embossing service has always been done using specialist blockers – however, with the additional space in our new home we have been able to invest in our own embossing equipment and have fully trained Theo to be our in-house leather embosser. Aged 20, it is remarkable how quickly he has developed the skill for embossing all items beautifully that has been beyond our initial expectation. With the equipment taking 30 minutes to set up and each item taking approximately the same time to undergo the process, he comes in on Wednesday afternoons and Sunday to emboss our products so we are able to offer a reasonably fast blocking service for a highly skilled job.
With all the buzz around Burlington Gardens I feel slightly guilty that our new Sloane Terrace store may have been somewhat neglected. Opened last December it has proved to be an instant success and has allowed customers to see our complete range of products showcased in a small yet perfect area. We have divided it between women’s products in the original Sloane Street store with men’s, luggage and games being housed in the new Sloane Terrace store. I think that the staff, and not just the customers, have enjoyed having the extra space enabling them to serve our customers and show the products in a more spacious environment. Additionally, what is great is that while the original Sloane Street store was small, we have not increased the stock holding, but just divided it between the two premises thereby giving it a larger area to be ‘heroed’ in.