i found this article on the cut about a designer with a really unique marketing strategy pretty interesting. mark tallowin, a tree-surgeon-turned-artist and leather craftsman, came up with a plan called the “4.4.8 experiment” where he’d make 4 bags, give them to 4 influencers in the fashion industry for a week, gather their feedback and have them pass on the bag to a person of their choice, for 8 weeks. at the end of the experiment, tallowin had 32 fashion insiders who had not only received the bags and provided their valuable input, but were also seen carrying the bag everywhere and wrote personally about the bags for his blog documenting the experiment.
it’s also pretty cool that he produces all bags in very limited quantities because he oversees the entire process. and he wants it that way–he wants each bag to be made by one person from start to finish, from selecting the hides all the way to shipping. i particularly love this quote:
I may train up an apprentice at some point, but I’m quite happy staying small. I think designers become very keen to say, “I’m turning over a huge amount and I’m stocked in 500 shops worldwide” — but then they become a manager in their own company. If I wanted to be a manager, I would have done something else. I love making handbags and I get a huge rush when a customer e-mails me to say, “I’ve just seen it — I love it.” It’s the biggest buzz.
i’m rooting for this underdog in the luxury industry…i hope mark doesn’t lose sight of his passion for craftsmanship and his business continues to grow.