MAiK London is an independent brand creating beautifully designed products in good ways. All of MAiK's exclusive prints are designed in-house, with fresh, clean geometric patterns at their core. We had sat down with Cat, MAiK's Director, to chat about the ins and outs of running an independent brand.
1. How long have you been going?
In August 2015 I decided to start a homeware and gift brand. The idea behind the brand was clean, fresh geometric prints and all the products were to be ethically made from sustainably sourced materials. In June 2016 after 10 months of designing, sourcing, sampling and tears MAiK was launched!
2. One thing you wish you’d been told?
My business is still very new and I think in 5 years it would be really interesting to revisit this question and find out what my answer is.
So far I feel very lucky, as I have surrounded myself with wonderful people in the industry who are always happy to spare some time to talk through the trickier decisions and moments of self-doubt. I think everyone should be told not to be afraid to ask industry leaders for advice and help.
3. What’s your biggest achievement whilst running your brand?
Being featured in the press (thanks LFA!). Last week we were one of the Evening Standards ‘10 Brands to Watch’ - I think this was the biggest achievement in my life, not just while running MAiK.
4. What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced?
I think the biggest challenge was finding manufacturers that ticked all of the boxes and would work with a low minimum order. Lots of the factories we wanted to work with would only do runs of 1000 pieces plus and as a new business this was simply too high and too much of a risk.
Sourcing trusted manufacturers is a tough and ongoing process especially when you start looking at countries where you do not speak the language. Originally we wanted to base our production solely in the UK but we found that often we had to choose between ethical production or ethically sourced materials and we wanted both. We have been lucky to find some wonderful makers that are a pleasure to work with.
5. In the next year you want to…
Introduce more products to our collection. The ideas and designs are there, it's just finding the perfect partners to make them with.
(Get an office dog!)
Follow me on: @maiklondon