I love a niche brand, a label on the rise and, thanks to social media, they’re getting easier to discover. But wouldn’t it be heaven if you could find them all in one place? Bethany Rowntree certainly thought so. Tired of purse-busting high end designer labels, the luxury fashion buyer has spent years dreaming up her ideal store: a premium shop stocking unique yet attainable names in fashion. Thankfully that dream is now a reality and Studio B is finally live. Its virtual doors swung open with Gestuz, Rixo, Baum und Pferdgarten just a few of the brands on its rails. I caught up with this inspiring woman to find out more…
3 questions for… Bethany Rowntree, founder of Studio B
1. what inspired you to start studio b?
I worked in luxury fashion – for Mulberry, Matchesfashion.com and then Anya Hindmarch. Each company was different, but the roles began to blend into one. I felt I wasn’t making the most of my skills. I kept thinking there must be more.
I started finding smaller more independent brands on Instagram and thinking: wouldn’t it be amazing to put them all into one edited place? Somewhere that tells people more about them, is easy to shop, where the stock is at the same level of premium, but attainable (by attainable I mean I’ll eat tinned tuna for a week, not half the year, to buy an amazing dress). I kept questioning if you didn’t want fast fashion, premium high street or super luxury and wanted something a bit more unique, where did you go?
2. what’s been the hardest thing you’ve found about running your own business…
Hmm… turns out there are loads of challenges, even when you think you’ve thought of everything, you haven’t! And I never have enough hours in the day. And criticism – no one likes criticism, especially from those closest to you. I think because their opinion matters so much to me.
3. …and the most rewarding?
Seeing it come to life! I left my job before Christmas and have been full on since. I’ve created something and the brands believe in my vision. Also, the interest from press, positive feedback and sales. Not to mention the loyal customers. I’m actually really proud – it’s insane.