This month, we have the pleasure to welcome two new brands within the hive: Obiya and Pierre et Perle. It is always a great moment for us to meet new designers. It allows us to discover the materials and fabrics they are using. We like to understand their inspirations sources as well as their specific know how and special constraints. At French Beez we are voraciously feeding ourselves with their passioning stories.
We are very often asked how we manage to find new brands.
Now we can finally say…new brands are coming to us!
BUT it was not necessarily the case at the beginning. Everything started with a designer who did not like to sell. However she was talented and was designing superb bags with beautiful fabrics and a real innovation.
We helped her first with making her a website and then by defining her brand and targeting her customers.
We were completely amazed by her products thus we spent a lot of energy in the promotion of her brand.
She was really passionate about her production and did not want to go out of her workshop to meet distributors or retailers. Nor she wanted to go to private sales. That is exactly how we started our first Marketplace :Amazing-hk.com. This way customers would come to her without her doing anything but conceiving her bags. We built up an online boutique and were actively looking for new brands to complete our offer. We got in touch with brands that we liked and we were running the multiple fairs and private sales to find new ones.
Eventually Facebook became our new best friend, a great place to find new talents. Indeed lots of brands are selling through Facebook and as a consequence they almost all have a Facebook page that you can visit.
From time to time we still lose ourselves on the web to find this ” certain je ne sais quoi”
And let’s not forget about all of you, you give us names sometimes in a mere conversation. Thank you for that!
If you want to let us know about another French brand who should join us please click here
Having a creation from obiya is like having a small piece of traditional japanese beauty with you, everyday. Marie Laure started to make bags and accessories for herself and for friends and eventually in 2017 she started her own brand, Obiya was born. Each obi is unique and so are her creations, that she personally cuts and sews at her home studio in Tokyo.
“My passion for sewing and handcraft started at a very early age. I have learnt to create and experiment with all kinds of materials I had available to make clothes and accessories.
I am originally from France and moved to Hong Kong in 2007, a perfect hub to discover Asia and its incredible energy and diversity. It boosted my creativity and thirst to experiment new things, I studied interior design, as well as improving my sewing technique. Moving to Japan in 2015 led to another discovery. The beauty of traditional Japanese clothing and especially kimono belt : obi. I immediately pictured what I could design with this marvellous fabric. It would become my main material for making bags and accessories. Each obi is meticulously chosen for its quality and design in the various flea markets that I enjoy visiting in Tokyo and its suburb.”
What’s a obi ?
Originally, it is a belt used to maintain kimono but now it’s more an accessory to enhance the beauty of the kimono, that’s why obi are richely decorated. Embroideries are woven handmade by japanese craftsman, mainly in silk but also in linen and cotton. There are many types of obi, but the one that Marie Laure mostly uses for her creations are 4m long and 30cm wide.
Obiya offers a selection of handbags, purses, evening pouches for women who want a unique and ethnic – chic fashion accessory.
THE BEEZ QUIZZ
Your favorite gift?
A bag, of course lol !
2. Your absolutely necessary item?
3. Your main inspiration source?
Inspiration is everywhere around me : it can be people in the streets or objects I enjoy to upcycled so that they become unique.
4. Your major difficulty in your host country?
Language and cultural barrier
5. Your first purchase after winning the Euromillions lottery?
A logde in the french Alps
6. Your hidden talent?
7. Do you have stucked in mind a question with no answer so far?
8. A sound, a noise that you can’t bear at all?
9. An inspiring place or city?
Kyoto … a magical city, full of energy but still calm, modern but traditional. But above all, Kyoto is a city of amazing craftsmanship where the precious heritage of traditional industries continue to be handed down by the skillful hands of Japanese craftsmen..
10. Another brand that you like on French Beez?
Valerie Cordier. I love her designs and It was a pleasure to meet her in Tokyo. She’s a very inspiring designer.
Find Valerie Cordier collection here
Tell us about one product of your brand. What is the story behind this product? Why precisely this one ?
Tell us the story behind this product? Why precisely this one ?
It’s one of my first creation ! I created this pouch to put all the small stuff I need in one place so I can change my bag easely. I have everything inside : tissue, lip balm, lip gloss, nail file, roll-on with essential oils, pen, … I have it in many colors and size so I can from time to time, depending on the season or mood.
This is a must-have accessory that you can use everyday and it’s also the perfect gift for your loved ones !
OUR BEEZ CRUSH
Our Beez crush this month goes to Catherine Martel and her incredible project “Expats parents”.
She dedicates her time to help French expats in need for answers regarding personal aspects of the expat life : moving to the right place, raising kids in a foreign country, finding the right health system, choosing the right school, finding the right people to talk to, choosing the right family language …
Wants to know more?
Thinking of starting your handcraft business from abroad? You need to think forward and do a check list before reaching the stars.
You need to check its laws regarding company registration
Which type of material you will have access to?
Will you need to adapt your product to the local market?
- The type of entrepreneurship that you want
Alone or with a partner? Will you get help on certain subjects?
- The distribution
Where will you sell your products? Market, Private sales, in store, your internet website, Market Places…
- Your skills
Will you need some trainings on particular fields?
- Your mobility
What if I move?