INSPECTOR Gadget would have benefitted from talking to Faire Leather when creating his bag of tricks.
The first collection of products from Singapore-based Faire Leather Co. promises a lot of potentially clever and smart solutions for those keen on lugging their gear around.
The founders, Ryan Choy and Joseph Lor, applied their smarts when it came to funding. Put the word out they needed investment, let people see what was on offer, and build a potential customer base. And for their foresight, Faire’s Kickstarter campaign was booted out of the park. The target was $50,000, but they now have eight times more in the kitty.
What Faire plans will the brand have with $406,000 worth of crowdfunding money?
The Bond Collection — a briefcase and padfolio — are based on Chief Brand Officer, Choy’s desire to have a smart bag that will pack all his needs.
Together with CEO Lor, Faire put together the two products, and went shopping for funding. They bagged Singapore’s most-funded Kickstarter campaign.
Choy now has a bit more leeway to grow the team and the product offering.
“I don’t think there’s anything much we’d do differently in that we’d still like to grow our community and engage with them as much as possible in dialogue,” he says.
With the additional funds, the possibility of taking the brand beyond Singapore has become less of a dream and more of a reality.
The fact that Lor’s father, James, brought the Toscano brand to Singapore and built up its reputation, would have served as a good safety net for the lads’ new venture, had the funding not come in. But, regardless, the overwhelming response has boosted the fledgling company’s confidence.
“I think the success behind our Kickstarter effort gives us more impetus to act more aggressively with our plans,” says Choy.
By owning the entire vertical line — from factory to direct to consumer sales — the company keeps prices down. Faire is also able to do away with middlemen who tend to inflate the price with each interjection.
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The advent of e-commerce has certainly worked in Faire’s favour.
Data analytics and a keen understanding of the online market space are important to the brand’s future, as they will help Choy understand consumer mindsets and behaviour.
This route, where creativity is rendered relevant to the consumer’s wants and needs, will allow brands to stay in touch with real-world needs. The heritage brands will have to pay heed and consider how their huge and expensive machinery, which has already been heavily rattled, will need to reposition and reengage with new generations of customers.
With the success of one crowdsourcing round behind them, Choy is lining up another. With so many Faire weather fans out there, the brand will have to build a strong pipeline of product.