11 September 13

Behind The Scenes With Your Brand Space

1. Can you please tell us a little bit about YBS and how it came about?

yourbrandspace.com brings wholesale fashion online exclusively for buyers, brands and press. It is a free service for fashion buyers that enables them to find new brands and product 365 days a year. The site showcases a range of Womenswear, Menswear, Accessories, Lingerie and Swim brands.

yourbrandspace is headquarted in the UK and was launched by Samantha Bleasby, former Event Director of Pure London and Louisa Valvano, the former Global Marketing Director of WGSN on 7th December 2011. Our joint professional experience in the fashion industry meant that we had seen how the internet had transformed the consumer world. We felt that the trade side of things had not been as quick to adapt and needed to be brought up to speed. We also thought if we can save the retailer time and money by providing a free online service where they can find all the brands they want, whenever they want and at the same time save the brand money in investing in a wholesale platform, we would fulfil a huge gap in the market. Plus times have changed – brands and retailers are no longer buying and selling twice a year at shows, it has become a year round activity for most. We wanted to help them, so you could say it was born out of the growing needs of the industry.

 

2. What are some of things people can expect to see on YBS?

You can expect to see thousands of products from over 140 brands across Womenswear, Menswear, Accessories, Lingerie and Swim brands. We have brands to suit every wholesale budget and brands that do not currently show at any trade fairs.  From small independent brands, to larger well established brands from far and wide including UK, France, America, Italy and more. On the lingerie side we have everything from small UK designers through to large European labels, even covering D+, maternity, mastectomy, nightwear, swim.

 

3. This is a very unique approach to Fashion and buying, how was it perceived in the beginning?

We have been fortunate that we have received great press coverage since we launched and that brands and retailers alike have loved what we are trying to achieve.  It has been a re-education process for some people as this is a different way of working so we expected it to take time but we are delighted with the numbers of brands and retailers using the site and are even happier that we are helping brands export.  For example, we have just had a British lingerie brand send their first order to a store in New Zealand, who contacted them through yourbrandspace.

 

4. What are some of the things happening between brands and retailers who are on YBS?

We have a full range of communication going on which includes:

  • Independent retailers from the UK and overseas finding new brands they wish to stock in their stores
  • Online retailers from all over the world finding inseason and short order buys to sell through their site
  • Retailers contacting/reasearching brands for additional collection information - e.g. Minimums, deliveries
  • Retailers pre-selecting items from brands they like with the intention of ordering
  • Retailers topping up with existing brands they stock - looking at short order and in-season collections
  • Brands inviting existing customers to view their new collections and pre-select products
  • Brands inviting potential retailers to yourbrandspace to engage with their brand/collection on the site
  • Brands offering unique discounts to our retailer members

 

5. For those who maybe thinking “Is this right for me?” what would you say?

From a retailer point of view, it is a free service so you have nothing to lose by signing up and seeing if there are any brands that take your fancy.  Once you are on the site it is easy to make contact with the direct wholesale contact at the brand. We also have a lot of retailers using it to research brands directly from their stores or home as we provide information such as wholesale price points, which we have been told is invaluable.

From a brand point of view we would say if you are looking to reach new customers and go into new territories in a cost-effective way, we can definitely help. We provide a constant sales platform for wholesale buying, along with marketing and PR to our retailer members all year round to help raise your brand profile and introduce you to new stockists. We have over 2000 retailers now, around 70% are UK and the rest overseas.

 

6. What are the benefits on being on YBS?

 

Retailer benefits include:

  • Free access to the wholesale contact at over 140 brands
  • Access to brands that don't show at any tradefairs
  • Access to representatives that can make brand recommendations
  • Weekly newsletter bringing you new collections and news
  • Access to exclusive retailer and brand interviews
  • Wholesale discounts on collections

 

Brand benefits include:

  • An online wholesale presence 365 days a year
  • Your own bespoke url so you can direct existing and potential retailers to view your collection at any time at a click of a button
  • A ready made network of buyers that is building week by week
  • A fully flexible service that enables you to list your products as and when they become available
  • PR and marketing throughout the year to a targeted wholesale market

 

7. What are the values that YBS have?

Integrity, honesty, tenacity, passion, ambition, common sense

 

8. Where do you see Fashion and buying going in the future?

Fashion buying will continue to be less seasonal, so we still see a demand for in-season and short order labels and of course we believe that the online B2B side of fashion will develop significantly.

 

9. What are some of the secrets to your success?

It is no real secret but the key to success is hard work, tenacity and belief in your product and your team.  We are also really fortunate that we have great contacts and a brilliant network of both brands, retailers and press, which have stood us in good stead. Fundamentally, the main reason for our success is that we had the right product at the right time for the changing market conditions.We have proven that brands and retailers can connect and sell online, often without even seeing the product in person.  We are helping brands export internationally and providing a free service for retailers to reach new labels – ultimately it is the right concept at the right time delivering results that has made yourbrandspace a success.

 

10. Biggest learning you have had in YBS?

The biggest learning has to be coping with demand.  We have had requests from the industry to branch into other sectors, but the key is to balance doing a great job with what you have, versus taking on more and diluting your offer.  Fortunately so far we have managed to strike the right balance, but it is hard to say no to people!

 

11. Anything else you would like to add?

If you are a fashion/lingerie brand or retailer and like what you have heard from us today, then why not sign up to www.yourbrandspace.com – we would love to get your feedback!

To become a brand member please contact sbleasby@yourbrandspace.com

Retailers please contact Lvalvano@yourbrandspace.com

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