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Alexandra Klimek on Handbag Designer 101 Podcast Every Tuesday




Emily Blumenthal

Host

00:00

Hi and welcome to the Handbag Designer 101 podcast with your host, Emily Blumenthal, handbag designer expert and handbag fairy godmother, where we cover everything about handbags, from making, marketing, designing and talking to handbag designers and industry experts about what it takes to make a successful handbag. So today we have Alexandra Klimek of. 

Alexandra Klimek

Guest

00:29

Alexandra Klimek, who is originally from Poland and I'm actually in Poland, in my hometown, kansas, so this is like proper yes. Intro. 

Emily Blumenthal

Host

00:40

Are you in your childhood room? 

Alexandra Klimek

Guest

00:42

Yes, yes, I am yes, and my cat is just next to me. That's why I was trying to prop the sign. 

Emily Blumenthal

Host

00:51

Oh my gosh, so is all your stuff from your childhood still there, like posters on the wall and all that good stuff. 

Alexandra Klimek

Guest

00:59

No, all the good stuff is unfortunately gone because then my mom kind of remodeled, so no posters, everything's in the boxes, but actually we're moving from I think my mom is moving from this home. So three days ago I've been going through all my boxes from. So there was like 10 on my first sketches, my first designs, my first notes saying I want to go to a bigcipian design and have my own company. And yeah, so it was like a great trip. Back then they were lying. Oh my, I talk about manifesting. Huh, yes, yes, that's what I think when I was reading all the little sketches and all the little notes. 

Emily Blumenthal

Host

01:36

Oh my gosh yes, proper money face. So you know, look, I mean, at this point we're all a little international is that wine? No, no, this is water. I'm okay, I was like good for you. 

Alexandra Klimek

Guest

01:49

They went on the holidays. Yeah, well done by the swimming pool. 

Emily Blumenthal

Host

01:53

Oh, and it's as you do. As you do, good, good for you. But it's interesting because a lot of people don't realize that most people, when you're hearing English, at least on our podcast, with an accent, chances are it's a second language, right? Yes, yes, yes definitely yes. So how old were you? Did you take English in school? Yes, yes. 

Alexandra Klimek

Guest

02:15

So I think I was maybe about 10 or 12 and then I continued, obviously through my education, and then I think a big part of me learning English was watching all the TV series, especially American TV series. So sometimes, well, because I do live in London currently right sometimes when I speak with non-British people they're like oh, the accent is like a bit American. I'm like really no, maybe just all the gossip girls like from the city that I think are right now. I think it kind of influenced that. 

Emily Blumenthal

Host

02:46

I mean I guess it dates you to say it was friends and all of that. Yes, yes, you're talking gossip girl then I know you're a lot younger. 

Alexandra Klimek

Guest

02:57

Yes, I'm actually watching gossip girl. Why don't you start to air insurance clothing? Yes, oh my gosh, I'm a little bit younger. 

Emily Blumenthal

Host

03:03

Yes, oh, my god, good for you. So you said you found your sketches and so forth. So, from an early age, this is who you were, this is what you were going to do, right? At what point are you like? Okay, I must be a designer. I want to be a handbag designer. What do I do? What does it take? 

Alexandra Klimek

Guest

03:21

I think I was about five when I was like, yes, I must be a designer. I collected some styles and some feathers and some yogurt pots and I was just making a creative, obviously giving gifts to everyone around me. I was like that's what I'm going to do. But when I think handbags, when have I decided? I think I was about 20 and I started my education here in Poland and so I started my bachelor degree in industrial design actually, and then, yes, it was a full time bachelor course, and then I also, in the same time, started a part time bachelor course in fashion design. So I was doing two courses, two bachelors, at the same time. Wow, same university, ah, different universities, different cities actually. So, wow, looking back, I'm like how did? 

Emily Blumenthal

Host

04:08

you manage to like, okay, I'm going here and today I'm going there, and it was like, okay, but it made so much sense, like, look, I could do this at the same time. Amazing, look at this, no problem. 

Alexandra Klimek

Guest

04:19

Exactly yeah, you know being 20 and you know they carry the word just like, yeah, I can do it. Yeah, but then, after a year of both courses, I was like, well, what I enjoy make, enjoying and designing is accessories and handbags especially. So I was like, well, all right, I'm going to move to London and apply to London College of Fashion. So I did. And then I got the end and I was like right, great, which one did you get first? 

Emily Blumenthal

Host

04:44

Did you move there and then apply, or did you apply from? 

Alexandra Klimek

Guest

04:47

Poland. I applied from Poland. It's actually quite a funny story. But yes, I applied from Poland and yeah, I find that funny story. Oh God, obviously there's a boy involved. All right, yeah, but making the story quite short, I wanted to chat him up. 

05:05

He was from my hometown and then I wanted to talk to him about portfolio and I was like oh, maybe you can help me. And then he was like sure, yeah, you know, I'm a great graphic designer, we can chat about that. And then we're talking about my portfolio. But he was like so are you applying for that course? And then I was like okay, so then I actually applied that year. I didn't plan to apply that year. Well, just to go ahead with my lie, you know, I applied and then I got in. So I was like all right, okay, I'm moving to London. Then so, yes, that was quite good. And he brought it up right, yes, yes, yes, we were still friends, so we joke about that Sometimes, time that he kind of influenced my I mean moving to London. But yeah, was he in London? Oh, no, it wasn't brown. 

Emily Blumenthal

Host

05:52

No, so it was you were like okay bye. So yeah, kind of yes. 

Alexandra Klimek

Guest

05:58

Yes, yes, but yeah. 

Emily Blumenthal

Host

06:00

Wow. So you packed up, you moved to London. How was your English at the time? 

Alexandra Klimek

Guest

06:05

Well, I remember my first day at university and someone asked me how old are you? And I was like what? And I'm like how old are you? And I was like I'm sorry, I don't understand. So, yes, that was my English back. 

Emily Blumenthal

Host

06:17

Oh my God, it's a lot of head nodding. You're like yes, yes, yes. And then they ask you again and you're like yes, yes, but like yes, that's not the answer right. So you moved to London and what was the class? Was it for industrial design or fashion design? It? 

Alexandra Klimek

Guest

06:36

was accessories design. So, yes, just circling back, yeah, after my two bachelors in Poland I was like, yeah, no accessories. So then I applied for Was it a gold? It was Cordwayners, cordwayners, right, right, right, yes, cordwayners accessory. It was a bachelor degree because in Poland I only completed a year one and I moved to London. It was a bachelor degree. Actually, I completed a full circle because I am a teacher on that on the same course right now, accessories design lecturer at the same course. So yeah, I'm talking about the full circle. 

Emily Blumenthal

Host

07:12

I think I'm lying. Yeah, Is Jane? Jane, I can't remember. There was a woman called Jane who was running the program, because we've had so. 

Alexandra Klimek

Guest

07:20

There was a woman called Jane when I started the course, but then I it was. 

Emily Blumenthal

Host

07:24

Henshey Yep. She was head of the program and she was lovely because through the handbag awards, they had made it part of the curriculum. So we used to get loads and loads and loads of designers from Cordwayners it's pronounced Cordwayners or Cordwinners, cordwayners, cordwayners, cordwayners. Yeah, it was amazing because we'd have these feeder universities that would make sure scads of Anna College, barton design, and then we'd have a few AIAI schools. But this is amazing. So you're there now, so you ended up going to London, the whole thing. How is it visa-wise? Do you need a visa now, being from Poland, or because you've been there long enough? I've been there long enough. 

Alexandra Klimek

Guest

08:03

So obviously, Brexit happened and nobody anticipated that. But because I moved to London in 2012, yeah, I've been there exactly. I've been there long enough. Now I have my. Yeah, I don't need a visa, I'm a proper, 100% resident Forever basically, oh my God, that's amazing. 

Emily Blumenthal

Host

08:24

Good for you, okay. So you moved there and you're like okay, love it here, love this. My English is a little busted, but I'm determined because I feel like I found my home, I found my place. At what point were you like okay, I think I'm really going to make a go of this, because it's one thing to be a uni student, but it's another thing to become a brand and become a designer. And the brand and designer part, really having taught long enough that there's this massive division of what you're educated in terms of the designing element and then, on the flip side, of actually selling to a customer, identifying their needs, recognizing what they'll pay, getting them to come back and actually not just buy one or two but become loyal customers so you become a brand with fans. So that must have been something like there was definitely a learning curve for that wasn't there, being uni and young. 

Alexandra Klimek

Guest

09:17

Yes, yes, definitely there was a big curve from what the expectations are and what to know we dream and hope for entering the higher education and the reality tech. And I think for me definitely a learning curve was my internship that I did with Mulberry. It was a year long internship. It was a great experience to see how the big fashion house is running. It was a great opportunity for me because at the time that was well, it was some years ago. It came a little beautiful, eight years ago I believe, and they were going through changes. When I joined they didn't have a creating director. 

Emily Blumenthal

Host

09:55

Oh, that's when they had done the full sweep of the brand. 

Alexandra Klimek

Guest

09:59

Yes, yes, and they did them to part in fashion week and then halfway through my internship they got a creative director and then they'd get a big 180 and they were rebranding and took part in fashion week. And then from quite easy going well, drop your season going but from kind of like so pace job, it kind of became like a proper high fashion kind of hard work. But, yes, that was really great experience. And then I was helping each and every team. I was working together with men's accessories designer, women's team, runway team, product developers. I was obviously making quick mockups and prototypes, doing basically everything. So it was great to be hands on. 

10:44

So that internship definitely gave me an overview of what a designer should be doing and which skills I need to work on. So definitely it's great to have ideas, but you need to be able to pattern cut, you know everything create a mock up and you know the knowledge of letters and obviously non-letter materials and fabrics, basically the knowledge of pattern cutting and materials, as important as having a big idea of how the bag should look like, because you know, the more I know about pattern cutting and construction, I think, the more interesting my designs are. So I think, yeah, mulberry internship. Yeah, that was a big turning point in my career and I'm great as a designer. 

11:28

Had you started your brand at that point? No, no. So at that point I did that internship in between my second and third year and after the internship I actually worked with the mulberry, but in a store. So I kind of continued the whole journey and it was also a great experience to see the customers that going into the store, that buying into the brand, and you know what they appreciated about the brand and why they were, you know, willing to space free grants in a minute by the end of the day. So it was again an amazing experience. 

Emily Blumenthal

Host

12:01

And then I graduated from university and then I worked in men's accessories scene in Alexander Ruffling as a design assistant After that I take a lot of uni students and I've had other designers who've interned there and worked there and it's like they're also a feeder brand from cordway nurse, if I'm not mistaken. 

Alexandra Klimek

Guest

12:23

So Alexander himself. I think he graduated from Central Saint Martin's by the same big university. 

Emily Blumenthal

Host

12:31

So yes, so I want to touch upon this because a lot of design schools I mean, I've taught at Parsons, I've taught at FIT disneyed to work retail and I always ask my students how many of you have actually physically worked retail? It is so important to understand. I always say and someone many, many years ago said this to me you can't open up a clothing store if you don't know how to shop and understanding the aspect of the buying and what customers are looking for and seeing them interact with the product and the see, touch, feel and all of that is so vital, right? Because you can't run a brand, you know, and it's amazing to be a designer, and it's amazing to tell people you're a designer, and it's amazing to create and make and actually put the product out there. But if you don't know how and why people shop and what gets them to come and then come back, it's like what's the point? You know, then you're just doing a very, very expensive hobby, right? 

Alexandra Klimek

Guest

13:28

Exactly, exactly 100 percent. I do agree, yes, yes. I think everyone who is opening their own brand or even working for a brand like they need to understand the customer. They need to understand why would someone spend, you know a grand a piece of clothing or accessory you know from our store rather than from you know Balenciaga and I say, yeah, it's really important. Can I ask you? 

Emily Blumenthal

Host

13:52

to that point. Do you think working for a brand like that it's great, it's great experience. It's really important to see. However, do you think that gave you a skewed angle of assuming how much somebody would be willing to spend on a product? Because I think a lot of designers miss is they think that when they start as an independent, that they will be the next Alexander McQueen. And that's not to say they wouldn't be, I would never say it isn't, but the threshold of what someone is willing to spend on an unknown brand is significantly less than an established designer. So do you think that was something that affected you in terms of when you were creating your brand? 

Alexandra Klimek

Guest

14:34

I think, yes, definitely, I mean even though after Alexander McQueen, and will really work for many other British brands. 

14:42

And then I knew, I knew that you know, even you know myself, I would spend more money on well-known brands rather than on, you know, unknown brands. 

14:51

So you know, knowing all of that, I still, you know it's kind of like, well, I call it a river topic because you can talk and talk about that, you know, and then obviously it did affect me. But then also, because you know, being an independent designer and making everything on my own, only, you know, in UK, having the super small manufacturing kind of operation, I cannot lower my prices because then you know it's just you make no money, I make no money, I, you know I kind of pay money to people to buy, you know, the products from me, and so I think, yes, but that definitely affected me. And maybe you know, even knowing all of that, I underestimated how much marketing and how much you know storytelling comes into. You know, well, not making by convincing customers to trust a brand, to trust unknown brands, rather than spending all that money on you know well-known products and brands, if you ever wanted to start a handbag brand and you didn't know where to start, this is for you. 

Emily Blumenthal

Host

15:52

If you had dreams of becoming a handbag designer but aren't trained and designed, this is for you. If you have a handbag brand and need strategy and direction, this is for you. I'm Emily Blumenthal, handbag designer expert and handbag fairy godmother, and this is the Handbag Designer 101 Masterclass. Over the next 10 classes, I will break down everything you need to know to make, manufacture and market a handbag brand, broken down to ensure that you will not only skip steps in the handbag building process, but also to save money to avoid the learning curve of costly mistakes. For the past 20 years, I've been teaching at the top fashion universities in New York City, wrote the Handbag Designer Bible, founded the Handbag Awards and created the only Handbag Designer podcast. I'm going to show you like I have countless brands to create in this in-depth course, from sketch to sample to sale. Whether you're just starting out and don't even know where to start or begin, or if you've had a brand and need some strategic direction, the Handbag Designer 101 Masterclass is just for you. So let's get started and you'll be the creator of the next it bag. Join me, emily Blumenthal in the Handbag Designer 101 Masterclass. So be sure to sign up at emilyblumenthalcom slash masterclass and type in the code on cast to get 10% off your masterclass today. I don't think it's so much convincing. I think it's educating them number one and then having them learn that you exist and then reminding them to come back and then storytelling. It's so funny. 

17:30

You said that because you hit the nail in the head that in this day and age the expectation of the customer is that they're not coming in to shop from you unless there is a story, unless there's a behind the story. Unless there is, you know what's the why of you creating and then what's the why of me buying. And you know it's always a red flag to me when I'm dealing with designers who present their product as bespoke right or which, or limited edition. Because unless you've been around for years and years, it usually means that you didn't know or assumed that a customer would come in and buy a one off piece or you know a short run, because you couldn't afford number one to do more than that, because you only brought a limited amount of materials or leather or skins or fabric or what have you, and you know the time, value of money, of creating it. And then the lack of economies of scale, right, the more you produce, the less it costs, but you doing it yourself, right? 

18:28

All of a sudden you're like trying to tell people to spend seven, eight hundred dollars or pounds, and the customer is like I don't know, I don't know about that, so you might be able to get a handful of people to buy, which is enough to validate you, thinking like, oh, look, I can do this. But then on the flip side, you're like well, am I making money? I'm killing myself, I'm spending all day and night making it. And then what? What's the next point? And then you're in that circle loop of like, ok, I think I need to actually get people to make it for me in order for me to make money, because I can't keep doing this myself. Yes, exactly. 

Alexandra Klimek

Guest

19:01

But then you know I'm trying to tell a tell every day that everything is a process and maybe it's a slow process. It's not an overnight success, you know, even though you know I knew all of those things, I kind of know some were deep down in my heart. I was like maybe I will sell out, you know, in a first week or a month, and obviously that never happened. But I would see that also a turning point for me was doing my first pop-up shop and actually being there talking to customers and educating them, as you said. You know it was a great experience. And then you know, I would have someone coming back to me after four months or six months, you know, texting me on Instagram saying that they love my bags. You know they want to buy it and they're just, like you know, checking all the bags, you know, every day. 

19:42

And I understand that because, even though you know, being the one in myself even buying from any other brand, I do exactly the same thing. You know, yeah, I see a bracelet for 600 pounds somewhere and I'm like, ok, that's quite expensive, from unknown brand, but I also appreciate the value. But then you know, I check it out online every other month. And then you know, I have to go through your head Exactly and I'm like, yes, I'm going to buy it because it's an independent designer, it's an amazing, you know design. And then I trust the brand. I see that that's still around. 

20:13

I think that's the other factor that my kind of popular customers from buying from the unknown brand or a new startup Because you know they think what if something gets broken? Or what if you know I'm? You know that fastball you know get tarnished? Will they be able to change it for me? Or, you know, even if I pay them, will they be around? So I think that's also one of the points like people in me. Well, we need to I mean, we, as you know, designers, the brand owners we need to educate the customers that yes, you know it's the money that you're spending. You know there is a value in the product, there's a return on your investment purely from the factory itself. 

Emily Blumenthal

Host

20:53

Yeah, it's interesting. You know, I've been doing this long enough and I can almost tell, when you see people, how they're trained and how that converts to their products, because you can see that you have industrial design experience based on your unique shapes, based on the piping, based on the colors, like there's definitely some sort of I don't want to say unique artistic view, because I always feel like when you say artistic, it takes you to the side of you know it's not purchasable, right? Because you say I know it's an artist, like no, well then, that's not something sellable, because art is limited edition, bespoke, da, da, da, da. But I think the colors you do. I mean they definitely have a point of view, they definitely have a voice. You definitely have your own DNA and I've always appreciated that for your work because I think it's definitely a standout. Did you ever get to the point of having other people make them and did you find production in Poland and what was that like? 

Alexandra Klimek

Guest

21:51

So I got to the point when I mean, obviously, as you know, I've been making all the products on my own, and then I was thinking about the production in Poland, but then, because of Brexit, it kind of becomes quite complicated now how to break it in. 

22:05

Yes, shipping goods in and out from UK, that's a bit annoying, you know the plastic packages and stuff. 

22:12

So then I tried to do the production in UK and so I had a team of amazing women helping me make the product small quantities and obviously, you know, thinking about that, thinking how to grow my business, because currently any other brand owner out there you know million jobs on the side and my brand but thinking how to grow the business and how to move forward in the next five years. I was considering moving the production somewhere else or over the I can oversee it and then making it a bit more compact, sustainable and also thinking about you know that most of the letters and beads that I'm using and the hardware coming from Italy. I also, you know I'm trying to think about that. In fact, I'm shipping everything everywhere and then trying to believe me also that the carpet, yes, exactly, but possibly Poland might be in a possibility team to future or any other European country. Who knows where? I have my European passport with my UK residency, so I can travel everywhere. 

Emily Blumenthal

Host

23:21

I know Poland from another designer that I've known for years. I know Poland has handbag production there. We spoke with Nancy Forman, who actually is working with the factory now in Romania. So I know it is possible and I know the Eastern European countries actually have their own line of production purely because somebody has to make bags there and it has to be done domestically. 

23:42

It's not like everybody. All the creative people within that country are clearly not going, you know, out of country. It just doesn't make sense, especially being such a proud people. Right, it's like you are Polish, you're proud to be Polish. Why not made in Poland? You know what I mean. But to your point, it's definitely a dance to do, because you have a level of quality and look and you want your hardware from here because you want it to look a certain way and you want your leathers from here because you want them to be a certain quality and you want them to be the right color. So it's definitely a challenge to try and piece it all together. But if you have it all done at the same place, then you're already limiting the shipping costs, you're limiting the production costs and you're limiting the time value of money you spend with dealing with all those pieces right, Because in order to grow your brand, it just can't be you forever. 

Alexandra Klimek

Guest

24:35

Exactly, yes, yes, and for now obviously it's me, just me. And then obviously it's really important for me, like being a maker and a designer myself, it's really important for me to maintain the quality of the look and the hand and the make of my products. You know, working for companies like Mulberry or Anya Einmarge, or currency I'm working for can be philo, like you know, it's really important to see the quality in the product and in the make. So I would have to definitely oversee the entire production and measure 100%, maybe not 100% of the time but, like you know, be on call and be able to check the production line. But this is something that's definitely going to move. Who knows, maybe in five years or 10 years I'll move back to Ireland, maybe I'll open my own production. You know my own factory. Who knows, the world is my oyster. You know something to think about. 

Emily Blumenthal

Host

25:28

Well, the one thing I ran a handbag designer incubator and one of the things we spoke about that the only way the cost of your goods can go down is that the further away you've got a step right Like, and in addition to that, you have to not so much sacrifice the look, the feel of it, but you have to recognize that the more people you want to buy your goods, the less number one, the less involved you're going to have to be, because you need to have more people doing it to lower your costs. But then you need to produce more. But then, on top of that, to recognize that, how much of you are doing in terms of the labor are you spending on the development of the bag that, therefore, you'll have to pay for when you have more people doing it? So, what pieces are you willing to give up or sacrifice in order to have more value? Right, because you can't have all these teeny, tiny little details, because they cost money, exactly. 

Alexandra Klimek

Guest

26:25

And I think definitely this is a great topic because nowadays everyone is talking about sustainability and the conversations about non leather materials and leather materials and how it impacts our environment. Obviously it's a valid topic, but that I think one thing that people may be kind of overlooked those days is social responsibility. And the thing that I cannot overlook, and I will not give up on it, is the fact that I want the people who are making my products, I want them to be paid for it and I want them to have great working conditions and be paid for what they're doing. And obviously I don't want to get into that in more detail now, but we all heard tales of factories and factory work is being treated hardly or there's not enough toilets or there's not enough fire exits and then the fire break and then everyone died inside the factory. So I would never go this route ever in my life. 

Emily Blumenthal

Host

27:25

I dashed that awful fire there and I'm sure there's many, many, many more that we don't even hear about. I mean, I live in the Lower East Side where the home of the original triangle factory fire, you know where they had locked all the girls inside because they didn't want them to leave and they had the window shut. So the fire broke out and there was nothing they could do and that was gosh. I think in the 20s, so the 20s or 30s, I mean, and that's what created unionization, just for protection of workers and so forth. So I sincerely doubt that's going on in other places. 

27:57

So I applaud your efforts and trying to make sure, but then again you always have to go back. How much does your customer care that you care? And it's this really really like you know they want you to care, but are they willing to pay for it? So again, like going into, like how much are you willing to give up to get your product to be exactly how it is, to be at the price point, to get them to buy it and not just once, twice, right, like I worked with this boutique and the owner had told me you don't want your bag to be a van go. You want them to come back and buy more than one, and if they spend so much it's going to sit up on a wall, and that's not the point of a handbag is it, exactly, exactly. 

Alexandra Klimek

Guest

28:37

So again, this is an ongoing conversation with myself in my head, and now I won't yes, yes, now allowed when I'm trying to justify, yeah, exactly. So so far, the customers, for both, for me, they heard the story of the brand, they've heard my values and know. They not only appreciated the design of the construction of the bags but also what you know I stand for as a brand and as a you know owner of the brand and they, you know, they wanted to buy into the brand. So, again, this is the conversation I have with myself on do I continue on my quite limited edition display kind of route or do I upscale and give up on some of the you know, important things for me? I don't have answer yet. No, it's an ongoing conversation and I'll see what the time brings. So, obviously, as we said, for now I have unlimited quotes, these, but I'm also I'm doing a bespoke, one-off product. So the other day I've made one of the bigger pieces that dashed by. 

Emily Blumenthal

Host

29:43

Do you have any bags with you? I have two bags with me. 

Alexandra Klimek

Guest

29:46

So I have my. I have my bounce bag with me. Oh, it's the trickle in. Sorry, I'm a word winner, yes, yes. So I have this baby and I have the other one I'm just hanging in here. 

Emily Blumenthal

Host

30:02

Is that a picture of you as a little kid behind you? Yes, Okay. Oh, it's me. Oh my God, I love the dress, I love, love the dress. It was probably look great on you now as a crop top. So yes, I think so. 

Alexandra Klimek

Guest

30:22

Yes, it was a great denim game there. Yeah, everything was denim and I had to buy any bag to go with my dress. It was one of my favorite pieces. 

Emily Blumenthal

Host

30:30

The fact that you remember that. Let's see the other bag, and this is the mini dash bag. Oh, she's so gorgeous and you have the cross body strap, thank God, yes, yes, there's a purple. 

Alexandra Klimek

Guest

30:43

This one is actually a chain. This is a chain that belonged to one of my grandma's handbags, so actually I it's just a sentimental value. But then also a few people saw the chain and they're like, oh my God, I love it On this bag with a chain page. Do it on chain strap. So then again you know there is this conversation with the customer, so inside the Instagram, and then you know they just messaged me and they're like oh, do you sell it? Can you do it? I'm like yes, obviously. 

Emily Blumenthal

Host

31:10

And then so the other day, as I said, I actually know that chain now looks thin in comparison to the weight of the bag. So that's an interesting you know the weight of a thinner chain with a heavier bag. I would actually think about wearing, giving it a strap, because it some time you give the customer too too much, and I'm not saying they're wrong, but sometimes what they want it's like I equate. You know, there's this dialogue that I have. 

31:37

I call it the Baskin Robbins syndrome, where if you take a five year old five actually is enough but a three year old to an ice cream shop and they see all the flavors and the mom is like, okay, which one do you want? And the closer they get to the front, and then it turns into a disaster, because then they see people getting samples. You give them samples and then what happens? The child will only end up getting chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, because in the end that's what the parent will only offer. Because if you give them too many options, they leave with nothing, they leave cranky or they get something they didn't want because they have FOMO. 

Alexandra Klimek

Guest

32:13

So that's true, that's definitely true. So I actually. So I sell this bag with a letter strap. Yeah, and the chain is just. If someone wants a chain, I am more than happy to make a chain for them. Yeah, but the only option on the website is the letter strap. Well, that's actually true. So that's one of the mistakes, even though you know I work for so many different brands. But when I've launched this collection, maybe I forgot that I'm launching a start up in my head at that point and I was like, obviously, you know launching five styles and I'm launching. 

Emily Blumenthal

Host

32:45

It's amazing how logic goes out the window when you're like, oh, of course I can't Amazing Sure. 

Alexandra Klimek

Guest

32:51

Yes, you know, five styles, yeah, that's nothing. And you know they will come in four different color ways, that's nothing. No, because you know, in a different company, we've launched hundreds styles in 50 colors and then I think that that's the mistake that I should learn from. So you know, just going back to the ice cream shop, I think, yes, launching with three colors not to confuse the customer and just to give them, yeah, what you know they should want, versus because they need that structure. Exactly yes, yes. 

Emily Blumenthal

Host

33:20

So, given customer structure, that's definitely something you should actually you should sell the chain on your website on its own, so you don't have to deal with it. 

Alexandra Klimek

Guest

33:28

Yes, yes, yes, you know, the chain is something new, things from like four months ago. 

Emily Blumenthal

Host

33:34

Right, but it's good for you to have because as long as you're doing it this way, this avoids it. And then you can give the option of saying chain is available here as well, comes with the leather strap. But if you want the chain, here's where you can purchase it. So you know it cuts that line out and also the time value that you spend and saying, oh, I know you want, you see me with the chain. You can get the chain. It's almost like a pleasant upsell without an apology, exactly. 

Alexandra Klimek

Guest

34:00

Yes, and then, you know, I also think about introducing a bespoke option, actually, you know, kind of structurizing that on my website, because for now it's only happening through Instagram. So I was saying you know this bag, I love that bag, thank you. I started a bigger model and selling it requested a bigger model with, like, different beads, because I'm selling, I have white and black beads, so I just made a black and white handle. You know, there's this one of a kind that I sell the handle separately. Yes, again, that's the other thing. Yeah, so I'm separately. 

Emily Blumenthal

Host

34:32

Here it comes with this If you want this one, here's where you can get them. So it's already there. Oh my gosh. So, alexandra, how can people find you and give everyone all the information so they can find you and buy your incredible bags? So? 

Alexandra Klimek

Guest

34:48

everyone can find me through, obviously, instagram, so my handle is just my name and my surname, which is Alexandra Klimek, and then everyone can also find me on TikTok. We're simply trying out TikTok. I'm building a plan club. So much work, so much work, so much work. You can check out my video making field and it also obviously through the website, which is alexandrklimek.com

Emily Blumenthal

Host

35:15

Well, it has been an honor and a pleasure having my former Handbag Design Awards winner with having you to the podcast and we just can't wait to see what you do next. And if everybody wants to go buy that incredible bag with the very creative beaded handle which I'm obsessed with, go find Alexandra. Thank you, Thank you. 

Alexandra Klimek

Guest

35:34

It was a pleasure to be here today and keep on inviting me. 

Emily Blumenthal

Host

35:37

Okay, take care, bye. Thanks for listening. Don't forget to rate and review, and follow us on every single platform at Handbag Designer. Thanks so much. See you next time. 

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