Loopy is featured in Durham's Student newspaper, Palatinate!
Interview: Loopy Love
By Molly Goetzee
Loopy London (@Loopy_London) is a student–run fashion brand selling bespoke, handmade earrings in Durham, Edinburgh, London and shipping to Loopy lovers in the UK and around the world. Their designs have featured in multiple college fashion shows and even on Made In Chelsea star Eliza Batten. Palatinate spoke to one of the founders, Georgia Barham, to talk about Durham’s Loopy takeover.
What made you decide to start Loopy?
Georgia: Best friends at school, Millie and I were always making things and coming up with whacky ideas. We’re both interested in fashion and funky accessories and would spend time in our holidays making necklaces, earrings, headbands. We struggled to find funky, well-made accessories at an affordable price and so started making our own. When people started asking us where our accessories were from, and if we could make them some, we realised that we could have fun advertising them on Instagram. Our key motivation was the enjoyment we got out of seeing people’s day brightened up by their funky coloured and jazzy accessories that we’d made for them. We’ve rather been blown away by how fast the Loopy trend grew!
How does Loopy run at the moment?
Georgia: Loopy continues to be run on the ground by me in Durham and Millie in Edinburgh during term time, and by both of us in London during the holidays. We don’t outsource so all the earrings are made by the two of us. We take it in turns to process online sales and share the management, finances and marketing of the business. In the holidays we rely on our network of amazing friends and family who support us so well. Shoutout to those who help us with photography and modelling!
What’s been the most surprising thing about starting a business?
Georgia: Since the beginning, we have been so shocked at the overwhelming support we have received. It’s absolutely crazy how fast the Loopy Love has spread, across the Durham and Edinburgh Campuses and beyond. The summer holidays saw Loopy explode and really take off: we’ve had several sample sales and pop-up shops, including our very own pop-up party on the Kings Road which was in collaboration with a Barbados Beach Bar called One Eleven. We had visitors from all over the place and it was particularly great to meet some of our enthusiastic Instagram followers. We love seeing people living the Loopy life!
How do you balance uni life with running a business?
Georgia: It’s manic! Running Loopy alongside my degree can be challenging but I love to be busy and the stress is worth it. I’ve never really seen Loopy as ‘work’ because I enjoy it so much and it gives me a lot of happiness seeing people out and about, wearing their Loopy earrings and loving them. It’s a glorified hobby!
Who are the businesswomen that inspire you?
Georgia: Charlotte Simone – she built her business at a young age and we love her funky colourful fluffy scarves. Henrietta Rix and Orlagh McCloskey (Rixo) – we’re obsessed by their vintage print silk dresses and we love that the business started in the living room of two best friends, much like ours.
Have there been any big changes since starting Loopy?
Georgia: The biggest change has probably just been the way we’ve grown so quickly. Moving from Instagram to a website saw a sharp increase in our sales which was very exciting. We’ve moved from selling only to friends to selling to people from across the world (we’ve sent parcels to USA, Canada, Ireland, Spain, Portugal and Australia). In recent news, we’re soon to be stocked in Barbados at the One Eleven Beach Bar – we’ve gone international!
Advice for aspiring Durham brands?
Georgia: Enthusiasm – love your brand! The more you love it and what it stands for, the more other people will love it too. It takes time to build a brand image but stick at it and keep positive, enthusiastic and committed. Running a business is the most worthwhile experience. And have fun!
What’s the next step for Loopy?
Georgia: Keep spreading the Loopy Love! We love seeing our brand grow and develop. We’re about to launch lots of new products on our website (including headbands, socks and new earrings ranges). We’re also looking for Fresher Ambassadors at Durham to get involved and to help us spread the Loopy Love. Keep a lookout on our Instagram for updates at @Loopy_London. We’re always doing giveaways and sample sales!
Images by Loopy London