Happy birthday to us. This week sees Uptown Yardie turn 2 and this second year of business has been a whirlwind. To celebrate we are giving 20% off selected items all week. Just use code ANNIV2 at the checkout.
It all started with a post of Bob Marley with Ras Malachi. Did you know that Ras Malachi, Bob Marley's spiritual adviser was Mrs Uptown Yardie's dad?
We want to take you back to the beginning of 2016, what we are currently busy doing and share some snippets of future projects.
People in business always say that it will take a good two years of grafting to get a new business off the ground and we would say that is very true. The first year for us was finding our feet. Being creative is one skill, making that a successful business is another. So, navigating working with factories, unmet deadlines, building a website and starting an online business marked some unknown territory for us and there were lots of lessons learnt. It also meant taking a big leap of faith in our vision and sinking a lot of our hard-earned savings.
Besides maintaining and growing Uptown Yardie we had two major events happening. A house renovation and a wedding. Unless you have super powers and nerves of steel not advisable to do both but we got through it. We now have a great kitchen, come studio, come office, come entertainment space. You may not know it but that rubber yellow floor you often see in our pictures, yep that’s our kitchen. One of our other passions is interiors. Mrs UY has a blog and a little side business doing interiors. Check her out on facebook.com/untillemonsaresweet
By far our greatest highlight was our wedding. In fact, we loved getting married so much we did it twice. Both were beautiful. Of course we were wearing shoes made by Mr Uptown Yardie.
Our second year has seen the business take off and we were busy trying to take it to the next level. We launched a Kickstarter campaign to help us grow the business and help us finance our new collection.
We had great fun filming our video in our local shopping centre, which ended with us being escorted off the premises by security. Apparently, you need a licence to shoot in the car park. Who knew! Lol.
Unfortunately, we did not meet our target which has implications for what we want to do, we come to that later, but on the bright side it increased our brand awareness and had a direct impact on our social media presence and website footfall. For a couple who are media shy we have never been interviewed so much. Podcasts, magazine interviews and an appearance on BBC Radio London was all outside of our comfort zone but paid off in terms of getting the brand out there.
We were disappointed that we didn’t make our target and it meant that we were not able to claim any of the money we had raised because our crowdfunder was an all or nothing scenario. It means we have had to scale back on what we were hoping to do. The collection will be much smaller and we unable to go to the Tokyo tradeshow.
On the plus side, we have pushed ahead with Uptown Yardie Jamaica and we are working with a factory in Jamaica to produce the Yardie boot. We are very proud of this project as we can give something back to Jamaica which has heavily influenced our style and ethos.
This is a boot made by the Jamaican people for the world. We are currently working with the Jamaican High Commission in London on an official launch date both here and in Jamaica.
Part II The future - soon coming...