I’m Julianna, the voice for rey. Welcome to our first journal entry - think 2000’s password journal or that notes folder in your phone...An open space for us to discuss raw, honest and human topics, with a fashion flair here and there.
To start things off, important introductions are in warm order. Meet Ella and Miky, the power duo behind your recent acquaintance and now friend, rey, the label.
So grab that evening vino and take a comfy seat - we are so excited to have you here!
rey, the label is confident, unapologetic, raw with a slice of that masculine musk, how did you come up with the name?
For us, coming up with the name of our business felt similar to the feeling you get when naming your kids (or even that furry companion). You feel such a huge sense of pressure to ensure it represents their authentic self. Without seeing the beautiful journey ahead.
By absolute sweet chance, we stumbled upon the name ‘rey’ which means ‘king’ in spanish (which is Miky’s first language). We love that it’s associated with assertive notions of ‘leading’ and ‘ruling’.
Now, a handbag has the authority to make someone feel confident. A key ingredient to feeling like you’re about to rule your outfit and your day ahead. It holds some of those things that boost your power - phone, wallet or that special gloss.
All epic friendships have a story, or a dozen. Add a business venture into the mix - how did this come to play?
Miky: Our friendship began with none other than cocktails and a double date, there is no better way to meet someone!
Ella: We quickly realised that we had so much in common it was hard not to form an instant connection. We shared so many values and life ambitions, the rest came easy.
Miky: Totally! From growing our friendship, we realised we both wanted to launch our own labels, but we never got round to it. We’re both obsessed with fashion and accessories (you should see both our shoe and handbag collections from over the years). It doesn’t always have to be fancy. Our collections all mean something special to us, or represent a specific time in our lives - that is what it is all about.
Ella: We just knew we couldn’t be the only ones who enjoyed piecing together outfits that didn’t break the bank. So over time, with countless brainstorms and coffee catch ups, rey, the label was born.
Sustainability and caring for the planet is at the core of rey, the label - how have you made sure that this is part of your ethos?
Miky: I have been plant based for over four years now and so my personal ‘why’ has always been to care for the environment and for the animals. With this, it was important to me to make sure that our handbags were made from vegan leather and that the packaging material could be reused, composted or recycled by our customers.
We also aim to release two collections per year to have a slow-fashion approach in the way that we bring new styles, shapes and colours to our customers. You can find out more here.
That imposter syndrome and “what on earth am I doing?” moment runs through all of us. Did you have that in the process of launching rey?
Ella: 100%. It’s far too easy to give up and play it safe. It takes real vulnerability to launch a label and hope that your friends, family and wider community see the vision you have.
For us and many new businesses, starting out means utilising our own savings to pursue this passion project. I live by the quote “you don’t know what you don’t know” - there is no shame in trying to learn and try something new. I’m a perfectionist, but one that is learning it's also important to stay uncomfortable sometimes.
Miky: In all vulnerable honesty, the week leading up to our launch day, I was really wondering if people would like our bags as much as we do.
I developed resilience from a young age, moving to New Zealand with my family not knowing one word of english, making friendships with the language and cultural differences.
You learn to adapt for sure, we’ve learnt that failing to prepare is preparing to fail. If things don’t go how you envisioned they would go, you have to have a plan B up your sleeve ready to execute to help you continue on your journey.
Miky: BUT (this is very Zillenial of me), I also stumbled upon a NYC artist’s quote on Instagram that said “nothing changes, if nothing changes”. It’s cheesy but straight forward. If we aren’t happy in our relationships, health or careers.. we won’t get to where we want to be without making those sharp changes first.
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