India Cleverly shares her inspiration behind London Velvet
On the back of teaming up with London Velvet to bring you our CBD Focus 20% Roll on X London Velvet Leather Bound Journal set, we sat down with London Velvet's founder, India Cleverly, to deep-dive into her process of building her brand's bespoke identity.
What made you start your own company?
My parents are entrepreneurs, so it is all I’ve ever known. My biggest passion has always been being a part of the creative process from the beginning and watching your vision come to life from that initial idea. I’ve never been very good at being told what to do or working to someone else's schedule, so running my own business suits my character too!
Focusing more on why I started London Velvet – the story begun around our backpack really. Although there were brands out there that did backpacks, I never felt I could find one that would transcend from day to night. After designing the go-to backpack, we then realised there was still a gap in the market to provide unique accessories that could be bought for yourself or as a gift.
What's unique about London Velvet's style?
We create pieces that are your go-to everyday accessories - they are timeless and effortlessly elegant. We are a made-to-order brand (meaning no surplus stock) who take pride in knowing that our products are crafted out of the finest leather and velvet we can find. We design accessories that can be bought as they are, but our main selling point is that we have made our atelier digital, allowing the customer to personalise our products to suit their style – everything from the colour of the stitching down to their initials. Our pieces are as unique as the person who buys them.
Why is the London Velvet journal so special?
The paper, the leather and the velvet were all specifically chosen to be in line with OTO’s brand pillar, Focus. The paper supplied is 150gsm and creamy to write on. It’s one of those pieces you will want to protect and it’s the perfect size. I can already see my daily set up - laptop, Find My Space journal & the Focus roll-on CBD oil. I swear the roll on is the limitless pill (from the film) that I've always wondered existed or not! I’m certain I’m at least 50% more productive nowadays.
When do you find yourself turning to your journal for support?
As most people do, I find my mind never stops and I can be very forgetful. Most of my (I like to think) good ideas come to me when I’m not at my desk or just after I’ve tried to clock off. In a bid to try and organise my thoughts, I turn to my journal and write down my thoughts, often so I can prioritise them. When I’m organised, I find my mind, and my goals, are so much clearer and my general mood is noticeably different.
I have my Find My Space journal on me always so I can jot, plan and endeavour to make my next day more productive. I’m also an avid doodler and sometimes these can lead to my product ideas.
One of the things we love about London Velvet is your commitment to sustainability, please could you tell us a little more about this.
You are kind to say! We are so pleased that our latest movement towards bespoke, made-to-order accessories consequently means that we have totally minimised waste. We never have surplus stock and nothing ends up in landfill. In trying to offer personalised pieces that felt truly special, we figured that from experience, it was impossible to second guess what colours customers wanted and better just to let them design it and for us to make it to order.
Not that it is directly to do with sustainability but in turn we work only with artisans and as a result we pay them handsomely for the work they do and the proof is most certainly in the pudding. The workmanship quality is outstanding, so instead of trying to make something cheap and cut our costs, we’re investing in the future - purchasing quality materials, investing in quality workmanship both of which will then extend the product lifecycle.
Why did you want to work with OTO?
I’ve actually always been a fan of OTO, I’ve seen so many excellent reviews and think their branding is 10/10. I’m a terrible sleeper and swear by OTO. Little did I know OTO also had CBD oils to make you more productive! It is amazing how many benefits CBD has when combined with other incredible functional botanical ingredients! I love that each of OTO's products are designed to enhance three different moments of the day; Focus, Amplify and Balance. OTO is such a thoughtful and carefully curated brand and their reasoning behind why it started is somewhat similar to why we set-out. It also smells so good, everyone needs it!