Radley Handbags: Road to Success
The story behind the Radley brand is truly inspiring.
The iconic Scottie dog has become famous around the world, and you will have spotted it making an appearance on the arm of many celebrities. Of course, success like this doesn’t just happen overnight. Hard work, creativity, and dedication helped Radley get where it is today. So where did it all begin?
How it Started
Radley prides itself on being a British brand, so what better origin story than the London Camden market? In 1984, Lowell Harder started selling leather bags and suitcases in the market. She had been inspired by her cousin bringing back a back from India. She couldn’t find anything like it in the UK, so decided to design something like it herself. This love of colour, and something a bit different to what you usually find on the High Street, continues to be an important part of the Radley brand.
The brand grew in popularity throughout the nineties – including the best-seller pocket bag – and by 2005 Radley had opened up their first shop in London. Over the years, Radley has set themselves apart with their use of colourful, bright, leather. They ensure its high quality, too. They want to ensure that all of their products are both fun and practical.
Around the World
The popularity of Radley continued to grow. It opened up stores across the UK, and then soon started selling internationally, both in Europe and Asia. In 2012 it began selling in Japan and two years later Radley started selling its products in Germany. Other countries included were Australia, the Philippines, South Africa, and Taiwan. The Scottie dog didn’t stop travelling just the world then.
In almost any line of work – from show business to retail sales – making it in America is a pretty big deal. If you can make it there, you can make it anywhere. Right? It will come as no surprise that Radley became a success when it started selling in the States. After all, Americans do love British culture and you’d be hardpressed to find something more British than Radley. Business doubled for the brand in a year when they started selling in the US.
A high-quality product like Radley can sell itself. However, some celebrity endorsements certainly can help. From the likes of Lily Cole and Natasha Beddingfield being pictured with them, to a whole array of ambassadors during campaigns. Radly gets some big names. Last year’s Spirit campaign saw the likes of Eleanor Tomlison and Johanna Konta put their names alongside the brand.
Radley is the kind of story that any aspiring designer or business owner wishes to follow. Only time can tell what they’re going to do next. Which is your favourite Radley product?