Amanda Elliott and Kate Davies started their business, 2englishbirds, to bring UK product to the Australian market and will make its debut at Reed Gift Fair next month.
The pair currently represent accessories label Nooki Design London, Holly Young Millinery, Filthy Velvet Candles and Amanda Coleman Jewellery.
They have built their business on design focused brands with a commercial edge. “We also look for honest working partnerships—we have to feel happy with the brands and personalities we’re dealing with and vice versa as they have to trust us with their brands,” says Elliott.
“These are designers who have built their own companies and identities over time and they all have their own unique stories. Kate and I wanted to connect with the right people as we plan to work with them for a long time.”
Both Elliott and Davies have worked in retail and supply in the UK and Australia, and decided to channel their extensive experience into a personal project. They hit on the idea of distributing products because, after 12 years living in Australia, they felt Australians had a desire for UK brands.
“We’re self-motivated and decided to stop talking about the possibilities of doing something for ourselves and turned the dreams into reality,” says Elliott.
“Australians hold the UK in high regard in terms of quality, value for money and design. With this in mind we realised this was our opportunity to bring some amazing brands across the pond.
“The challenging part was taking the leap, now we just want to enjoy it and work towards our goals. We have had some great experiences and it’s amazing how many people want things to work out for us and are willing to offer advice and help us on our journey.”
They have decided to exhibit at the trade fair next month to get their brands into the hands of buyers and industry professionals. “We think it is a great platform to launch from and get our product seen and hopefully for us to build our stockists from,” says Elliott.
“Retailers who like great design, good quality and recognise something a little bit special should look to us for a point of difference. We feel these brands will work in harmony with the Australian brands already stocked. We want to offer a range to complement, not compete with, the great brands that are here already.”
Next up for 2englishbirds is to take a selection of Australian brands to the UK. “There are so many amazing design brands here in Australia that don’t get seen overseas,” says Elliot. “Yes, online is here to stay but nothing beats a physical item in your hands for an instant connection.”
By Ruth Cooper