Two Cardiff students are launching a country-clothing brand called Elsie & Arthur.
Jack Williams, 21, and Allie Lawson, 20, both originally from North Devon, were awarded a launcher loan of £8,000 from School for Startups, founded by ex-Dragons’ Den investor Doug Richards.
“We are so lucky to be given the financial backing to turn our idea into reality, “ said Allie, who is studying Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies at Cardiff University. “When we applied, we had to stop ourselves from getting too excited. We knew there was only a slim chance of getting the loan.”
Elsie & Arthur is due to launch online on Friday 10th May, and will sell high quality clothing including wool knitwear, cashmere cardigans, summer dresses and silk scarves. The pair describe the brand as selling a lifestyle.
“Living in the countryside, we understand our target market,” said Jack, a Business Studies student at Cardiff Metropolitan University. “From the beginning we had in mind the type of items that we were looking to sell. The hardest part was finding the suppliers and making sure that we were using the best materials.”
The loan has nearly all been spent, due to the high costs of simply sourcing materials and pieces. The Elsie & Arthur event stall promises to be a shopper’s haven within a marquee, with apple crates for a desk and rails of bespoke clothing.
When asked why Elsie & Arthur is unique, Allie said “Because we’re not on every high street, we’re exclusive and will only be available online and at various events and pop-up shops.
“We want to be an affordable version of the designer brands that everyone has heard of. We will constantly be changing our collections and we will be offering limited edition items. There won’t be millions of each Elsie & Arthur item available; if you want it you’ll have to buy it quickly.”
The business has been shortlisted in the final three of the Cardiff University Spark 2013 Ideas Competition and will find out on Wednesday (15th May) if they have been successful.
Jack and Allie will also be taking their event stall to various shows around the country including The Royal Three Counties Show, The Cotswold Show, and the Cheshire County Show.
Information on the range will be available at www.elsieandarthur.co.uk