10 years already!
10 years already!
This year we are celebrating the 10th anniversary of our little boutique in Paris Bastille!
Olivia, still making the jewelry by hand, and our mother and I, designing and sewing the prototypes, nothing has really changed: Voriagh remains a small family brand, with the difference that it finally brings us a living.
It is therefore with great satisfaction that I share with you some steps that made us stronger but made us suffer a lot at the time.
This article is also intended for creators who are just starting out, and who are - like us - confronted with the harsh reality of everyday life. I hope it will encourage them in their project!
The adventure began in 2008, but the store really brought us towards the reality of a brand, with its great obstacles and difficulties linked to the modest size of our structure.
Without savings and without real knowledge of the world of commerce, we thus started an exciting but very risky adventure.
The project was to keep the store open 6 days a week while continuing to practice our primary job: music. Being both violinists we had times of very intense work, followed by completely empty periods. We thought that being three we could handle the design, development, and communication. In these plans, we had not included the administrative burden, the vagaries of a shop in a central place of Paris like Place de la Bastille, with demonstrations, strikes, construction sites, terrorist attacks and eventually the pandemic ... Very quickly, we accumulated debts and had a hard time to focus on the main tasks. The greatest challenge was to keep being up to our aesthetic line of conduct, at the same time it was the only motivation to move forward despite the pressure. Progressing, and seeing the work more and more appreciated, was enough for us to hold on. It has helped us for over 7 years. During this period, we kept two jobs because otherwise we would have gone out of business at least 5 times.
The most difficult thing was the lack of respect we experienced because of our small structure. This obstacle penalized us in various areas, especially the suppliers, who unfortunately had seen too many businesses shut down and had lost confidence. We had to constantly prove a kind of legitimacy well beyond the material involved: for a long time, we felt like impostors and were constantly confronted with the success of brands that would take advantage of appropriate advice and / or financial support.
After a while, nothing made sense, all strategies had been tested, all advice heard and applied. Nothing changed, Voriagh was stagnant.
Until one day, when I realized that I was just heeding an advice for fear of rejecting it. “You cannot refuse advice when you are in difficulty”. Well, that's what I thought. So, we decided that the only thing that mattered was the beauty and the quality of our designs. Let’s not forget that in 2011 nobody was interested in sustainable and ethical fashion. Price was the number one criterion. But we stuck to our values. And this is the point where - with time and a resolute artistic will - we took another step forward. Inspiration, nature, our knowledge of history and our explorations of new lands, all of this guided us to the most beautiful encounters and inspired us to create the most beautiful pieces!
Today we are happy, focused and fulfilled in our work. The advice was replaced by silence so that intuition could finally be expressed. There was too much noise. Voriagh's unique atmosphere just needed some calm to settle in our minds. Also, we are no longer alone, our team recently welcomed two new recruits: Anastacia and Rama, who are now the hosts of the shop and welcome you every week, from Tuesday to Saturday.
Thanks to you and your encouragement, we were able to continue the adventure until today, and we have no intention to stop. Now we lightheartedly move forward on new adventures…. This time with determination and confidence!
Thank you for your support. We hope you want to follow us for the future.
Discover the wonderful photos that Alexandra Bochkareva, the famous Russian photographer, took with our lace pieces: 3 designs that we have decided to relaunch to celebrate 10 years of Voriagh and its original, slightly Gothic style!
Alexandra started her work shortly after us, she became known through the photos with foxes and other beautiful shelter animals. Discover her work by clicking here: https://www.alexandrabochkareva.com/