Meet Charlotte, Owner of REX concession Luna
Posted on May 27 2016
Luna is one of the newest members of the #REXFAM. Charlotte, designer and owner spoke to us about her brand, her designs and the future!
The Luna brand is beautiful, tell us more about the business?
‘Luna’ has been around in one incarnation or another for years. She is my alter ego from my days as a graffiti artist, so when I decided to put my energies into a retail business, it made sense to take that long-established tag and turn it into my brand. Luna is very close to my heart! The idea for the Luna as a business came from the fact that I always loved putting my illustrations on everyday items that make people smile – a birthday card, a favourite mug, or a print for their living room.
As an illustrator and designer I am constantly commissioned to create designs for other businesses and other people’s products. It made sense for me to take what I know, what I love, and put them together to create my own creative business.
Luna was born towards the end of last year. We began by producing a limited edition collection of Christmas stationery, including wrapping paper, cards and gift tags. We were testing the waters, but it turned out to be a great success, and good fun, so we haven’t stopped since.
Did you have any initial idea of what you wanted to sell when starting the brand?
We have a list as long as our arm of possible products, but we pay attention to what people seem to like, what they can afford, and what genuinely makes them that little bit happier.
We plan to constantly create new products lines, including accessories, stationery, homeware and art. The plan for Luna is that we commission designs from other artists and makers under the Luna brand, and so we are also on the look-out for new ideas and collaborations that fit with what our customers want and our own ethos.,
What do you love most about creating your own products?
We love the whole process of developing and designing a product. The whole team loves it when we get that first prototype for a product and it just works! On a personal level, I have always loved having space to create and explore. This way I can paint and scribble ideas down, then find different ways to incorporate them into Luna products.
The pendants on sale at REX were a particularly satisfying thing to make. We took time deciding what materials to use, colours, styles etc, and every time our maker came in to the studio with a new prototype we’d get really excited. Now each necklace is handmade individually and I love the way each one has its very own unique feel. When the first batch of prototypes were made we posted photos of them on our social media channels and the response was amazing. That made it easy to select them as a product to sell in out new concession at REX.
What do you have stocked in REX?
We have a selection of products in store, some of our favourite Luna pieces, including laser cut wood and Perspex pendants, in lots of different colours, including flouro colour ways, which are my favourite. We also have illustrated greeting cards and framed prints…for now!
What do you like most about retailing at REX?
It’s great being under the same roof as other great independent businesses. It’s a pretty inspiring environment, although I am slightly worried that I’ll spend quite a lot of money whenever we are down there! We like the whole ‘buy it local ethos’ and the fact that the REX team will proactively promote our business and products to their network of customers. That’s kind of the thing is invaluable for businesses like Luna as we build awareness of our brand. It’s also great that we have freedom of how we use our space and present our own brand and products. Freedom to experiment is key for us right now. We’re also in talks about some fun collaborations with the REX team…but we’ll keep those ideas to ourselves for now!
What advice would you give to independent illustrators and designers starting a brand?
Don’t be afraid to fail and don’t be timid. For our first Christmas collection we gave ourselves a ridiculous timeframe for designing, making, marketing and finding stockists. I mean, with a Christmas collection there is an immovable deadline! Other people would have told us to wait and do something else, but we just threw ourselves into it, and it was great. We learnt a lot and it gave us confidence to move forward. In fact, we were approached by our first stockist within 24 hours of launching our products online - which was pretty unexpected!
What’s in store for Luna?
More exciting product lines and new collaborations. We will be going on the road to trade shows and markets, as well as making a concerted effort to find more brilliant stockists online and outside of Merseyside. We’re in the middle of redeveloping our online shop too and are shaping our marketing strategy for the coming year as we speak. All very exciting, with REX being a great place to be inspired, make connections and get our brand out there to new customers.
Say Hi to Luna on Twitter!