Ever wondered why something made locally costs as much as it does? The consumer mindset then goes—"hang on I can get a Michael Kors for similar, right?"
Well let me break it down for you and tell you why it’s worth more shopping locally.
Sourcing: It is already so hard to source high-quality raw materials in Kenya— imagine how much trekking a brand has to do just to get raw material that is of an international standard. My personal experience in this has been sourcing good quality leather from tanneries that actually take care during the treating process—my journey took me all the way from Sagana to Thika... This same concept applies to sourcing brass, fabric, zips, buttons and so on, until you finally find someone you can work with, but guess what- most of the time the quality raw material costs a lot more.
Production: The same story applies to finding a reliable, skilled production unit who don’t have minimum quantities and are flexible to work with smaller production batches. The reason some items like a brass chain cost more with one brand than they do another is because they probably produced a limited stock which greatly increases the production price—the rule of thumb is the smaller the quantity you produce the more it will cost, but to some brands limited stock is their unique selling point making their product more exclusive unlike the mass produced goods you can buy for much less literally anywhere.
Marketing and Distribution: A lot of brands are a jack-of-all-trades. Brand owners are the accountants, social media curators, graphic designers, sales personnel, delivery agents and customer care. On top of this to have product in store means that there are commissions stores need, taxes that have to be paid upon a sale, rent that has to be paid to showcase—all this is a cost factor every brand must consider while still aiming to remain competitive.
Packaging and Customer Service: Beautifully made products need beautiful packaging, on top of that the after-sale service has to follow after each customer receives their beautiful product. This could mean a discount on your next purchase, a loyalty card or free delivery. Again this all has to be factored into the long-term pricing of a product.
So why is worth buying local?
- Care and time has been taking to source the best raw materials.
- That product has been, in most cases, hand made with love—there is always an element of human care that has gone into the finishing of the product.
- The designer has been involved in every single step of getting that product to you—there is no mass team of 50 helping them to get this out in the beautiful way they do.
It is always worth investing in your local community of designers—they really do put a lot of love into making sure they can deliver the most beautiful handmade items to you.
Shop Local—Build a Brand!
Founder, Ocell Luxury