Yasmine, founder of HUX here. Thought it was about time I wrote something to explain what's happening with HUX and all the exciting things that have been happening over the past 6 months! I've chosen to stay silent on this for a while, but now feels like the best time to begin communicating this with you all. Thank you for your emails, social media messages, website enquiries, in store enquires and all the ways you guys have found to reach out to us. It's been incredibly humbling to know HUX hasn't been forgotten and that your support is still ever so consistent.
Where did HUX go?
If you follow HUX you'll know that we are heavily concerned with our processes and making them as transparent as possible, from designing the bags and sourcing the materials, through to the working relationships we build with the people who make our bags. Trying to run an operation like this fairly and successfully is a huge challenge, but it couldn't be another way.
Although you can still find our products in stores in Malaysia for now, you would have noticed that our online store has been closed for 6 months, with items only available to pre-order.
In May last year I relocated back to the UK, permanently this time, with big plans to expand the brand beyond just HUX. Not being on the ground to nurture the new collection into production meant we faced many challenges in pushing that to completion. As a result, I decided to focus my sights on expansion beyond SE Asia.
What's next for HUX?
As some of you may have read in Straits Times Malaysia last year, i'm currently working on opening a Community Concept Store right here in London! I'm very excited to announce the wheels are now in motion! I'm unable to share all the details are this time, but in brief, the store will house 3 main concepts, each contributing equally to the store's attraction and customer base.
1 - A vegetarian cafe, serving some of the best coffee in London. A huge statement, I realise, but we want our cafe to be worth traveling to for the coffee alone. The cafe will also function as a co-working space.
2 - A store housing some of the best London based fashion brands and artists (including HUX)!
3 - A studio for everything from daily yoga classes to ceramic workshops. The studio will also have a huge focus on events - running free events and workshops for Social Entrepreneurs and Start-Up Businesses.
When will the Community Concept Store open?
It's going to be a huge personal and professional challenge, but I hope to have the London store open and lights on for business by the end of 2019!
What does this mean for the new HUX collection?
Unfortunately there won't be one for a while. Rather than working with different groups around SE Asia, we are planning to open our own production house in India in 2021. This will give us full control over everything right from fabric weaving and dying right through to packaging and will ensure we can run everything as sustainably and fairly as possible.
What kind of brands will be stocked in the store?
Upon returning to London I couldn't believe the hideous commission rates and shelf-space rates being charged throughout the city for small, boutique brands to stock their designs! As a result I decided I wanted to create a space where artists and artisans of all kind can thrive!
We are looking for 100 new UK based brands to stock their creations in our store! It will be free to stock your products with us for a period of time, and after that a nominal commission will be taken. We aim to support artists and artisans as much as possible, so whilst our selection process will be tough, there will be little to no money involved for you for the foreseeable future.
How can I apply to be stocked for free?
If you would like to be considered for this, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and ensure you fulfil the following requirements:
1. You must be a UK brand (you can be very new and this can be your first time in store - you may even be a graduate)
2. You create handmade products / artworks
3. You must design the products / artworks yourself
4. You must list all other London based stores you are stocked in
The kind of items we are looking for include:
Jewellery, bags, homeware, skincare, textiles, prints and canvas', furniture, candles, ceramics, wood-work etc.
In the meantime, we'll keep you updated with the progress of the store and share the occasional blog post about the brands we love.
Thanks for reading x