Erika Szücs is a #Girlboss that has style, one that knows what she wants and isn’t afraid to stand out from the crowd.
Here, she chats to us at House of Coco to tell us more about her brand, plans for the future and more…
Can you tell us a bit about your brand and your journey to getting where you are today?
“In her Berlin atelier, designer Erika Szücs produces a wide range of high quality women’s bags. The fresh, new brand provides luxury fashion pieces that easily make you stand out from the crowd. The leather bags, wallets, backpacks and clutches from the new collection are created with a clean, minimalistic approach: www.erikaszucs.com” (quote from British Vogue May 2016 issue)
After I graduated fashion school, I moved to Berlin and started to build my “small empire”, as my boyfriend and I are calling it, joking of course. The journey to the point where I am now wasn’t an easy one. I started with an extremely low-budget, so I had to do everything myself. I invested a lot of work and energy, it took a lot of endurance, but it was worth it and I will continue to work with the same ambition.
What has been your highlight since launching the brand?
I had several highlights since we launched the brand. These highlights have always been those moments where I felt my work is appreciated and the path we walk on is the right one. One of those moment was when I finished 3rd out of hundreds of participants at Etsy Design Awards 2015 . Another one was when I was contacted by British Vogue to be featured in the May 2016 issue. Also when a series of bags co-designed by me was presented at the Berlin Fashion Week 2015, as a result of a collaboration with another fashion brand from Berlin.
Who is involved in the business?
My boyfriend, he’s helping me with management and is responsible for customer care.
What product has been your best seller?
My bestseller (above) is a combination of backpack and gym sack, half leather, half cotton, in black & white stripes.
Describe the brand in 3 words?
High-Quality. Authentic. Fresh
Tell us what a typical day in your life looks like?
My day always starts with coffee. Work in my studio starts at 9AM and ends at 5PM. If I have a deadline, I spend all day in the studio. My boyfriend handles the paperwork, so I can concentrate on the creative process. After work I hit the gym or go out with friends.
How do you juggle work and social life?
My work and social life are intertwined, but that isn´t a bad thing. On the contrary: my boyfriend and I have a lot of fun steering our brand in the wanted direction.
You are obviously a creative person, when your creativity is lacking what do you do to get it back?
To be honest, I never had moments of lacking creativity. The problem is, I have too many ideas and not enough time to put them all into practice.
But I do have moments when I’m not working as fast or as focused as I’d like, that’s when it’s best to do something that is not related to work.
What sets your range apart from anything else that is currently on the market?
At the risk of sounding cliché: 1.) originality 2.) quality 3.) price
1.) I invest time in design. A lot. Sometimes as much as I do in the actual production. So a person who purchased a fashion accessory from Erika Szücs has the guarantee of wearing something truly unique.
2.) My products are 100% handcrafted. Every single item is designed and produced in my studio in Berlin. Of course outsourcing the manufacturing would mean more products in less time, so a lot more income. But would it also mean low-quality? Definitely. I prefer a 5-7 hour production time for a bag and when it’s finished, I am 100% satisfied with the result.
When creating my bags I only use high quality materials, for example 100% cotton and genuine leather. This doesn’t go unnoticed by my customers, sale return is under 4%.
3.) I produce high fashion bags, but I don’t go crazy with the prices, they are affordable for everyone. I don’t design bags for rich people, I design bags for people.
Who/what inspires you?
Inspiration comes unannounced. Sometimes it’s a color that inspires me, a special fabric or people on the street.
What are your plans for the brand in 2016?
Of course, one of the main goals is the growth of my brand. We’re working hard to double the numbers from 2015.
I’d also like to design bags for other fashion brands, to keep my creative mind sharp.
At House of Coco we love to travel, tell us about your favourite place on the planet?
Definitely Berlin. It’s multicultural and I love living in this city, it is a source of endless inspiration.
For others aspiring to run their own company, what advice would you give?
Follow your instincts and don’t give up after the first bump in the road.
The great Romanian sculptor Constantin Brancusi once said:
“You must constantly try to climb very high, if you want to be able to see very far.”