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Being an entrepreneur and small business owner, I love to hear success stories of talented people who started companies, with the goal to make a difference and to to bring something new to the market; people driven by a vision, a passion, a curiosity, and a determination; people with a mission.
Today I would like to introduce you to Yvonne Koné is a Danish accessory designer, living and working in Copenhagen. She has a brand called Yvonne Koné. She designs leather accessories such as bags and shoes, but she will slowly add other product categories to her brand. Next is Italian cashmere scarves…
I wanted to know more about Yvonne Koné’s concept, history and the woman behind the brand.
Q: What inspired you to start your shop?
A: Since I started my company almost 4 years ago it has been my dream to open my own store. I have dreamt of a space where I could showcase my entire collection in a way I think complements and enhances my products in the best possible way.
Q: What sets your shop aside from it’s competitors?
A: First of all, it’s personal and is not part of a big concept. I’m very passionate about my shop and and very involved, and it feels like an extension of my home. When you enter my store I want you to feel welcome even if you are just window-shopping.
Q: Who or what influences your style? To what do you attribute your wonderful aesthetic?
A: Since I was a child I remember I always liked to keep things very simple. I was never a big collector and I preferred the clean lines, but it’s hard to tell what you were born with and what is part of you upbringing…. I’m always trying to be true to my vision rather that design what I think will sell the most.
Q: How do you find the pieces/products for your store?
A: I design the accessories I sell in my store and they are all produced in Italy.
Q: What are the biggest challenges you face with running your own store?
A: I have a talented team behind me who I really trust, but there will always be decisions in connection to the store I can only make myself. So the challenge is that running your own store is time consuming. And since I would like my store to be in constant development I can never sit back and relax.
Q: What do you love most about having your own store?
A: That I finally get to meet our consumers and get their direct feedback. That is the most important, even if I follow my instinct in the design process. It is important to meet my clients and listen to what they have to say.
Q: What are you proud of?
A: I’m very proud of my products and that I managed to improve the quality after I moved my entire production to Italy. I’m proud of my store and my team, and that our clientele is so diverse (different ages and types) and dedicated. It’s really touching to meet my customers and hear how attached they are to the products. It makes all the hard work worth it.
Q: Do you have any special projects in the pipeline or exciting future plans?
A: Yes, I actually have two: One is Italian cashmere scarves. I actually started my design education designing only textiles (knit, print and weaving). Eventually I changed to fashion and ended up designing accessories. So now it feels like I’m going back to my starting point, and it all makes sense. The cashmere scarves are produced in a small family-run factory in Tuscany. They are weaved on +60-year old looms and the technicians are highly skilled –some of them with more than 50 years of experience. I met a woman there who had worked at the factory for 54 years. She was checking every single scarf with such perfectionism and engagement. You cannot buy such expertise, it only comes from years of refining your work.
The feeling you get when wearing the scarves is really amazing. They are light, soft, warm and cold at the same time. It was so fascinating to see the men and women working with them at the factory. They are of course expensive, as the process and raw material is costly. But I know they are totally worth the price after I have tried and tested them for the past months.
Besides that, I’m also working on another old passion of mine: A perfume, but that is a completely different story that will follow later…
Q: What are your favorite pieces/products at the moment?
A: Our reverso boots with lamb fur lining, our bucket bag made in the softest sheep leather, and definitely my new cashmere scarves. I cannot wait for winter to come!
Make sure to visit Yvonne Koné’s store in Copenhagen:
Store Strandstræde 3
1255 Copenhagen K
Tel +45 3220 4400