Our 6 month Journey
Can you believe it’s been 6 months since Mala Belfast launched? Neither can we!!! Here is a timeline of our journey so far and celebrate our achievements!
We officially launched on the 1st of July 2020 with our first product ‘The Logia Pocket Bag’ and we couldn’t be more proud of the multifunctional, stylish and not to mention sustainable item that we have envisioned, and created for the ethical and design minded consumer.
We created this bag with our customers in mind, starting off with addressing the main fashion problem in the female fashion department ‘the lack of pockets’, to exploring ‘the lack of functional storage’. The aim was to create a bag that serves as a multi-functional everyday accessory, a little something you need that is not as small as a pocket or inconvenient as carrying a bag. We introduced the original Logia Pocket Bag in black and brought out the ‘Heath Collection’ featuring yellow, green and blue. We had successful pre order sales with the black and yellow Logia’s the most popular choices to date.
Titanic Quarter Photoshoot/videoshoot
Who doesn’t love a spontaneous photoshoot/videoshoot? We certainly do! The Mala Team decided to take the logia’s on a day trip to the one and only Titanic Quarter with amazing landmarks. Managing director Katie took some awesome shots of us all, while Marketing director Rachel and Design director Sam pitched in with the behind the scenes (BTS) shots too. The weather didn't disappoint either!
We also had the opportunity to work with the lovely photographer Ruth from Native Ivy based in Northern Ireland, who helped capture some great street style shots of our Logia bags, we even got a feature in her blog too, read the full article here.
So as you can tell, The Mala Team will never get tired of photoshoots as we continue to ensure we highlight the quality of our sustainable vegan dry oil skin fabric made with care and love. From the photo above, we all have our colour preferences, are you minimalist in black? unique in green? or bold in yellow? Let us know in the comments!
Filmed a short documentary for Cinemagic HOME project
A lot of businesses faced some hard struggles in 2020 especially local ones. Amid the whole pandemic we still went ahead with our launch. While adjusting to the lockdown restrictions and remote working, this gave us plenty of time to focus on Mala. We wanted to take the time to showcase what we had been working on, from our collection, to our story and the uncertainties we faced as a new business starting out. We featured this through a short documentary that was filmed and directed by managing director Katie Ireland and Jamie Baker. Click here to watch
Catalyst, Expedite Programme, Ulster Bank Climate Accelerator Programme
I guess you could say that October was the month of learning. It was a busy month for Mala and we are so grateful for the learning opportunities these programmes gave us. Catalyst helped us to explore our business through a series of design thinking workshops and team building exercises. This is how we met Colm Meir, he joined our team to help us with defining our social impact. This is something that is really important to Mala and we can’t wait to share with you all how we plan to incorporate a social/environmental positive impact into our business over the next few months.
Alongside Catalyst, we managed to secure a place on Expedite, Go for it and Ulster Bank Accelerator programmes all around the same time. All of which have helped us with establishing our business goals and focusing on the direction we want to take Mala in.
As a team we have managed to create a viable business plan, understand our cash flow and refined our business pitch. We are now at the stage where we know exactly who we are targeting and with strong messaging. “A pocket where design meets function”, creating stylish functional storage for those in the creative or hospitality space.
Christmas market stalls
Christmas is always a special time of the year, the season of giving someone a gift they can truly value. It was even more special in the year of 2020, when many small local businesses, including Mala, were facing struggles, a lot of people decided to show support either through purchases and word of mouth marketing.
Mala felt incredibly lucky to be able to join the virtual christmas market platform hosted by Podiem, not only to sell our products, but to also share our story. If there is one thing that people love about christmas, especially from brands, it is the opportunity to share a story that they can relate with. Three passionate creative students took a university project and launched it into a beautiful unique brand with so much potential in the sustainability sector, and we feel incredibly lucky to own this story as we share our journey with the world.
More Christmas market stalls
December 2020 was the final push for sales before the end of the year and Mala was granted the opportunity to host at another christmas market which was run by a MSc marketing grad student Freyja Wedderkop and her sister Georgia. This was a great marketing opportunity for Mala, as we are a sustainable local business, it was even more incredible to be among the other small amazing businesses while receiving a great amount of support.
6 month Anniversary
Here we are, January marks 6 months since our official launch. We couldn’t be more proud of our journey. We have learned, grown and we’re feeling more ready for Mala to take on this year by force! We are currently working on our new workwear collection, testing the fabrics and the new elements we want to add to this collection ensuring it is ready for launch. Apart from working on introducing new collections this year, we also want to get you all involved in the whole design process. From surveys to insta polls, we want to hear your say on what we’re working on, we value every opinion and we’re always open to new ideas that may influence our future collections.
In the next few months we aim to have decided on our social impact and the direction we want to lead with that. We are definitely going to try and get more photoshoots / videoshoots planned this year so we can continue to create awesome content for you. Overall, we are super excited to show you all the exciting things we have got planned for this year 2021, despite the continued lockdowns, this year is going to be a great year for Mala!