It seems right that the first entry to this online journal comes exactly one year after Isla Risa launched.
Anniversaries, be they birthdays, weddings, or business, are a time for reflection: to look back over what has been achieved and to look forward to what is to come next.
In this first blog post, we wanted to offer you an insight into how Isla Risa began, what our first year entailed, and what we hope the next 12 months will bring.
Like many small businesses founded in 2020, Isla Risa began when founder and designer Emma was furloughed from her full time job. Having always been creative, and fortunate enough to work as a handbag designer for high street stores, Emma used the spare time she was given to start experimenting with ideas, materials and methods. Slowly, over several months, Isla Risa's staple shape The Hive, began to emerge. Emma pored over colour cards, carefully selecting her first season of shades; ordered an array of woven labels, poppers and tags before she selected her favourite; and spent hours editing the website and Instagram.
Until launch in October 2020.
From that moment onwards, it has been non stop. Starting off with being a part of the online A South London Maker's Market (ASLMM), which was a brilliant springboard for an incredible Christmas season. Followed by stockists contacting us from around the world, various local pop ups and spending a week of June in London's Selfridges, again with the wonderful ASLMM.
Emma was then able to leave her job in September 2021 and work full time at Isla Risa.
Throughout this year, there has been incredible support across Instagram, online and in store that has meant, after one year, we are still here.
So what's next?
This year is about making time and space to create. To do this, Emma is expanding the team, bringing in people to help her with aspects of the business so she can spend more time designing and looking ahead at collections to come. Having not truly had the time to do this since the brand launched, the coming year will once again be one of huge change and excitement.
We're so pleased to have you along on this journey.