Bristol Ecommerce Interviews

Mr. Potter: Cool, eco-friendly ties

Mr. Potter

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 What is Mr. Potter?

Mr. Potter is an eco-fashion startup designing, handcrafting and hand-painting ceramic accessories for men and women. By blending nature with experimental fashion and adding a pinch of art and creativity to the traditional way of conceiving innovation, Mr. Potter collections of ceramic bow ties, braces and collars have introduced this whole new concept of wearable artworks into the fashion industry. With labs set in the medieval towns of Napoli and Salerno, Mr. Potter creations are the result of bizzarre collaborations with local artists and craftsmen. The crafting details, curving shapes and shining effect of all Mr. Potter products are obtained with the employment of rare and ancient techniques handed down generation by generation and still unknown to the mass-industry. The manufacturing process is briefly wrapped up in the following youtube video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a2yn-bLcwyE. Values are also at the heart of the brand philosophy. Each motive is inspired by unconventional ideas, moments, experiences and moods and the brand constantly updates its blog “Quit the box” with the aim to spread more awareness towards a change in the fashion industry.

Who is your target user?

Young people aged between 18 and 40, bloggers and all those who love getting noticed as much as staying true to themselves and wear garments that have zero to no impact on the ecosystem we all live in.

Why did you build Mr. Potter? What problem are you taking on?

Mr. Potter was born out of the blue between a whisky and coke and another one. As weJoe, Vins and Marcelo – the three co-funders – engaged in debating about the twisted dynamics still deployed within the fashion industry, they realised that it’s no longer time to ask why it is the way it is, and how we got here, but rather, to ask ourselves how could it be better and what to do to make it better. With this in mind they decided to combine their talents, skills and passions to bring to life a product that could make people talk and think. Something completely out-of-the-box that could attract an audience of like-minded people willing to leave stereotypes and models aside and embrace the new. The idea was to treasure the past while pushing forward, and this is pretty much why, among the whole range of possible accessories, they decided to start by reviving the more traditional and old-fashioned bow ties, braces and collars.

How is Mr. Potter different from what is currently available?

Mr. Potter first-ever collection of ceramic bow ties, braces and collars blend nature with experimental fashion and add a pinch of art and creativity to today’s fashion world. From this perspectives, Mr. Potter has set itself apart from the very beginning and introduced this whole new concept of wearable artworks in the endearing bubble of fashion design. With workshop set in the medieval towns of Napoli and Salerno, Mr. Potter creations are the result of bizzarre collaborations with local artists sharing same values and vision.

Tell us your founding story. Was there an “ah ha” moment?

Truth to be told, our first reaction when Joe said “what if we go for ceramics” was a loud laugh, but then we realised that it was freaking cool, doable and, most importantly, it really reflected our values.

Saying who did what in the next following days is pretty much impossible, but, after turning Vins’s flat into an office/lab and Joe’s 500£ savings into a budget, we spent almost the whole academic year skipping classes, bartending extra hours, pottering clay, designing motives, building prototypes and running market researches.

And it was right during our market research that the Mr. Potter vision came out. What we found out was that most people, including ourselves before starting the Mr. Potter journey, saw bowties, braces and collars exclusively as “serious super elegant things for formal occasions or office meetings” and they “never thought about wearing it everyday”. Well, Mr. potter is going to take it to the next step. That’s our vision! …Blue jeans, sneakers and Mr. Potter!

Once vision and purpose were pretty clear, Joe, our wild adventurer, took a flight to Italy where we decided to set up the manufacturing. As good young Italians we thought that art, style and traditions of our beautiful country could have finally helped us out and, at the same time, we could have done something to support our county.

At this point, it would be funny to say how hectic and intense that time was! Yahooing suppliers, emailing investors and partners, calling service providers, brainstorming solutions for the myriad of “ah ha” problems that everyday came out and skyping each other for updates and cig breaks… it was a mess but with perseverance, dedication and a few sleepless nights we nailed it :D.

Tell us about your founding team and their backgrounds.

Well, let’s keep it simple… nobody here at Mr. Potter holds a degree in Fashion Design. We are just a bunch of creative students who moved from Italy to the UK essentially to get out of the comfort zone and grow up. At that time they didn’t know much about what they wanted in life but they wisely chose to further their studies and develop their educational backgrounds. To date, Joe holds a degree in Business Engineering, Vins in Business and Media Communications and Marcelo in Sound Engineering. However what really brought them together has a lot more to do with their values, life perspectives and, of course, their passions.