Series: Join our Journey
We are big enthusiasts of ecommerce and the power it has to reach people everywhere. We started selling our collection of bags and small leather goods online. But when our sneakers arrived, we noticed that as a small brand with a tight budget, we should have the support of a physical presence.
We looked for a while and found the opportunity to open a pop up shop in Bondi Beach. It was a fantastic experience for us to start a closer relationship with our customers.
The idea was to create tailored pop-up stores and test where would be best for us to have our so desirable physical store.
The first collection was very small and the feedback we’ve received was priceless.
As we kept developing our range, we opened a second pop up, this time, in Paddington. We could not believe when the products started to sell out. It was an issue, of course, but at the same time, it was a nice problem to have!
It was May 2019, when we finally found our permanent home in Bondi. The process of move-in / move-out of the pop up stores was very intense. So we couldn’t be happier when we found our dream shop. Everything happened so fast… Store layout, lighting, chair, shelves… All new challenges we had to face for the first time in life.
Being back in Bondi has been fantastic. We are so lucky to be in a place where we can meet people from all over the world everyday. We feel extremely grateful for the people we have encountered in this journey.
If you haven’t been to our store in Bondi yet, you’re more than welcome! Marina and Gus are pretty much always around, so come say hello!
One of the most common questions we have in-store is “where are the products manufactured?”
We love the concern that our customers have for ethical production and we took this into consideration when we were planning the label. But finding the right people to work with us wasn’t an easy job.
In fact, it was a challenge that took us almost 4 years to find the right partners. The challenging part was making sure we would be working with people who share similar values with us. We were after high-quality craftsmanship, fair work conditions, and flexibility to start a small collection.
We went to Brazil, we tried Vietnam, we made some prototypes in China and some attempts in Indonesia. In Vietnam, we were able to get started with our accessories line. But, it was only in Portugal that we found everything that we needed for our shoes.
Visiting factories may sound exhausting but the reality was that we got to know amazing countries, people and cultures. Being exposed to different cultures is such a fantastic experience and we could balance all the work with a bit of fun. In the end, it’s all inspiration to keep designing more.
Share with a friend and tell them to come by to our store and meet us. If you haven’t done so, we would love to meet you in Bondi!
When we started to plan the label we wanted to create a name that would mean something for both of us. We wanted the name to pay homage to all cultures, countries, and traditions that we encountered on our travel experiences. After all, that’s what made us become expats and explore the other side of the world.
The name Von-Röutte appeared after a brainstorm of more than 1000 words: a mix of some Dutch, German, English, Portuguese, French, and Afrikaans.
Every product was named after different cities that really inspired us for the culture, architecture, and landscapes. Places that we’ve visited and others that are still on our bucket list.
The inspiration comes from our travels, so the most important thing about our products is that they should be able to accompany us on any of our journeys. We knew they had to be timeless and versatile to be worn on any occasion.
It seems a bit simple but this process of naming, branding, planning and designing the first products took us about one year.
It has been such a long journey to start our brand from scratch that we’ve thought we should share a bit with everyone that has been supporting us.
Throughout the next few months, we’ll be sharing a few chapters of our stories about how we have created von-röutte.
And here is the first one:
Marina & Gus (I’ll be referring to as we - it’s easier) came to Australia almost 10 years ago as university students. We were both after our Master’s Degree: Gus studying Marketing and Marina, Biological Sciences.
After our graduation, we both got amazing opportunities working in our respective fields. Of course, it wasn’t amazing all the time. Like every young professional, we had our ups and downs in regards to our careers. Living as expats also meant we would have to face extra challenges here, after all, we didn’t know absolutely anyone in the country.
During this journey, we decided to start a little side project, combining our hobbies and passions. We thought about combining our passion for travel and exploring new cultures. We were always looking for what we would bring to our adventures: we knew it had to be versatile, simple and beautiful. Lucky us we had a pretty talented designer between us who could gather all these ideas and create products out of it.
We had no idea how to make our drawings come to life. We had to research a lot about pattern making, sewing, fabrics, production… pretty much another degree. After combining our very different experiences and background we realised this was bigger than a hobby: it was a whole new project coming to life!
We could feel there was an opportunity for leather goods and footwear in the market. We were looking for high-end products but at a reasonable price. Everything in shoes we could find were either above $500 or a very fast fashion.
The idea was there.
We just needed to plan the whole thing now
Hope you liked the story! Share with a friend and tell them to come by to our store and meet us. If you haven’t done so, we would love to meet you in Bondi!
Gus & Marina