Bold, simple, recycled and community focussed; Lalo bags are a contemporary, considered approach to an artisanal trade. With a focus on creating work, fair pay and keeping this weaving approach alive and prosperous- Lalo bags have the makers at the centre of their business.
As well as their focus on social enterprise, Lalo have an approach to their designs which is fashionable but not overtly trend driven (a recipe for success in my opinion!) . With classics such as gingham and checks as a main staple, simplicity is key to their recognisable bags that will last a lifetime.
Please read on to find out about the conception of Lalo and go support this lovely label…
- Tell us about yourself and your brand.
I’ve always been mesmerized by the art of weaving in Oaxaca, and the way they use recycled plastic that comes in the most mouth watering colours. My partner and I started Lalo at the beginning of lockdown last year after I got made redundant from my job as a graphic designer. We wanted to work with the weavers to create some of our own designs as we knew our mates in London would find them irresistible. It’s been quite a mad journey from being unemployed to having to become a wholesaler pretty much overnight. I reached out to some people that I know who worked in the industry to get some advice – I was so surprised by the support that I received and how much people are willing to help! To get the initial wheels in motion, we started working with a friend who is from Oaxaca – his name is Lalo! He introduced us to his mother, Monica, now head of the weaving team, who then started to put a female production team in place. Our mission is to provide a support system within the Oaxacan weaving community – to pay our female creatives a fair wage, whilst preserving their artisanal trade. Our team in Mexico set the prices for the bags, so that they have full financial control over their artistry.
- What are your Inspirations?
Our inspirations will always be Mexico – the bright colours, the people, the food and festivities. Oaxaca is so rich with artisanal trade, and they create such beautiful things. Lalo bags are really sassy and colourful, so we try to keep the designs as simple as possible – usually just sticking to two or three colours at a time. I love the timelessness of checkerboards and gingham, there’s something really nostalgic and slightly kitsch about them.
- Lets chat about social media- a hindrance or help?
Definitely a help, as most of our sales are driven from the platform. It’s a great way to convey what you stand for as a brand – to be able to communicate your story as well as have full autonomy as to how you market yourself. I don’t have a social media plan as such, but I do try to post at times in the day that have the most impact. I also am learning about the importance of instagram advertising and promoting your posts – it can be really difficult to stick out in the sea of brands on Instagram. I need to spend less time on it though, so that would be the only hindrance.
- Where would you like your business to be in a few years and do you have any advice?
I would like to become more of a social enterprise, and be working with a larger group of females in Oaxaca. Ultimately, to give back more to the community through healthcare or educational support.
5. Who are your favourite small businesses or creatives doing interesting things?
There are so so many cool brands that have come about during lockdown – @in_casa_by_paboy is a Gambian asylum seeker in Naples, currently creating the most beautiful cushions, @make_nu is a door-to-door tailor and clothes repairing service. They also happen to be the most amazing denim decorators – they can do magic to your old pair of jeans. Currently in love with @lourdes_lopez bags made from surplus materials and I hope to be able to afford a dress from sustainable French label @wearemarcia one day!