Nataschia Holland and Rae Pooley have launched a new handbag label called Raela.
The label officially launched this month with its own online platform after months of planning.
“We initially started the conversation over a catch up and coffee one Saturday morning in early April 2018,” Holland said.
She has come from a background in brand management, buying, design, sales, PR and marketing, holding senior roles for Jets Swimwear and Sol Sana.
Pooley has a background in buying, visual merchandising and design working across clothing, accessories, home and lifestyle.
The duo decided to launch a brand that was devoted to sustainability and humanitarian causes, donating $5 from all sales each to Thandi House in South Africa (where both Holland and Pooley are from) and Kasturi and Mehfuza Charitable Trust in northern India.
“We had envisaged being able to create a business that would accomplish long-term positive effects on underprivileged communities and truly make a difference in the world which is why we wanted to make a significant contribution to two charities – one in our homeland and the other, where our products are being made,” Holland said.
“I was a volunteer at Thandi House for a number of years while living and working in Durban, South Africa and maintained a very close relationship with the owners and children at the home which prompted the partnership.
“The Kasturi and Mehfuza Charitable Trust contribution has significant meaning to us as we want to give back to the families of the individuals that have brought our designs to life and made our dream possible.”
The bags are currently produced in India in a Sedex Members Ethical Trade Audit (SMETA) certified factory.
“Being SMETA certified was important to us as it ensured a vigorous ethical audit of the family owned and operated factory we work with, that cover in-depth labour, health and safety, environment and business principles.
“SMETA also forms part of a global community of leaders in responsible sourcing which has given us the confidence and clarification we needed to proceed with our journey of creating Raela.”
The bags are made from materials such as brass, glass beads, resin and various natural fibres.
Price points range from $179 to $349.
At present, the brand is set up as a wholesale model and has already picked up an account with Newrybar Merchant.
It is also in talks with Incu, The Cool Hunter and The Iconic.
“Over the next few months we will be focusing on conscious, targeted and inclusive PR and marketing activities to create brand awareness but have big plans of expanding and breaking into new markets before the end of the year – watch the space!”