Czech Startup BeWooden Creates Slow-Fashion Accessories From Excess Wood

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Ctirad Sára, the founder of Czech-based startup BeWooden, bets on slow-fashion to compete against bigger, fast-fashion brands. We spoke to him about modern, handcrafted accessories and why more people should found their startups at university:

How would you describe BeWooden in a few words?

Honest craftsmanship combined with a modern design enabling joy around the world.

What inspired you to create the startup? How did it all start?

We founded BeWooden three years ago with the motivation to create something unique and individual – to bring back the joy of handcrafted fashion accessories. We saw a lack of individual handcrafted products within the fashion industry and wanted to offer cool products within the slow-fashion, which can compete against the bigger fast-fashion brands.

You mentioned that you started BeWooden as a means to restore the beauty of old crafts. Can you tell us more about the production process of your accessories and the materials you use?

All of our products are handmade – with lots of love. As we also value our relationship with nature, most of our wood is an excess wood from local woodworking shops. With lots of patience, diligence, and importance to every detail we create a quality product out of a simple piece of wood – we guarantee this quality by providing a lifetime warranty for each of our beautiful products! Our hearts beat for precise, traditional and honest craftsmanship. We work together with local craftsmen and save jobs in the region, as we believe that handwork and craftsmanship should not be forgotten.

BeWooden has already gotten attention across the globe, including celebrities such as Ben Affleck. What do you focus on with your marketing strategy?

We focus our marketing efforts on a local marketing strategy, meaning that we try to do as much marketing as possible in our main markets. International marketing is very expensive and at the moment not efficient for us. Our main channels are Social Media, but also offline channels, such as design markets.

In 2015, you expanded to Scandinavia. When did you realize you were ready for this step and which countries do you have your eye on in the near future?

We expanded to Scandinavia through our partner there. So it was actually not our choice, but his choice. And, at some time point, you just need to risk it – that is what entrepreneurship is all about, right?

You’ve gone from bowties to cufflinks and belts. What’s next in terms of diversification?

We always try to come up with concepts which fit together. So we will definitely think about some additional suitable products around our existing ones. We will also create many more products for the ladies. So stay tuned 🙂

What is the biggest challenge that your company has faced so far?

We learned a lot through doing things. As we are all very young and started BeWooden during our studies, we definitely faced a lot of challenges but that made our journey even more adventurous and exciting. To name one of the challenges: Finding the right product for the right market.

You started out in a small village close to Prague – in what ways did the location influence the challenges of building a startup? Did you encounter some ‘hidden’ advantages?

The location actually helped us, as the region is rich of talented craftsmen with whom we work together. Also, subsidies from the government helped us at the beginning, especially for the expansion to other markets.

What’s next for BeWooden?

As we grow through our community, I hope to welcome all of your readers to our BeWooden world and convince them through our service and philosophy!

What’s one piece of advice you can give to fellow founders for their startup?

You learn from failures as well as successes, so there’s no harm in starting early and using your time during university or school to find something you believe in and that gives you energy. Be yourself; everyone else is already taken: Be authentic and honest. If you found a company with a team, be as diverse as possible.



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