Discover the story of Lea Wieser, Founder of Arkitaip—your timeless and sustainable linen made to last. Learn how Prediko is working alongside this mother-daughter duo to help adapt their business post-pandemic.
In our chat, Lea shares what it's like to develop a brand with her mom and discusses about Arkitaip's mission, bootstrapping, inventory planning, and her focus on DTC since Covid-19.
You launched a business with your mom which is pretty cool! How did you decide to work together and what got you started?
It all started with my mother’s incredible handcrafting skills: she has been knitting and crocheting her whole life and is so talented! Growing up watching her taught me to appreciate clothing for what it is: carefully crafted pieces that tell a story and are there to be treasured for years to come. And precisely that is what we’re trying to achieve with arkitaip.
Arkitaip’s mission is to offer effortless and timeless garments (clothing, homewear, and accessories) without hurting the planet. Can you share what’s behind this statement and what’s inspiring you when designing your collections?
Our aim is to create garments that are timeless enough to be passed on from generation to generation - because wearing your clothing as often and for as long as you can is what makes it truly sustainable! And they have to be made of the right materials which is why we’re solely working with 100% linen.
Linen is a natural and highly durable fabric with a super low environmental impact. It’s temperature-regulating, antibacterial and hypoallergenic too!
In short, our design philosophy is to make unique wardrobe staples that are versatile yet timeless and are crafted from high-quality and eco-conscious materials.
I’m very impressed by how much you’ve been taking on: product design, marketing and social media, content creation, inventory planning and supply chain management, etc. What have you learned from this experience? Do you have any tips on multitasking?
Thank you 🙃. I guess as a business owner you have to wear many hats - which is what makes it so exciting too! The most valuable skill that setting up and running my own business has taught me is how to solve problems. And to be okay with them - because problems never seem to come alone :)
The best advice I can give regarding multitasking is to write a realistic to-do list that you can actually stick to. And make use of work tools that will make your life easier - I use Notion for everything!
You mentioned in our past discussion that analysing your sales performance and forecasting your inventory is key to your business yet it’s still a manual process that’s time consuming and prone to error. Can you expand on this topic and share how you see that evolving over time?
As a somewhat typical retail brand, we hold inventory so being able to forecast how much we will sell over a given period of time is key to the health of our business.
Given that we’re a small brand, we don’t have the resources to invest in the typical, costly inventory planning tools so we’re super excited to be part of Prediko. By using Prediko, we’re hoping to scale our business in a sustainable way.
The first time we discussed about Arkitaip you were focusing on wholesale and offered a larger set of products. It now seems you’re concentrating efforts on your online store and creating less yet more timeless pieces/collections. Why this shift?
Before Covid, one of our crucial sales strategies was wholesale. With lockdown forcing stores to close resulting in fewer wholesale orders for us, we had to pivot towards a more DTC-focussed business model.
Since we started arkitaip, our goal has always been to create timeless, seasonless pieces. However the typical wholesale-model demands newness from brands meaning that creating a new collection at least once a year was inevitable.
By tightening our range and focussing on a trans-seasonal model, we’re hoping to scale more efficiently and sustainably and tap into economies of scale. Not being part of the usual wholesale routine allows us to carry over ‘older’ styles which benefits our sustainability goals as we want to promote a trendless approach to fashion.
A random one :) Who are the top 3 most inspiring people in your life and why?
This may sound like a cliche but my parents were always a huge inspiration to me. My father has taught me a lot about resilience and how to follow your dreams while my mother is my role model when it comes to being kind, humble and grounded.
On a more professional level, I’m a huge fan of Tim Ferris’ and Yuval Harari’s work - both like to think outside of the box and challenge the norm which I find fascinating.
Can you share a little bit about what’s next for Arkitaip? What are you looking forward to for the brand?
That’s a tricky question given that Covid brings so much uncertainty. As planning is currently almost impossible, we’ve decided to focus more on the bigger picture for now.
So, for us that means to keep looking for ways to reduce our environmental impact wherever possible while hopefully being able to solve a tiny fragment of the environmental crisis too.
Right now, one of our top priorities is to become part of the 1% for the planet-initiative.