THE NEXT IDEA PARTNERS WITH ENTREPRENEUR VICTORIA OKOLO TO LAUNCH NEW FASHION SITE, OKOLO, SPECIALIZING IN ARTISAN-CRAFTED ACCESSORIES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Launch Marks First Client Joint Venture for TNI
WOODLAND HILLS, CA– The Next Idea (TNI), the world’s largest international retail and restaurant concept consulting firm, is expanding into the online retail market with the launch of Okolo, a new online venture. TNI is partnering with young entrepreneur, Victoria Okolo, to introduce the new concept website that is focused on women’s fashion accessories sourced from distant countries and made using artisan methodology. Each product line will be bought in small quantities so customers will need to check in frequently to discover what’s new and score truly unusual finds.
When the site launches December 4th 2014, the primary product categories will be real 100% pashmina cashmeresilk scarves, along with modern ethnic jewelry.TNI CEO and Chairman, Robert Ancill and Victoria Okolohave travelled to India and other countries to hand-pickeach item, meeting all of the artisans personally in order to establish long term artisan community-based relationships. Okoloisnow working with the artisan producers to develop lines of custom-designed products under the Okolo label for next season’s range.
A primary focus of the Okolo business is a generous social responsibility program whereby Okolo will donate $1 for every product sold over $10 in value, and 50 cents for every product sold under $10. The donations will go to a handful of causes primarily focusing on women and children’s development and support across the world.
“We’re very excited about this new venture,” said Robert. “The creation of Okolo allows us to put TNI’s vast experience in foreign markets to use in a completely different way. That, combined with Victoria’s incredible sense of style and knack for finding amazing artisan products, will make this a very unusual site. We look forward to offering a wide range of uncommon products at extremelyaffordable prices.”
“We’re going into communities in faraway places like the Himalayas, and then bringing products back to the U.S., unprocessed and untouched,” added Victoria. “We will be buying these hand-made products from localcraftspeople,thus providing direct support for remote communities. We found that very appealing, and believe our customers will too.”
Okolo sources from around the world from communities that produce products by hand, using age-old artisan techniques including handlooms, natural dye techniques, hand spun fabrics, and hand beaten metals for jewelry. Okolo is committed to working with these remote, artisanal communities, meaning that products are authentic and are produced with special craft honesty that can be traced back throughout generations.
Okolo came about through Victoria’s deep passion for fashion and travel. Growing up, she expressed herself and her personality through fashion, creating all kinds of looks with different outfits. Victoria quickly understood the importance that fashion would play in her life. However her journey actually began while at University whilestudying the psychology deep rooted within social groups and norms that made her become even more interested in travel and different cultures. As she expanded her knowledge about the world and its many ethnicities, she realized that most of today’s fashions are inspired by ethnic designs, especially accessories, and so the Okolo dream started to take shape.
The joint venture between Victoria Okolo and TNI marks first time TNI has made an investment with a client. While Victoria has creative control, TNI will develop the creative materials, provide the business infrastructure and produce preliminary funding for the project. TNI chose this concept primarily because they identified a gap in the market for ethnic artisanal products, appreciated the positive social aspects, and were excited about the unique positioning of the brand.
Product availability will initially be through the website, parties and an affiliate program. Plans call for expansion into wholesale. Marketing will be primarily through social media.
About The Next Idea:
The Next Idea is the world’s largest international hospitality, retail and restaurant concept consulting firm. Based in Los Angeles, with offices in Dubai and India and a highly specialized staff of more than 30, TNI is focused on concept creation and development – everything from strategy, brand and product development, through to design, execution and communication. The team has consulted with some of the globe’s most eminent chefs and upscale hospitality groups, in addition to working with clients in: entertainment, casual dining, fast casual dining, resorts, theme parks and travel. In each project, The Next Idea is involved in all areas of the business, delivering programs and plans that target the elevation of restaurant concept positioning, product and menu, operating standards, infrastructure, and overall quality.
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