We’ve been following and loving Barc London for a while now - a brand who create the best dog accessories and toys which our Chelsea Peers office pups love playing with! So, we thought it was time to share their story and who best to hear it from - the founders themselves Alex Fell, Megan De Villiers Kewn & Elijah Fell their baby!
1. What do you guys do, tell us about yourself - both professional and personal!Hey, so we are Alex & Megan, and within the last year we have grown into a little family of 4 with our new editions Elijah, who is our 4 and half month old son and Stanley who is our 5 month old puppy (yes we know, we are either brave or mad) So I (Alex) run a E-commerce business called Barc London and last year Megan completed her honors degree in child and adolescent mental health whilst also modeling, she’s looking to complete a masters in play therapy. We both have a lot of life outside of work and have our own interests outside of each other but being open we have put most of them on hold, between the business, the baby and the puppy, Megan and I are walking zombies, happy zombies but zombies non the less. Luckily we are huge fans of the outdoors, so daily walks have become our saving grace in our slightly hectic world, but if one of us suggested anything more strenuous than that or a late night I think the idea would be shut down quite quickly!
2. Tell us about your company - Barc London and it’s journey.
The Idea for Barc London really cemented itself in 2015, was formed in 2016 and launched in 2017, it was me basically becoming frustratingly bored of the novelty child like items available for dogs, we spend so much time and attention on our own style I felt that this wasn't extended into our pets, who we also treat as family. The landscape in 2021 is totally different now mind you it seems like there is now finally a nice range of options for our furry family members. The first 2 years were hell, at first I was with a fancy agency ran by someone who is forbes featured and it took me 2 years to realise he a very articulate man who couldn't deliver on any of his promises, unfortunately it seems the world of internet marketing is a difficult one to navigate with a lot of people posing as experts. My advice to anyone wanting to start an internet based business in 2021 would be before working with anyone outside of your team is to think if they say they are that good at making money through branding why aren't they doing it themselves? This isn't to say there aren't any decent agencies out there, as there are, but do your research, and check past clients. As it took me 2 years of time and money to find out the hard way, but a quick chat here and there quickly led me to understand I am not the only person who has a well versed brand and vision who wouldn't work with such an agency again. But 2 years on from that we have survived covid and moved away from all agencies and now run with an inhouse team we are finally moving in the direction we always intended too and have recently launched on Harvey Nicoles and are currently in their Mancester pop up store until December the 31st. We are also looking to make a focus on our apparel ranges and expand this area of Barc London in 2022 which we are all very excited for.
Lounging seems like heaven, right now it seems like our biggest luxury, we love open fires and the 2 hours we get on our happy place which is the sofa before the screams start to appear from the little ones room, and one of us drags themselves from our happy place to settle our little angel back to sleep. Or the manic 9pm puppy zoomies that stanley seems to have, nothing says let's lounge around more than a 15kg 5 month puppy banging dog toys off your head.
4. How does comfort (through clothes) play a role in your busy day-to-day lives?
Comfort is life, for both of us, if it was acceptable to go to work or university and be taken seriously in Of both Pajarmers I can confirm both of us would. We don't utterly conform to the ‘professional’ look and comfort and practicality are a constant battle between does represent my professional style and can I wear these tracksuit bottoms to this investor meeting?
5. How does your comfy clothing assist your expression/confidence as people?I think outside of what is expected by outdated people in certain environments, being able to express yourself in whatever way you feel most comfortable is the greatest confidence you can have, just do you in whatever package that comes in and hold your head high. Comfy clothes relax you, and feeling relaxed relieves stress and who wants to add more stress to their lives?
6. How do you guys juggle running a successful business, having successful careers and raising a family - what are your tips to other families?Team work, understanding and clear communication. We get told a lot that the first period of a new baby is the real test in a relationship. Like any relationship they are only as healthy as the people in it and we feel like we are both the type of people who want the best from ourselves which means constantly working inwards, we have found that the more we work on ourselves the easier it is to work on the relationship. This way we can avoid point scoring or playing the blame game and approach the normal life and relation problems that everyone faces as a team rather than on opposite sides. I guess our advice would be that have an understanding that life is hard, and being human can also be hard so the more you can work on yourself and teat the love you have in a relationship with the gentle care it needs in order survive the more you will find that some problems that usually can manifest in fall oust can disappear and you can become stronger for it and also really make sure to support each other wants and aspirations for life outside of the relationship and be a positive part of that journey rather than an obstacle.
7. During Christmas, how will modern lounging (e.g : wearing PJ’s on your winter walk ) play a role?
Lounging is Christmas for us, this will be our first Christmas as a family of four, so although Elijah will most likely not remember it, it is going to be a very special and sentimental one for us. We have already got our family Christmas cards in our matching PJ’s ready to send out so people know how they can expect to find us dressed for the whole of the Christmas period.
8. What are you most looking forward to this Christmas?
Sitting in front of the fire and briefly forgetting all of the daily professional responsibilities we have and just being present at a lovely time of year which for us is centered around seeing people we love. Not having to excuse the fact we won't be dressed and have eaten our body weight in chocolate and food as that seems to be socially acceptable at this time of year.
9. How do Chelsea Peers PJ’s make you guys feel as a family?
They make us feel like a tight knit family unit, those moments at home when you can shut the outside world away and sit with your chosen people, to us is the meaning of family and we feel adding a matching set of PJS does nothing but enhance that.