As far as trends go, jelly was a texture nobody could have predicted would take the high street by a storm of thunderous proportions. Squeaky, squeamish for some to touch, and certainly not a medium for the introvert, it was a texture that faced more challenges than even the itchiest of tweed.
However, in its rubbery glory, jelly has managed to awaken nostalgic gold dust within 90s kids and beyond – and as such they are devouring jelly as part of their everyday fashion diet. For entrepreneur and all round boss, Kelly White, launching the retro-inspired brand Sun Jellies in 2013 was the way to feed the demand.
Four years on, Sun Jellies has focused on evolving the jelly texture beyond the sweeping trend of footwear, developing an covetable catalogue of lifestyle jelly products – including an impressive count of 27 styles of bag. We caught up with Kelly to find out more about driving a brand made entirely of jelly!
Hi Kelly! Sun Jellies has been running for almost five years now! What made you take the leap?
The main motivation was to create a job for myself that I could do from home and be independent of a competitive job market.
You’re a mumpreneur. How do you handle juggling being an absolute boss with being a mum?
It’s really hard. I think running a business is easier than being a mum. I’m forever feeling guilty. Thankfully I have the full support of my partner who also works from home on the business so we share all the parenting duties.
We’ve interviewed many designers and entrepreneurs that work with all sorts of textiles – but never jelly! What made you choose jelly as a medium?
The nostalgia! Jelly shoes make me feel young and playful and plastic is very kitsch, which I love. Sun Jellies began as a webshop dedicated to selling the original French brand of jelly shoes that have been around since the 1940s. We launched our own brand of jelly bags 3 years ago as an accessory to the shoes, but they have now overtaken the shoes in popularity.
2014 saw a massive wave of nostalgia with the return of the jelly shoe. How do you make sure that Jelly stays current with the passing trends?
Our own brand of bags is the focus of our business now, we don’t compete with the jelly shoe brands. Listening to our customers comments and suggestions is a vital part of staying on trend. Also collaborating with creative individuals and innovative brands can add another dimension to your brand.
Jelly bags are more than just an fashion accessory – they’ve very much became a lifestyle piece. What’s the most creative use you’ve seen for a Jelly Bag to date?
I think using the retro baskets in the kitchen.
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At the recent blogger event, we had a sneaky peak at a new handbag prototype you’re working on. Can you tell us any more about what’s coming soon to Sun Jellies?
A special bag that’s more for the evening, something chic and fun. And of course I’m always adding new colours to the collection!
The insides of a bag (or basket) can reveal all about a person. The question is, what do you carry in your Atomic Tote?
Colourful wallet and purses to hold various girly things, makeup, toiletries, keys, pen, notebook, lip balm, hand cream, sunnies, phone, cardi for summer or umbrella for winter.
Heading into the summer, Sun Jellies is ready to take us on a neon and pastel filled trip to Mardi Gras! A colourful Sun Jellies bag is an essential accessory for injecting a touch of the tropical into your wardrobe or homeware. As well as enjoying a revival of mid-century styles, owners will be able to indulge a guilt free shopping splurge as with each Sun Jellies product, the plastic is 100% recyclable.
Want your own? Shop the kitsch, colourful collection over at Sun Jellies now.
How would you use your Sun Jellies bag? Would you use it as a homeware accessory or would you dare to wear? Share your thoughts with us in the comments!