In four years, footwear and handbag brand, Julz, has grown from an idea to a multi-million Rand business with 200 stockists across South Africa. And now its founder, Julie Oates, is taking the brand to the UK’s largest fashion trade event, Moda.
Before launching Julz, Julie’s entrepreneurial experience includes owning Pixel Shoes, a popular footwear store in Port Elizabeth. And it was from her experience working with footwear wholesalers, listening to the needs and wants of her customers and her passion for business that Julz was born.
A high-end brand, Julz features shoes and handbags in each season’s collection, using only the best quality leather, with the latest designs featuring ostrich leather and feathers. Talking about the brand’s success, Julie says: “Attention to detail, high quality materials, investment in research and development to ensure our shoes are stylish and comfy, and running a lean operation has really contributed to the success of Julz. I want to mimic the success we’ve had in South Africa in Europe, and Moda is the best place to start.”
Experiencing steady growth, the tipping point came when a chain of 19 stores started stocking Julz with future growth expected to come from overseas retail opportunities. “We’re still a young business, but our growth has been rapid but steady, in our first year we grew by 200% in terms of turnover,” remarks Julie.
From August 5th through to the 7th, the high-end fashion brand will be in front of 9,000 fashion buyers from across Europe at Moda, and Julie will be able to network with other industry decision makers and show the fashion world what South African brands have to offer. “We’re the only South African brand at Moda 2018 out of the 1,200 exhibitors,” beams Julie.