3 Questions for Aspiga’s Lucy MacNamara

Aspiga is on the move.

The U.K.-based company, which was founded in 2006 as an accessories brand that designs and manufactures handmade leather beaded sandals, belts and jewelry crafted in Kenya and India, has expanded its offering to include espadrilles and loafers. Next up for fall, the label will launch ballerina flats.

“I set up Aspiga after visiting Kenya on holiday and I fell in love not only with the country itself but their stunning sandals,” said founder and owner Lucy MacNamara. “Luckily, many people love their products, so the company has expanded rapidly over the last few years, and we are now stocked in more than 450 boutiques and department stores around the world.”

Here, MacNamara sounds off on global expansion and the lessons she has learned over the years.

1. What are your growth plans for the year?
LM:
We have expanded our footwear range into ballerinas, wedge espadrilles and loafers. We are a British brand, so continuing to [grow] our distribution in the U.S. market, to Australia and Asia and throughout the rest of Europe, [is a goal]. We also are expanding our product range to include other fashionable travel items.

2. How are you marketing to your new international consumers?
LM:
We’re working on a lot of marketing, networking and [research to] find the best online avenues to reach our customers. As Aspiga grows and becomes more international, we have found that the Web is a fantastic way to keep in touch with our consumers. We love to hear about holiday trips and have been sent amazing pictures of customers in exotic locations wearing Aspiga.

3. What is one lesson learned since you founded the brand?
LM:
Patience. A business doesn’t grow overnight, and if you force it or try to grow too quickly, you’re more likely to make mistakes that can’t be fixed, so invest in your staff and your partners, suppliers and manufacturers, and listen to your customers. Work hard and be patient and the business and brand will grow organically.