Our Founder Christiana is a huge ambassador of independent businesses and in the lovely Hampstead Village where we live and work there’s an abundance. Here we catch up with Hampstead-based Otis Batterbee manufacturer of luxury travel accessories he names after streets/roads in Hampstead!
Tell us about your journey Otis and how you became a business owner?
I graduated from Central Saint Martin’s School of Art & Design in 2003, after designing accessories for several international houses I decided to launch the Otis Batterbee brand in 2010. I felt there was space for an accessibly priced quality British travel accessories brand. I created a capsule collection of highly patterned accessories and presented them to the buyers at Harrods and Liberty who all wrote orders on the spot, and the business started very much from that day.
What sort of people buy your products, and do you think people are more conscientious about what they buy these days?
People that appreciate good design, love quality and pattern seem drawn to our collections. Being available in wonderful stores helps people find us too. I think people are considering how often they purchase things and the quality of the items they are buying, it’s an interesting time for brands right now. I always felt there was room for good design.
You are based in Hampstead Village have you always lived there, and do you have any favourite places to visit?
Hampstead is such a special place to live, having the Heath on our doorstep is such a privilege. I love to eat at 28 Church Row for great modern tapas. The Flask and the Holly Bush are lovely for drinks and catching up with friends…. Spin Off is brilliant for Spin Classes and you can’t beat a walk up to Kenwood House… We name lots of our products after streets in Hampstead, such as Kemplay, Downshire and Redington….
How did you meet Christiana from Hampstead Housesitters?
I met Christina in Hampstead when out walking my Pug Mr Julien, Hampstead has such a village community it’s hard not to know everyone – times by ten if you have a dog!
Christiana is a massive animal lover so do you have any pets and what are you favourite animals?
I love dogs, especially Pugs. I had a wonderful black Pug called Mr Julien who passed away last year. He was a total joy and made me laugh hysterically for years. The office is far too calm now!
We love your products Otis, where can our clients and followers purchase them?
We have a footprint in lots of design and departments stores across the globe, closer to home Liberty of London has a great assortment as well as John Lewis nationwide. We also ship from our website
Lastly what advice would you give to anyone starting up their own business?
Get ready for a long journey, it can sometimes be lonely but its hugely rewarding watching an idea grow into something successful with a global reach.