What motivated to set up your own business?
My background is in Banking and Finance and it was after I left UBS Investment Bank to start a family, I decided to start my own business. Brought up in a family business it was inevitable that I would have my own business one day. It was whilst being a stay at home mum that I realised my priorities had changed and I couldn’t just nip out in my lunch hour to purchase the latest Gucci or Louis Vuitton bag without having a care in the world.
So I looked into the preloved market and that’s when Papillonkia was born in 2014. To create a safe place for people to sell their unwanted, used designer items in order to buy their next new unicorn item. Papillonkia wants to make preloved luxury items affordable and accessible to all.
How has the market evolved since you launched your project?
Each year since 2014, demand for pre-loved items has grown. The brand was established with an ebay shop followed by a Facebook shop shortly after. Sales rocketed and within the first 3 months of development, PapillonKia became a Top Seller on ebay with a feedback score of 100%.
Next came Vestiaire Collective of which we are proud to say that PapillonKia are ranked 71 out of 8 million members of their most trusted sellers. Since then we have added further marketplaces, and of course looked to our own website.
This new site continues the growth journey for Papillonkia across all our channels. The secondhand luxury market market is slated to grow 11 times faster than a stagnant retail market over the next 8 years. It’s value in 2023 should be $50 billion, moving to $84 billion by 2030 – twice the size of fast fashion.
What kind of products are featured on your website?
Women’s Handbags, Shoes, Accessories, Clothes, Costume Jewellery, Fine Jewellery. Looking to expand in the Mens and Kids market.
Tell us more about the authentication process?
The mission of Papillonkia is to provide a safe and trusted environment for clients to both purchase and sell pre authenticated designer goods.. All luxury handbags, jewellery and accessories sent directly to Papillonkia are pre-authenticated by our experts before being listed on the site. This is our USP – NOTHING goes on our website until it has been authenticated.
To further demonstrate our commitment to authenticity, we now partner with Entrupy who are widely regarding as offering the world’s very best luxury authentication solution using artificial intelligence and microscopic computer vision. Papillonkia is very proud to say that we are now working with them to authenticate our items.
Which brands are predominant?
What is your view on the fact that many luxury brands have been increasing prices?
This is inevitable with increases in prices of raw materials, equipment and staff pay increases. Plus Economic and Political factors have a real impact such as inflation. But what I don’t agree with is having 4-5 price increases a year of a substantial percentage increase each time. Cost cutting is inevitable but not to the detriment of affecting the quality of an item. Yes the price increase has affected our business for the better as we try to keep prices at a minimum which makes preloved more attractive and affordable.
How would you describe the profile of your customer?
Current Demographics : Female dominant target group with over 50% of customers in the core
25 – 44 years age group.
Buyers : Working professionals fashion lovers with the aspiration to own luxury brands. Some will look to pre loved due to spending power, whilst others will choose pre loved from a sustainability point of view.
Sellers : About 40% of private sellers are the same as the buying group above. 60% are usually women with higher net worth who buy new, but then look to sell on previously bought pieces to help fund their next new item.
Do you ship internationally? Which are your main markets?
Yes we ship Worldwide. UK, USA, Europe, China.
Tell us more about the sustainability angle when shopping for pre-used products?
Papillonkia is 100% committed to The Circular Economy and Sustainability. Having one item with many users in it’s Lifecycle is Papillonkia’s motto and changing mindsets to achieve this. Sustainability is a buzz word now but we have been conducting our business this way for the last 8 years.
Is there also a market related to collecting / investing in certain pieces which may sell at higher prices later?
Yes and these are related to Limited Edition items or Collector’s pieces. We try to educate our clients to be smart with their purchases and always remember that some key bags are investment pieces, e.g. Chanel Flap bags, Hermes bags. These will appreciate in value over the years and can achieve the same Retail price that clients paid when they bought them OR appreciate in price due to exclusivity.
What are your plans for 2022? Are there any novelties we should be looking forward?
Without giving too much away, there will be lots happening with the growth strategy of Papillonkia. Watch this space..!
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