For a small business that is constantly growing, an ‘about page’ is a challenge. No sooner have I written it, I find my ideas about what makes an interesting page have shifted.
So I’ve decided to treat it as a constant work in progress, which is really what STUDY 34 is.
I was recently interviewed for Estila Magazine’s May 2018 Issue and have taken some excerpts from my conversation with the editor Karolina, that give an insight into STUDY 34 today…
Eleanor O'Neill, founder of STUDY 34
How would you describe the STUDY 34 customer?
She is an independent woman in her own way: the way she chooses. She might be at the beginning of her career or the end, she might live in the city or the country, she may or may not have children. But ultimately, she wants to live her life meaningfully and stylishly, always looking good without worrying about what she’s wearing. She pursues the life she wants, whatever that might be, with determination, dedication and a sense of humour. She values herself and the world around her, as well as all the people living in it. She looks for craftsmanship and quality in the things she buys, appreciating the effect these things have on the wider world and the people in it.
STUDY 34 jumpers are certainly an investment financially, but I work every day to make sure they are worth her hard earned money.
What’s different about STUDY 34?
Well-designed and well-produced, luxurious and functional knitwear is what I am always aiming to produce at STUDY 34. Suitable for every woman, whatever her age or her job. I want to offer her knitwear that is comfortable and can be easily styled from day to night, so that she can focus on achieving her goals for that day, and life in general, without worrying for a moment about what to wear.
But there is more to STUDY 34 than the product I sell.
I am one of those women who is trying to pursue her goals and challenge herself to make a living out of what she loves to do. And it’s hard but I, alongside all the other incredible women I have met along the way, are proof that it can be done.
As the label grows I want to help other creative and entrepreneurial women achieve their goals. Right now, making knitwear that empowers and enables women to follow their dreams is just the beginning of the road.
How important is sustainability to you and your brand?
Sustainability is a fundamental part of my business, but it is always a work in progress. Reading and researching into advances in sustainability in the fashion industry is a big part of my work schedule. I recently wrote an article for Courier Magazine on the subject of sustainability and how difficult it is to tackle for a small business. It’s certainly about going one step at a time.
I approach sustainability in two ways. The first is in the sourcing of yarns and the manufacture of the clothing by researching fibres and investing in quality craftsmanship.
The other is in the style. I only manufacture classic styles that can be worn by a woman of any age and styled in whatever way pleases her. STUDY 34 knitwear can be worn smartly to the office, dressed down with jeans or with a nice skirt/pant for dinner with friends or an event in the evening. I use neutral colours that go with lots of skin tones and clothing of different colours. While I am aware of the trends, they do not come into my design process. STUDY 34 knitwear is timeless in its quality and its style.
What is your mission with STUDY 34?
My mission at STUDY 34 is to empower and encourage women to follow their dreams – and I include myself in that! At the moment, STUDY 34 embodies my dream of designing and making clothing that women really want to wear and love to wear because the pieces are so easy. It embodies my dream of investing in craftsmanship and interacting with and valuing everyone in the supply chain. My mission is to perfect this and grow my team with women who believe in this too.
In the long term, I see STUDY 34 being run by women who have their own ideas to bring to the table. And I would like to use my experience to work with other creative entrepreneurial women early on in their journeys and help them realise their dreams, as I am in the process of doing myself.