So, your name is Harley London?
No, my name is Charlotte Henry. Harley's such a cool name that I think people just assume it's mine. Customer's say it sounds natural, familiar even. I honestly haven't been Charlotte since the inception of this business. People who have known me for years call me Harley; it's kind of unusual, but I'm getting used to it. (chuckles)
If Harley's not your real name. Where did the name Harley London come from?
Harley, to me, sounds like a bad ass name. And, London is known for its sense of style. So, I merged the two and created the stylish bad ass.
HL started out as a male brand... created for the self-assured trendsetter. I realized men had very little wardrobe accessory options and wanted to help. My goal was to flip an everyday product and help customers stand out, not by screaming, but by confidently announcing his presence. A month later the wooden cufflinks, lapel pins, pocket squares and name Harley London were born. Each line was meant to effortless transfer from office to ball attire (suit to tuxedo).
How did you emerge from a male brand into what we see today?
I had a number of enthusiastic female customer who loved the products, but felt left out of the brand. They liked the idea of giving the items as gifts, but wanted to experience the line for themselves. And, many began asking for products they could use.
I was initially apprehensive about adding more items, because I didn’t know how to merge the concepts. The idea of adding cufflinks with home goods and stationery seemed so foreign, so it took me a while. I later realized I was making things too complicated and just created the coasters and postcards. The rest of the brand slowly fell into place.
Stop by next week for part #2.