As part of Peach’s Entrepreneur Program, we’re able to shine a light on some incredible female-founded brands and give each one a platform for growth. We are thrilled to announce handbag brand Pixie Mood as our Winter 2019 Featured Entrepreneur. It also gives us a chance to align with brands who have shared values, like Pixie Mood’s focus on producing cruelty-free products. Together we’re able to offer what founder Chloe Ho refers to as ‘fashion with compassion’.
In 2010, Chloe left her 9-to-5 in search of the socially responsible ways to look good while feeling great. With the help of her husband, Kelvin Ho, she founded her own line of vegan accessories: Pixie Mood. This cruelty-free brand has a mission to create runway-inspired handbags made without any animal by products. Their line of modern, sophisticated vegan leather styles is proof that accessories can be trendy, functional and social responsible, all at the same time. Since their versatile, fashion handbags and accessories are created with customers needs at the forefront, it’s no surprise this Toronto-based brand has already developed a loyal following.
We sat down with Chloe to hear more about her journey building the Pixie Mood brand, and how leaning into her strengths has allowed her create a line of accessories that people really connect with.
How did you meet Kelvin and where did the idea for Pixie Mood come from?
“We met back in high school, and have been a couple since university. The idea of starting Pixie Mood came when we noticed that there weren’t many fashionable options for cruelty-free handbags and accessories on the market.”
What were you both doing prior to Pixie Mood? What made you want to take the leap and pursue building this handbag brand?
“We were both working at a major technology company in a sales operations role, prior to starting Pixie Mood. I have always had a passion for creating beautiful things and love for fashion and Kelvin has always wanted to start his own business; so the idea of starting a fashion accessories business has always been at the back of our minds. Eventually, we realized we were no longer satisfied with our 9-to-5 jobs – so we took the leap and never looked back!”
Veganism is a big part of the Pixie Mood brand. What lead you to adopt this lifestyle and why was it so important to build your brand around it?
“I just couldn’t bring myself to create any designs with animal skin, so naturally, all the items we make have to be cruelty-free.”
Most handbags on the market don’t offer the same level of versatility that Pixie Mood does. Why was it important for you to create designs that can be worn and used in multiple ways?
“I always ask myself, ‘why limit a design by giving it just one function when there are so many more possibilities?’ When it comes to function, I believe the more the better to get the best out of one bag!”
At Peach, we help women identify and activate their inner strengths to help them thrive personally and professionally. What are each other’s biggest strengths and how have they impacted your ability to grow the brand?
“Kelvin’s biggest strength is his people skills and his agreeable personality, which enables him to build strong relationships whether it be with business partners, customers, or employees. My biggest strength is curiosity and open-mindedness, which helps with generating new ideas for the business.”
What was Pixie Mood’s most recent milestone? What are you looking to achieve next?
“We recently changed from plastic polybag packaging to biodegradable polybags. We know that there’s still a lot of work to do in terms of reducing our environmental footprint, but we are actively pursuing this goal. Our current primary material is PU leather, and we are working to introduce water-based PU in 2020. Water-based PU is less harmful to the environment and safer for workers that come in contact with the material because it uses water instead of a chemical solvent.”
What advice would you give to fellow entrepreneurs looking to that leap and start building their brand full-time?
“Know your audience and know who you’re speaking to – define your edge that makes you different and build a plan and strategy upon it. Always keep an open mind – talk to people in the industry, listen to your customers and be prepared to adapt your business to the constant changes in the world.”
Shop our collection of Pixie Mood accessories here
Apply to be a featured entrepreneur here
Shop our latest Peach Collection here