Deira Reina and Pablo Baqué are the perfect embodiment of Spain’s new generation of spirited entrepreneurs. Their brand Alegria Industries was born in the midst of Spain’s new zeitgeist which has seen the population embrace age-old traditions and give them a modern twist.
“It’s become clear that today’s marketplace is very different to the world our families once operated in.”
Alegria (which in Spanish translates to “joy”) Industries started as a boutique hat maker, but since Pablo and Deira took over the brand there has been a co-ordinated push to expand the collection to include bags such as totes, backpacks, and cooler bags as well as beach accessories including towels and games such as Padel and ‘Grip Ball.’ There is a bullish commitment to being able to print ‘Made in Spain’ on each product, because the brand was founded as an homage to Spain’s heritage craftsmanship.
This sentiment is on full display in the workshop, which is populated by several former skilled artisans from Spain’s luxury powerhouse Loewe; each busy fashioning organic materials into Alegria’s colourful new collection.
“Sourcing new buyers for your products is no longer a question of taking samples on the road or attending trade fairs. Last year we went to a fair and it taught us a very important – albeit difficult – lesson.”
Deira Reina is happy to share that lesson. The fair in question cost €3,000 to attend but the two entrepreneurs, eager to show off their new expanded collection, sold a grand total of €0 worth of products. “As a burgeoning business, this was a colossal waste of money. We were later told by one of the fair’s veteran attendees that we’d need to return for four consecutive seasons before we expected to sell something. For a young brand like ours, this isn’t just unfeasible – it’s also ridiculous!”
The searing experience prompted a rapid strategic re-think. Traditional trade fairs are out, while a more intense focus on social media platforms is in. “Online sales are at the centre of a new pivot to reach customers directly; this way we can manage our story-telling more efficiently and understand who is interested in our new range.” The new social media strategy has seen the brand tinker with new digital tools such as Bloombees, which Deira describes as a “game-changer.”
“Online sales are at the centre of a new pivot to reach customers directly; this way we can manage our story-telling more efficiently and understand who is interested in our new range”.
“Our plans to expand include launching special limited edition designs that we are releasing online via social media; obviously Bloombees, which places a product just one click away from the online check-out, has been the best tool to roll out these special releases.”
As the Spanish summer kicks into gear, anyone who loves design (and the beach) are well-advised to keep an eye on Alegria Industries to stock up for the sun and sand.