Ladies fashion brand startup Ashley May are celebrating their crowdfunding launch on Kickstarter today (October 20th, 2020), in which they hope to inspire contributions towards the business by selling their location-inspired collection of watches.

"Debuting a brand in the current climate has been a testing experience," explains Head of PR and Communications, Shady Murphy.

"However, it's important to remain agile in the face of adversity and our team have worked seamlessly to introduce the Portobello Collection despite the challenges presented by an international pandemic."

When Ashley May saw data that claimed less than 40% of crowdfunding backers are female, they hoped to change the narrative by encouraging a larger female audience to engage.

Describing themselves as "customer-focused" and "female-first" in both their design and vision, the Leeds-based startup kick off their campaigning with a variety of timepieces influenced by Portobello Road, in London.

The aptly-named Portobello Collection is the product of a lot of hard work from a skilled team of seven, featuring Gold, Silver and Rose Gold watches with interchangeable straps.

Product Director Mark McCarter comments: "Telling stories of worldwide destinations through our watches and our brand is the goal, creating unique products that inspire wanderlust."

It's hard to argue with that statement; just looking at the sleek designs that each of the stunning products possess is enough to make anybody want to get involved.

"The company was born out of the desire to build beautiful timepieces," adds Founder and CEO Matt Balcers.

"Inspired by my grandfather's love of watches, I founded Ashley May to capture the essence of places of interest around the world."

Unhappy with simply offering consumers their products with Kickstarter contributions, Ashley May have done whatever they can to maximise the campaign's impact.

This included teaming up with industry experts BackerKit, who utilise specialist crowdfunding domain knowledge and marketing technology to what they hope will be great effect.

Referral-based platforms such as Kickbooster will be used, meaning those who refer friends from their personal networks who go on to make a purchase, can earn commission.

Ashley May watches are available on Kickstarter, starting at £84. Check out the campaign here.

For more information on Ashley May and the Portobello Collection, visit www.byashleymay.com.

More fashion news: Tracee Ellis Ross to receive Fashion Icon gong at E! People's Choice Awards


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