Heather Siu: Lark & Ives Is a Problem-solving, Vegan Leather Fashion Brand Built by the Voices of Women

Lark & Ives is a problem-solving, vegan leather fashion brand built by the voices of women. Throughout the years, our clients have directed us to design vegan bags and accessories that is tailored to their vision – beautiful, cruelty-free, minimalistic, multi-functional and organizable.

Whenever possible, we dedicated our products + marketing to women empowerment as well as cruelty-free campaigns. Our brand has been featured on Harper’s Bazaar Top 100, Martha Stewart Living, FASHION etc.

Tell us about yourself?

My name is Heather Siu, Cofounder of Lark & Ives. I’m a tri-lingual Hongkonger and raised in Vancouver.

After I graduated from the University of British Columbia with a Bachelor of Science, Statistics and Diploma of Urban Land Economics, I moved into real estate.

Growing up, I was surrounded by successful manufacturers, which has given me an understanding of complex vertically integrated business models and an excellent overall business grounding.

I’ve always been creative, which was apparent when Myrtle et Olives Events delivered world-class events across Canada.

My business partner Karla Lim and I worked together extensively. We worked contentedly side-by-side as we juggled weddings and later joined forces to start Lark & Ives after receiving transformational feedback from our clients.

Running the brand has allowed me to embrace the ‘work from anywhere’ lifestyle, which suits my explorative personality. We deliver vegan-leather fashion products, accessories and candles to modern, sustainably-minded women across North America and Canada.

If you could go back in time a year or two, what piece of advice would you give yourself?

As a massive fan of the late Steve Jobs, I feel that his quote, “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards.

So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future”, resonates most. Lark & Ives has taken Karla and I on an expected and extraordinary journey. Neither of us expected the company’s formation; it’s not something I dreamt or thought possible. I’ll keep believing!

What problem does your business solve?

Lark & Ives is a brand built by women for women. We ask our clients, our crew, what they need, listen, and deliver. We have just created the new crossbody bag from their wish-list. The crew wanted something small, sassy, minimalist, black and organizable.

Of course, we went one step further and created a unique piece that is so much more than a crossbody bag; it can be slung across your chest, worn as a shoulder bag, worn as a belt, or even used as a clutch. Perhaps we’ve done ourselves a considerable injustice; it’s everything a woman needs!

What is the inspiration behind your business?

First and foremost, we are a team of animal lovers. Collectively, we believe that vibes attract vibes and our vegan leather, cruelty-free collection happened organically.

During the conceptual phase, Karla and I ran various pop-up events to talk to our future clients and understand what they wanted so that we could develop our ideas to align them with their needs.

Our first piece was a keychain designed in response to the demand for the signature monogram lapel pins.

What is your magic sauce?

As an all-women team, we are curious, genuine and passionate. Lark & Ives has a host of supporters that range from repeat clients, retail buyers and magazine editors.

We have all supported each other throughout the pandemic and the usual ups and downs of running a business.

We are lucky to have a core group of advocates that, simply put, have our back, and they’ve weathered the various storms with us.

What is the plan for the next 5 years? What do you want to achieve?

We want to continue to see Lark & Ives flourish and grow into a fashion, home and lifestyle brand that promotes positive choices.

What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?

Like so many people over the last couple of years, the pandemic has been one of the biggest challenges. We’ve been confronted with supply chain issues, shipping delays and considerable increases in shipping costs.

However, our main advantage is that we’ve always been set up to work remotely. Our entire team is creative, fluid and can accommodate changes and decisions with ultimate precision and speed.

I’m incredibly grateful that our devoted team and community rallied together to support us when times got really tough.

How do people get involved/buy into your vision?

Our mission is to collaborate with conscious brands and influencers that share our ‘cruelty-free is the new sexy’ vision.

We also would like to be centre stage in stores such as the international brand Nordstrom. We’d also like to expand onto bigger E-commerce platforms and partner with relevant and ethical influencers as third-party associate sellers.

We will continue to support animal charities and help with particularly tricky rescues.

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