Harry Beattie and Nick Ayoub founders of OPUMO
OPUMO offers the latest fashion, art, furniture, technology & more from a selection of carefully curated brands with great design, excellent craftsmanship and clear vision.
OPUMO is on a mission to build the digital department store of the future - a data-driven, zero-inventory marketplace enabling brands to reach customers looking to discover & shop the latest fashion, art, furniture, technology & more. Launched in March 2017 by entrepreneurs Nick Ayoub and Harry Beattie, the platform appeals to customers who share a common appreciation of style, design and culture.
How and why did OPUMO Start?
Both Harry and I are huge design fans and we’ve always loved to discover new and exciting brands that create great product but don’t get the voice they deserve. Back in 2012 we began compiling brands we appreciated. We kicked off with what we could afford which was non-sized accessories and the rest is history!
Can you remember the first brand you signed up?
I remember it vividly. We used to spend our free time searching for interesting products and brands and one day we came across what is still one of our favourite brands today, Mismo. Based in Copenhagen, Mismo is, in our opinion, one of the best accessories brands on the market. Their clean lines, timeless designs and unparalleled quality made them a must-have for the very first launch of OPUMO.
How do you decide which brands to stock and what was it that you liked about Awling belts?
The criteria for brands to be featured on OPUMO is simple, great design, excellent craftsmanship and a clear vision and aesthetic. We were immediately drawn to Awling for exactly these reasons. You do a small selection of products extremely well and don’t compromise on quality through both the product and visual representation of the brand.
Are there any brands you’ve got your eyes on at the moment, any new ones to be released on the site soon?
We’ve got our eye on many brands from all over the world and it helps that it’s our passion and not just our job! CMMN SWDN, Aimé Leon Dore and Adsum are all up there as some of my personal favourites at the moment and we’re confident they’ll be joining us on OPUMO very soon.
What individual skills do you bring to the table, why does your business partnership work?
We’re in the really fortunate position of not only being business partners but also being long-term friends. We have known that we wanted to work together since back in 2006 and one of the main reasons for this is not only our mutual appreciation for great design but our complimentary skillsets and approaches. Harry’s optimistic and methodological approach makes for great internal systems and structure while my creative vision and art direction ensures that the quality of content and product on the platform is upheld.
With lots of great online stores out there, what’s helped you to continue to grow?
Without a doubt our content has been a key driver of our growth. By providing our insight and appreciation for all aspects of great design, from fashion to architecture, we’ve been able to cultivate customers from a broad range of interests. At OPUMO we’ve always prided ourselves on not being an aggressive retail platform but more of a platform for discovery and this approach has not only attracted a lot of interest but also allowed us to retain customers for a much longer time.
Has it been plain sailing?
I think any entrepreneur that says it’s plain sailing is lying. If it were plain sailing it wouldn’t be nearly as rewarding or educational as with hiccups along the way, which is usually the case! We’ve been really fortunate in hiring a great team and dealing with really valuable investors, all of whom help to make the ride as smooth as possible.
You recently successfully funded through Crowdcube, what will that money do for the company and also for the customer?
We did indeed complete a successful crowdfunding round and the main use of these funds will be to ensure the best possible experience for both our brands and customers. A number of areas of the site will be significantly overhauled from a customer UX perspective to give our customers and fans a truly unique environment in which to shop and consume content. In addition we’ll be introducing a number of initiatives to help our brands not only promote their hard work but also better understand their customer and explore new product lines with the valuable data we can offer. OPUMO exists to help customers find great brands and to help those great brands succeed and we’ll be implementing a number of initiatives to emphasise this so watch this space!
Have your shopping habits changed since you started Opumo?
And finally...what does style mean to you?
As the old adage goes: fashion is temporary, style is permanent. As cheesy as that is, it’s how we function at OPUMO: trying to steer habits away from fast-fashion towards timeless, high-quality pieces. The fact that we cover all bases at OPUMO, from furniture to fashion, also plays into this idea. Style is a way of seeing with a discerning eye, picking up on design cues and curating a nucleus of pieces from a wide selection. If we had to sum up our prerequisites, they would be understated design with timeless appeal crafted using quality materials.