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Meet Selay Yarimoglu of Simple Community in West Hollywood

Today we’d like to introduce you to Selay Yarimoglu.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Selay. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I’m the co-founder and designer of Simple Community. It has been my dream to create my own brand and designs since high school. I studied at Koc University in Turkey and Bocconi University in Italy for one semester. After graduating business administration, I worked in recruitment industry for several years and decided to quit corporate life to follow my passion. I was always passionate on bags, shoes, and accessories so I decided to go to Italy to widen my vision on design and study Italian language as an interest. It was the moment I started building ideas of Simple Community. I wanted to make a brand that represents myself and my lifestyle. There were some elements which were inevitable of my lifestyle.

First of all, I’m a travel addict. Seizing the day both by myself and with others, collecting memories and hacking the routines nourish my soul. Following trends and creating new things is like feeling butterflies in my stomach. My aim was to gather group of people and form a community that share same interests and lifestyle to create a self of belonging and live as simple, fun, free, joyful and full of love as possible. Now Simple Community became a brand that unites this story with the handmade Turkish bags that combines multi-functional design with a special hand-woven fabric which has historical background from Ottoman Empire and still being woven by the old craftsman in Eastern Turkey.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
It never was or is a smooth road but it is always fun especially if you are working in a field you love. First of all, the brand is like a child and you have to grow it with full attention. You are the mother and you take care of every single step to prepare it well for the market. One of the most struggling points I face is the production part. As Simple Community, we give high importance on selecting the right material for the designs, making the ultimate prototype and hiring the best craftsman for the high-quality handmade production.

The social media effect is another dilemma. It is a must tool for nowadays brands for marketing but at the same time there are tons of new brands coming up every day which increases competition. Being a handmade Turkish brand with unique fabric and designs is our advantage but it takes time to become an international brand so we all have to be patient and stay motivated throughout this adventure.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Simple Community – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of and what sets you apart from others.
Simple Community is a lifestyle brand that designs multifunctional handmade bags with the usage of various materials, special handwoven fabrics from Turkey. We sell products through our online store.

We are proud of our bags’ unique and comfortable style as well as quality. For instance, you can use your backpack as a shoulder or handbag if you pull over the strap. We get very happy when we see the increase in the number of community members and their satisfaction when using our products.

The fabric Kutnu is a crafts work with its history from 16th century so it is still hand-woven by the old craftsman. We believe that spreading this value to the world and giving labor to these craftsman is very encouraging.

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
Our biggest aim is to extend this brand community worldwide and organize community parties and meetings to share life together. We also would like to open stores in some parts of Europe and USA to reach people face to face because I believe it is very valuable to interact with people to see good vibes when touching their emotions and interests.

Pricing:

  • Our pricing differs according to collections. Backpacks are $170-$190
  • Freebags are around $95 and Handbags are $135-$160
  • Special Fabric Accessories are $60
  • Occasional Lifestyle Products for Bicycle Lovers (Bike Bags and Bike Coffee Holders) $35-$90

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Deniz Bayannalduz, Alper Ulus

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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