Business of HYPE is a weekly series brought to you by HYPEBEAST Radio and hosted by jeffstaple. It’s a show about creatives, brand-builders, entrepreneurs and the realities behind the dreams they’ve built. Two months ago, we premiered a rather unique series, Stay @ Home, with former guests discussing life in a pandemic. Today, we’re back for another special episode with Andy Fallshaw, Co-Founder and CEO of Australian accessories brand Bellroy.
Founded in 2009, alongside Matthew Fallshaw, Lina Calabria and Hadrien Monloup, Bellroy was the answer after the four realized there was a gap in the luxury carrier space. What started with a re-engineered wallet has become a global certified B Corporation producing wallets, travel bags and tech accessories, all made from environmentally sustainable material.
Fallshaw began his career in the carrier space working in the accessories division at Rip Curl. After four years, he realized he wanted to make a greater impact—find a void in the world and fill it with a good product. Thus began his foray into the world of startups, launching more than nine different self-funded businesses from computer software (Trike Apps) and x-rays (Radiopaedia), to the carrier space (Carryology & Bellroy). While some have lasted through the years and others have not, Fallshaw has always focused his energy in finding solutions no matter how difficult.
“From the outside, you think you think you can see an opportunity, but once you get in and really start wrestling with it, there’s often hurdles you haven’t realized. From that outside view you can see all those opportunities, and I think what we tried to do is come in, really dig in to market quickly and start exploring it. That’s why it started as a funnel of opportunity, and then we could start wiggling away once we got into it.”
Through these many endeavors, Carryology — a global site for reviews on “carry” items — prevailed, and Bellroy was the brand that came into fruition from the blog’s insight. A decade later, the company has remained sustainable due to its ability to see the bigger picture. With offices in Bells Beach and Fitzroy, Australia, Bellroy values its employees to a have work/life balance along with centering the business on social and environmental causes with specific financial goals. Fallshaw emphasizes that Bellroy is focused not just on profit, but in “creating something that brings value to people.”
Also in this episode, Fallshaw details how the company has changed it’s model during COVID-19 and the importance of categorizing remote work vs. in-person work. Despite the setback, Bellroy has been launching a number of new products, most recently partnering with Miller Genuine Draft’s design lab and jeffstaple for a limited-edition customizable sling bag. But if there’s anything we learn for this installment of BoH, Bellroy is more than just a meticulously-designed accessory brand, its focus is to work with brightest creatives to better serve the community with good product.