In the technology industry, much noise is made around the notion of failing. How many times have you heard a Silicon Valley entrepreneur espouse the benefits of failing without telling any real success story to parry it?
So, how refreshing it is to learn about The Daily Edited’s journey so far, starting life as a fashion blog, before launching a clothing line, only to fail — and then completely reimagine itself as an über-successful accessories brand. “It started out as a nice way for my co-founder and I to channel our creativity outside our daily work as corporate lawyers,” recalls TDE’s Sydney-based CEO Alyce Tran. She’s just got off a plane and is in a taxi on her way to a speaking engagement — on a Friday evening — when we speak. Having read about her commitment to the hustle in previous interviews, her packed schedule comes as no surprise.
“The clothing line was quite interesting, and probably a bit ahead of its time,” Alyce says, “but it didn’t quite work out. So after 18 months, we decided to stop it and have a bit of a break.” Then, in August 2014, Alyce came up with the idea to create leather accessories. The motivation, it turns out, was surprisingly pragmatic in origin: “It was mainly because I’d been promoted in my role at work and needed some new things to take to meetings. I went out into the market and couldn’t find something that would fit — something stylish, but at an accessible price point.”
Work on the first release began in earnest, but Alyce says she never had any intention of building a global brand; that it was, in fact, an accident. “Because we hadn’t had financial success with our clothing line, we had no expectations on where this would go. We’d made this first line with the view of gifting it to our friends and family at Christmas.”
Looking back now, it’s hard to imagine that as an end goal, given the brand’s rapid and globe-spanning success in the four short years that followed. And even when things took off, seemingly overnight — “I put photos of the items on Instagram and we started getting people enquiring from all over the world about where they could buy these products” — it was a while before Alyce and Tania decided to quit their jobs. “By 2015, we’d generated enough income through the business to sustain our wages and the few employees we had at the time.” It was at that point that they both quit being lawyers to run TDE full-time. And from there, the brand has gone from strength to strength. Even the collapse of Oroton, the retail giant who’d bought a 30% stake in TDE just months earlier, turned into a good thing: Alyce and Tania bought back that stake and made a healthy $2.3m profit in the process.
Rewind a little, though, and it turns out the company has its roots in Alyce’s childhood: when asked why items are monogrammable, she says that it was a very personal desire: “I’ve always been into personalisation. Because my name’s ‘Alyce’, it’s quite an odd spelling; when I was a child growing up, I could never find a water bottle with my name printed on it.” This element of personalization, combined with the extremely limited lines — usually to 1000 or fewer pieces per run — have made TDE products highly sought-after, especially by the Instagram generation. “I believe everything should be at an accessible price point. Everyone should be able to afford a touch of luxury in their lives.
You’ll find The Daily Edited’s products in our Gift Guide. “We have a very dedicated following in Dallas,” Alyce enthuses. “Partnering with Neighborhood Goods is such as a nice way to bring the brand to life there.”