Sol Parga, Founder of Soleil, tells us about an accessories brand that conveys the fresh, careless yet luxurious Mediterranean spirit.
Tell us about you, your career, and how you founded Soleil.
Sol Parga: I studied Fashion Design in London, did a couple of internships in the arts and fashion, and started working as an accessories designer soon after in Madrid. I always knew I wanted to have my own business and manufacture in my country, so I began visiting suppliers and manufacturers during weekends. I launched Soleil on the side while working a full-time job, using my evenings and free time to build the brand. When Soleil began to gain momentum, I decided to quit my job and go full-time in my business. It was a scary decision initially, but now I know it was the right one to make!
Do you have small habits that made a meaningful impact on your life and business?
Sol Parga: Absolutely, having a routine is very important for me. Currently, I go to boxing five times a week, it takes my mind off work, and I am focused on my training for an hour. I also meditate every morning for around 15 minutes. It reduces my stress and helps me put any problems that may arise in my business and personal life into perspective. This year I am also trying to read more books, so I set some time to read before going to sleep, even if it’s a couple of pages. I also like to sleep early and wake up early.
How does Soleil market its product/services online?
Sol Parga: We mainly market our products through Instagram and influencer collaborations. We also use e-mail marketing and have been very lucky to be featured many times in earned media, from Entrepreneur to Vanity Fair and Harper’s Bazaar. We have mainly focused on organic marketing to increase brand awareness, but we are now getting into paid ads. Word of mouth marketing has also been crucial to us as people trust family and friends more than ads.
How are you funding your growth?
Sol Parga: We are 100% self-funded and invest everything we make back into the business.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Sol Parga: There are, of course, other brands doing personalized accessories as it is very trendy now, but in Soleil, we focus on sustainability and craftsmanship. All our products are handmade in our studio in Spain. We believe in slow fashion and optimizing production levels by operating on a pre-order basis. Our brand identity is built around unique custom-made products for each person, so customer service is our top priority. We also design all of our bags in-house and use materials made locally.
Your final thoughts.
Sol Parga: Building a brand organically and through self-funding takes a lot of time, adaptability, and resilience but seeing your ideas come to life makes it all worth it. I still have a lot to learn in every aspect of the business. I think it’s very important to keep going, especially when the times get tough. You never know what tomorrow may bring!