The Story Of

Alula Collections

By Ellea

For This to Begin we have to go right back

Ever since I was little I've always had 2 dreams

1. To become a Midwife

2. To set up and run my own (BIG) business

So when it came to trying to choose how to do both of these at once, I struggled and decided to stick with No.2

But to be honest I'd always been setting up businesses for as long as I can remember. First came the "Painting on Kitchen Roll Business" which i set up in my kitchen and taped them to the shop (kitchen) walls (aged 7)...sadly this didn't seem to attract the footfall needed to make it viable. Then came "Pet Mania" (aged 9) I set up with my friend, where I delegated all the pet sitting to be my friends "area" while I cracked on with the very important role of "Admin"- leaving all the actual labour to my friend. This too also did not take off! Between the ages of 10-18 this pattern followed and sadly neither selling painted shells on the beach or stale biscuits with my younger sister (yes we literally tried to sell the contents of our biscuit tin) seemed to bring me much luck.

Then at the age of 18 I started to crack the whip and really take this EVEN MORE seriously. The amount of "Half Businesses " I have set up should be illegal. (Above is just one of the many logos I designed for a business that never got off the ground)

Take one small step at a time

I was getting increasingly more frustrated that none of my businesses were coming together. But there was one piece of feedback that I kept being told "You need to just take one small step at a time". Now I will admit if there's one thing I always do, it's jump in and want to go from 0-100 as quick as possible. So rather than try and find a manufacturer overnight or go viral on Instagram from my first post, I decided to take matters into my own hands- start small and create a product that wasn't going to require any external input. So I ordered a mix box of beads from Amazon and that was where "Ells Shells" was born. After listing these necklaces on Depop and having my first experience of success, I decided I wanted to differentiate myself from the crowd which is where our signature cowrie shell necklace comes in. These started to fly off, so that summer, with the help of my dad, we built a surfboard style selling board and I spent my summer selling necklaces on the beach and amazingly I managed to buy myself a new car with the profits!

The next challenge was managing uni while running a business... but secretly I'd always imagined this would be the plan, so it was more how I was going to study my degree while running a business full time. Safe to say after 3 years of Studying Marketing Management I graduated with a 2:1 degree in marketing, an established business and a growth grant I was incredibly lucky to win from Santander for Brighton University Entrepreneur of the year which required me pitching Alula to 5 judges. This grant was to fund the next step of "Ells Shells" which was trading at Boardmasters. BUT we all know what happened in 2020- The dreaded Covid. So that summer rather than selling at festivals/beach I switched it around and raised money for the NHS through my jewellery.

In this time I re-branded as Alula Collections as I felt I didn't just want to create a business, but a brand. I often get asked why/what Alula is all about - it simply means "First Leap" in Arabic, which I feel for my first proper business, is quite fitting!

After graduating I was SO serious (my family may want to refer to it as stubborn) that getting a corporate job was not an idea I was ever going to consider. Instead I was adamant that Alula Collections would become the empire I always dreamed of. So along side working as a Part Time Swimming Instructor I put everything I had into growing Alula Collections.

Fast Forward

The Next Chapter

Safe to after after 5 years of Alula Collections the dream is coming closer and closer. I now have 2 Alula Helpers, we've traded at Boardmasters 3 times, worked with Big Names, Had quite a few viral videos and above all Alula has an incredibly loyal customer based. I've learnt so much over these last 5 Years. I really hope after recently reshuffling how things work around here that it's going to allow for Alula Collection to grow even more.

Thank You Sooo Much

I can't thank you enough for all the support I've had with Alula over the years. Whether you've been here since the Depop days or just discovered us, I would not be here with you all and no words will express how grateful I am. If you'd like to see the next chapter happening in real time come join us on Instagram @alulacollections. I suppose all that's left to say is watch this space 🤍