A New tribe

“I think the main advantage for me would be improved productivity”

In the latest in our Artisan Case Studies, we spoke to our wonderful London based client, Ella Jones, the founder of A New Tribe.  A New Tribe has a presence both as a home accessories and lifestyle store in Hackney and online.  The business curates Moroccan rugs hand selected by Ella, as well as home accessories from independent designers and small brands sourced both locally and from around the world.

Ella started the business in 2013, at that time focussing solely on rugs.  She has her own line of rugs that she designs under the brand ‘The Rug Trade. Ella works with artisans in Morroco where all the rugs are hand-made.

After running a pop-up shop in 2015 to show-case her rugs, Ella realised they would benefit from being featured alongside carefully selected range of beautiful objects to complement them.  And the pop-up was quite successful, so Ella decided it was time to look for a permanent store, where she could offer a unique shopping experience not to be found elsewhere.  A New Tribe opened the London shop on Chatsworth Road in 2016.

Like many entrepreneurs, Ella needed to maintain her career as a freelancer in tandem with the launch of her shop for some time to pay the bills, always with the aim that one day the business would be successful enough for her to be able to completely focus on it.  After three years Ella was able to stop her freelance work and focus on the business fulltime. A New Tribe is now successful, both on and offline and employs two freelancers.

Says Ella,  “I’m really happy with the direction that the shop has taken and the offering that we have. We have really loyal customers and lots of people are really positive about what we’re doing which for me makes it worthwhile.”

And there have been many successes to savour along the way; Ella is particularly proud that A New Tribe has been able to grow during an especially challenging period for retail.  And last year the business won the coveted Time Out Love Local award for Best Independent Shop.  They’ve also been featured in some fairly meaty interior articles, including an Elle Decoration feature.

As a business A New Tribe takes a quite modern approach.  Ella and her employees rarely work in the shop at the same time and do most of their communication by email. She says, “My employees are amazing and have both been working with me for quite a while now – I completely trust them and am really happy to have them working with me.”

Trust and reliability are values Ella was looking for in an accountant as well.  She was looking for an accountant and came to Artisan Accounts through a recommendation, she was looking for “someone who could explain everything to me in simple terms – as the world of accounts, tax returns etc was completely new to me – and also a reliable company who are easy to get in touch with if I need anything.”

Since joining with Artisan Accounts Ella says her business has slowly changed and grown feels that Artisan have always been there to help accommodate those changes. Things were up and running after short and easy transition. She says; “Artisan have always been great at communicating and easy to get hold of.”

A New Tribe is continuing to grow and use systems and procedures to streamline the business and free up crucial time for Ella and her team.  18 months ago, the business moved to Xero and Receipt Bank for its finances and Ella believes this has “made everything so much easier [for me] to keep track of and record”.  She says; “Before that it was a bit of a nightmare keeping track of so many transactions going in and out of my account which comes with running a shop.”  Ella certainly this has enhanced A New Tribe’s performance and says; “I think the main advantage for me would be improved productivity.”

When asked what her favourite aspect of working with Artisan Accounts is, Ella said; “Chatting to Alex who has been really great from the start and is always available to go through anything with me and help where needed.”

So what’s next for A New Tribe?  “To keep growing and reaching a larger audience” says Ella, “ whether that is online or by opening another shop is my next decision!” 

We can wait to see what Ella does next and are delighted to have a front row view!

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