We had the idea to launch a luxury pashmina company over twenty years ago.
“It was 2003 and we were living in Thailand,” says Katy Appleford, co-founder of Signature Cashmere, who was teaching English while Robert was on sabbatical from his job as a lawyer. “At the time, I was buying pashminas for us to wear ourselves, because there is so much air con in Bangkok, you always needed a pashmina, regardless of weather or climate.”
The pair realised that pashminas were lightweight and easy to ship making them ideal for an e- commerce business. As we expanded our business, we tried to divide it between an internet business and a physical one, but this was a mistake. It was probably one of our biggest strategic errors, instead of trying to divide and hit every market we really should have focussed on our USP.
“Many times in life you’ll come up with a great idea and then just get on with your normal life. You need to take the risk, focus on your USP and stick to your long-term vision.” Things don’t happen overnight and there have been ups and downs with the business over the years, including the sad passing of Robert’s mother who managed the business for sixteen years. The business has grown from an idea, to mail order pashminas to providing a wide range of cashmere items from gloves to ponchos in an array of colours and fabrics.
Every time you purchase from Signature Cashmere, it’s very personal to us. We take it as a real token of appreciation for our business and the products we have created. By shopping small and from a family-run business, you really are making a connection with us. With each purchase, it drives us to do more and keep improving on our quality. Your purchase not only supports us but helps support the people in Nepal who hand-make and hand finish every garment.
“We’re not a fast fashion business, we focus on quality products that last” says Robert.
All our pashmina at Signature Cashmere is from the Capra Hircus goat and handcrafted by skilled craftsman in a small factory in Nepal. Our supplier, Jitendra, has a small factory employing 25 local men and women in Kathmandu. Jitendra started his business in 1998 and has always produced the highest-quality pashminas and cashmere clothing for us. You can discover more about cashmere and the quality of our products in this article here.
We are proud to have served thousands of satisfied customers, many of whom come back to us again and again. We aim to provide unparalleled personal service to our loyal customers, with satisfaction guaranteed, and we are always happy to help our customers choose the right items. We hope you enjoy wearing our products as much as we enjoy creating them for you. Signature Cashmere recently did an interview with HSBC and you can read more about it on their brand insights section, here.