TO STAY POSITIVE : String Ting may have started out as a small side-lockdown hustle, but after enjoying plenty of viral moments, it’s quickly evolving to include collaborations with hot label Hillier Bartley and a new venture into vintage clothing.
Founder Rachel Steed-Middleton launched the brand in the summer of 2020 after seeing how some of the people around her were affected by the COVID-19 crisis and wanting to teach her children the importance of “doing something something beyond themselves”.
The idea was simple: create “the beaded equivalent of a lemonade stand” by hand beading sunglasses chains, bracelets or phone straps and selling them for charity.
Between colorful, upbeat beads and childish designs, the brand took off and had plenty of viral moments, as Dua Lipa, Kaia Gerber, Gigi Hadid, Ariana Grande and Kendall Jenner shared selfies with dangling String Ting beaded straps to their Phone (s.
“It was a tough time with people looking for an optimistic spirit and I was creating something colorful and positive that everyone could connect to. The beads are also tactile, they connect with your inner child and bring back creative memories,” Steed-Middleton said. “Plus, it’s just fun to have it on your phone and not have to carry a bag. The phone is becoming the new bag these days.
To keep the momentum going now that the world is opening up, Steed-Middleton is starting to connect with other creatives on collaborations and looking beyond the brand’s popular phone straps.
The brand has just launched a collaboration with Hillier Bartley of phone straps featuring its signature crystals with Hillier Bartley’s bunny logo. “We matched our two signings, but it’s also about women coming together. Katie has become an amazing mentor, and there’s something amazing about women with experience in their fields sharing their knowledge,” Steed-Middleton added.
She’s also dipping herself into clothes for the first time – while keeping her tongue-in-cheek aesthetic and slow-growing approach.
In partnership with a number of vintage wholesalers in London, the brand has selected a selection of vintage pieces ranging from Yves Saint Laurent herringbone coats to Benetton polo shirts, and given them a new lease of life by adding some of the brand’s cartoonish illustrations and flairs.
“Seeing the vast warehouses from which these wholesalers worked, it was clear that we were do the right thing, choose to work with vintage clothes,” added Steed-Middleton, who was keen to keep prices accessible, between 30 pounds and 250 pounds.
“I want everyone to be able to have a piece, the idea is for it to be merchandising. Our goal is to share the brand’s philosophy through this launch.