Meeting the creative young men behind online men's fashion shop Afura

Meeting the creative young men behind online men’s fashion shop Afura

May 19, 2011 |  by  |  Fashion
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You may not have heard about the online shop Afura yet, but I can assure you that it’ll be one of your favourites once you visit the virtual store. I decided to meet the young Amsterdam men who started the website in October 2010 from scratch, so I could see what drove them to come up with a men’s shop filled with the latest fashion goodies.

The start of the concept

Just a couple of months ago, the brothers Victor (21) and Felix (23) ter Hark, along with their friend Len Koster (19), took a leap of faith and created their own version of the ‘perfect’ online shop for men. Their goal was to mix of street and preppy, with a lot of inspiration taken from Scandinavian brands. They wanted to turn their hobby into their work and thought it’d be best to just start while they were still young.

The execution of a plan

I have to say that these young men are very charming and quite mature for their age. When I asked them how they developed their idea into an actual business concept, their response was simple: “We just decided to not think too long about the project and just start doing it. We invested all of our savings, created a clean and simple design and tried to make it look as professional as we could. We did everything from scratch ourselves: designing and building the website, contacting the brands, photographing the collections and financing the project.”

We did everything from scratch ourselves: designing and building the website, contacting the labels, photographing the collections and financing of the project.

Everyday life

Although the men didn’t do a lot to promote their shop, it all started rolling pretty quickly. As Victor says: “I don’t think we’ll ever forget the day that someone placed an order who wasn’t one of our friends or family members. It was such a great feeling knowing that the collections we liked, were also liked by the majority of the rest of Holland.” Next to running the shop, the guys are all still in school and they seem to have found the perfect balance between being entrepreneurs and students: “Of course it’s a lot of hard work and it’s a 24/7 kind of job”, Felix says, “But we don’t feel like we’re working because we love what we do so much. It’s also great to work together, the three of us complement each other often and we know exactly which capacities we all have. We choose all the collections together, as well as the image that we want to create when it comes to Afura, which is street casual chic with an emphasis on quality and fit”.

The future

When asking what the future holds for the men, they all agreed on one thing: “We just want to have the freedom to do what we really love”, Len states, “We’d love to expand the shop, find new amazing brands to add to the existing collections. But above all, we just want to have fun while we’re doing that”. I was also curious to find out if they’d made really bad mistakes so far and if they could give some advice to upcoming entrepreneurs. Victor and Felix were very clear on that subject: “We make mistakes every day but learning from them is even more important. I think the single most important tip for anyone wanting to start their own business is just having the balls to do it. Don’t over think it, hold on to your passion and bluff your way to the top!”

Don’t over think it, hold on to your passion and bluff your way to the top!

I left the interview feeling intrigued and really rooting for Afura to be able to take men’s fashion to another level. It’s not hard to be dragged into the enthusiastic world of Victor, Felix and Len, because they truly work with all the passion they have for the industry. And as far as I can see, they’re quite well on the right path to becoming just exactly who they want to be.

Afura x give-away

To show all the men out there how lovely the Afura collections are, we decided to do a really cool give-away. You lucky men now have a chance of winning these fab Clae shoes. All you have to do is like the Afura Facebook page and comment on this post saying why you’d like to win the shoes. Don’t forget to mention your size while you’re at it!

Connect with Afura!


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