Marion Schoutten is the cofounder and artistic director of the Orta Store e-shop. She welcomes us in her beautiful offices in the heart of the Châtelain area in Brussels and explains us the stages of her career path.
Describe yourself in a few words and explain us how you’ve been conducted to launch Orta Store.
My name is Marion and I’m 29 years old. I have French roots but have lived and been raised in Brussels for about 6 years. I’m the cofounder and artistic director of the web-shop Orta Store. After a few years in the fashion industry and an experience abroad, I discovered a new way of consumption and wanted to share it through Orta.
Describe Orta Store’s concept in a few words.
Orta Store is an e-shop offering one new collection every month. Our collections are designed in our offices in Brussels and made in our French or Portuguese factories depending on the different know-how. The idea is to offer affordable yet responsible fashion that could be as transparent as possible which means knowing where your clothes are produced and being able to dress thanks to nearby factories.
What is your main motivation for this project?
I’m not sure there is one in particular but many motivations came into consideration: the desire to create, to create jobs, to dare and undertake.
Which values are you willing to bring forward through your brand?
Since the beginning, I’ve been willing to create a responsible, community-based and ethical brand. I want to produce nearby with quality and natural fabrics at an affordable price. I also want to build a community-based brand which is close to its customers.
Which achievement are you the most proud of so far?
The achievement I’m the most proud of is being able to create jobs: we are now 10 people working for Orta! We are also very proud to have revived a textile factory. This factory was working for big names of fashion in the 80’s and is now reopened by an exclusively online brand, this is a big pride for us.
"Since the beginning, I’ve been willing to create a responsible, community-based and ethical brand"
What is the biggest difficulty you’ve gone through and how did you overcome it?
The biggest difficulty was to offer Made in Europe clothes at an affordable price with factories based in France. I didn’t come from the fashion industry and it was hard to find suppliers with all the features required: factories that could first accept small production batches and then shift to much bigger ones with, above all, decent working conditions. Hard work and commitment were needed to overcome this!
What would be the most precious advice you would give a woman wanting to take on her own adventure?
Go for it! Don’t be afraid, assess risks and if they are controlled, just go for it. Creating your own brand demands a lot of work and investment but in the end, it’s an incredible journey.