Corrine Anestopoulos of BIKO
BIKO is a modern jewellery brand designed and hand-crafted with love in Toronto, Canada. Inspired by nature, contemporary art, architecture and travel, BIKO is known for its high level of craftsmanship, luxe materials and playful aesthetic. Corrine Anestopoulos, Ryerson alumni of the New Media Program (2005), graduated and built BIKO after one successful sample sale. Fast forward 16 years, Corrine & BIKO have collaborated with retailers such as Nordstrom and Hudson's Bay, celebrities such as M.I.A. and Bianca Andreescu, and international brands such as Mattel for Barbie's 60th Anniversary. BIKO focuses on giving back through partnerships with charitable organizations, such as Rethink Breast Cancer and is a three-time nominee for the Canadian Arts & Fashion Award (CAFA) in the category of Accessory Designer of the Year (2018-2020).
When BIKO joined the Zone in April 2020, their wholesale business (70% of total sales) disappeared as the pandemic took hold of the world. With decreased demand, Corrine had to let their staff go and become a one-woman show. Still, Corrine took the opportunity to learn and grow by joining the Ryerson Fashion Zone to connect with like-minded individuals and work with business advisors. Corrine’s goal? To help further develop BIKO's digital marketing and overall growth strategy. Covid-19 became BIKO's opportunity to pivot and connect with their community in new, meaningful ways. Corrine launched a Daily Hero Instagram series highlighting the courage and strength of healthcare workers. The Daily hero campaign was covered by CAFA News & FASHION Magazine; this organic campaign focused on giving back; however, the authentic gesture from the heart increased both online sales and brand awareness.
In fall 2020, Biko was accepted into the Creative recovery cohort Accelerator program, where she worked on a fully-realized digital marketing campaign and online marketing plan of action. Here, Corrine met weekly with nine other start-up founders, received over 30 hours of strategic business advisory from the program lead, attended over 25 one-on-one sessions with our Digital Marketing Entrepreneur in Residence and spent countless hours prepping for not one, but two investor pitches! Fast forward one year, and e-commerce now accounts for 70% of BIKO's sales, and they are well on the road to recovery. The Fashion Zone community helped Corrine gain confidence in their pitch and better understand their business from the inside out. Corrine's future goals are to continue to work on the business and less in the business, to re-hire a studio team and individuals to continue optimizing for strategic growth, and to grow further into the American wholesale and DTC markets.