“What possesses a person to sell their house and invest all of their money in bondage?“
The answer, in truth, is a mixture of insanity and delusion.
That could be the end of the story, but I do have a bondage tale to tell and tell it I shall whether you are curious or not.
Let us first start with this, who are Kilter?
If you’re new here, let’s start with our origin story.
Kilter is where fashion meets kink. We are a BDSM brand for those who already enjoy luxury as part of their lifestyle, and recognise the hallmarks of quality and design without a second thought.
Our designs are understated and chic by nature and our products are handcrafted in the UK, using the finest Italian vegetable tanned leather we buy in from the oldest tannery in Tuscany.
Though we are a brand who launched in 2022, we have already been compared as the Hermes of BDSM – (by multiple unrelated customers might I add) – and that is an accolade I am insanely proud of.
Right now our collection is small - and that is because Kilter is self-funded. But our dream is big, and with the continued loyalty demonstrated by our customers thus far, I am committed to reinvesting until we become the destination for luxury BDSM collections.
Unusually for products in this category, our signature collection is tan and gold. This is what makes our products undeniably Kilter – and recognisable from afar, – in an industry, where product are primarily black and red – this is what makes us different. Our fine leather and the quality of craft, or what elevate us above many brands.
While our sizing is inclusive, it is worth noting that we are a female led brand and so you may find our collars and restraints narrower than most. This is because I never enjoyed how wide unisex cuffs seemed to take up half of my forearm - so this is worth keeping in mind.
Kilter started as a small idea that quickly got out of hand
I am not known for doing things on a small scale.
The idea for a Kilter was born in 2020, when I wanted to throw away my low quality, cheap and seedy-feeling bondage products in favour of ones I truly loved and was proud to own.
In honesty, I felt like a fraud using products that didn’t feel like they truly belonged to me. They felt inauthentic to how I live my life – and so I went in search of products that felt like they would be at home in the handbag hall of Selfridge’s. That really felt like they were luxury products - a brand who's quality and design felt in the league of Louis Vuitton, Chanel and Gucci.
What I noticed were two things - many of the brands marketed as "luxury" were not really luxury at all. The stitching was wonky, or somehow they still felt a little cheap. Or the truly high quality products still felt too masculine for my hands and were all black - when I am definitely a neutrals kind of woman.
That’s what I thought I should put my painting and drawing skills into good use – during a particularly unengaging meeting, I mindlessly sketched out the outline of a Kilter Classic Paddle. There was not a straight line to be seen, and it was quite unlike any spanking paddle that I had seen available.
That’s when I knew I was onto something – and I worked with a Master Saddler to bring this design to life.
Together, we finished the structure and reinforced it with a flat rod of spring steel. So there was no give in the handle, ensuring we had a truly robust product. The moment I held this in my hand. I knew that this idea was bigger than a spanking paddle just for me.
In truth, I am not entirely sure what my thought process was behind accelerating this idea in allowing it to snowball into a capsule collection of luxury bondage. But all I know is that I was starting the process of selling my house, and there were no banks at all who wanted to touch a bondage start-up with a bargepole. I was ghosted by the British Business Bank and HSBC told me that I was operating in a "prohibited category" - one of the many invisible hurdles sex brands face which is another blog post in itself.
So the answer to me, seemed clear-cut – to give this my best shot, I invest in my dream which is why we are self funded and which is why my bank account is in the negative numbers. Though I promise you that I do not regret a single thing.
But it is why we started with a small collection - manufacturing your own bespoke designs in the UK is not an inexpensive task! I would launch a 42 piece bondage collection tomorrow if I had the money (which reminds me I should start playing the lottery) but for the moment, every sale brings me closer to manufacturing new designs, so it truly matters.
This business is not my full-time job
Though I do wish it was with all of my being.
Growth is important - which is why money must come in and not go out again - it will be years before it can sustain a salary for me, so for now I continue to work in marketing and reinvest the proceeds of every sale.
Kilter is inching towards reaching it's full potential, and it's people like you who read inane ramblings such as this who are engaged in our story enough to help it on it's way.
I know this is a business with potential - that we can become the destination for luxury BDSM collections for those of discerning taste - which is why I am happy to sit and wait for the time to pass and the business to slowly grow.
Every sale is processed by me, packed in my Edinburgh home and sent in a gift-box regardless of the size of the order, because I want you to feel special when you open it.
It’s truly an honour to start Kilter – and to see how much we have grown in such a short space of time.
It hasn’t been without its challenges, because starting a luxury bondage business in the middle of a cost of living crisis with the highest inflation we have seen in decades truly has hampered are growth – but if the vision was not strong, I would probably find it hard to persevere.
If you’ve come this far in the post, thank you for reading, and I hope we become more well acquainted with each other.
In the meantime, if you do have any questions please do not hesitate to get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.