ADVERTORIAL • March 2020
Jaron Soh, founder of ethical marketplace Artisan & Fox had travelled the globe to source clothing and jewellery, designed and made with artisans from across the world. Now, all he needed was a flexible bank. The answer came from Starling Bank, two-time winner of the Best British Bank award. We spoke to the entrepreneur himself to find out why Starling is the perfect fit for his business
As his business grew, Jaron found that Artisan & Fox was making transfers to different countries on a daily basis and he needed to keep track easily of his incomings and outgoings. This is where Starling swooped in. “I do a lot of transfers through the app and make payments to artisans in different countries,” he explained after founding the online business in 2015 while studying at the London School of Economics. “It’s just easy knowing exactly what’s coming in and out, and being able to see everything in one place.”
There’s a reason why Starling has been voted Best British Bank for two years running, as well as the Best Current Account Provider at the 2019 British Bank Awards. For one thing Starling has no monthly fees, making it ideal for a start-up such as Artisan & Fox, which turned to Starling to help pay artisan invoices and process wholesale orders from British retailers. This level of transparency has ensured that Artisan & Fox will also be using the account this year for its London pop-up store, called #ForHumanity.
“Our mission is to uncover the provenance of the things we wear and love: Where does it come from? Who made it? Where do the materials come from?” These are the questions that Jaron Soh faces when sourcing new and ethical products for Artisan & Fox. And, while discovering “products that are a fusion of cultures” remains his challenge, Jaron is safe in the knowledge that his Starling account won’t burden him with fees when overseas and offers free cash withdrawals on scouting trips abroad.
Booking an appointment with a bank manager to open a business account can be a frustratingly slow process that doesn’t reflect the fast moving nature of business. This is all too familiar to Jaron, as when he needed a second business current account, he too turned to the high street. “They said I’d have to call them, which I did, but it took a long time,” he said. The Starling app transformed this archaic process for him, turning idle moments into his own bank manager’s office, allowing him to apply for business bank accounts, or even for multiple business accounts with ease.
“We work with artisans across the world to connect them to international customers and preserve cultures,” explained Jaron. And, as Artisan & Fox grows from its London office, so too does the increasingly global customer base who use a wide variety of currencies. Starling takes this in its stride as it offers a Euro for business accounts direct from the app – perfect for companies with a global reach who frequently trade in Euros.