Meet Chelsea Marley, The Female Entrepreneur behind Selfridges’ Approved Tech-Company Greyark Tech.
“I wasn’t happy with my job at the time, so when the opportunity to work on Greyark Tech came about. I was all in.” This time last year, Chelsea Marley found herself in a position that many twenty-somethings face at some point.
Unsure of what her next move in life would be, the idea of Greyark Tech woke something in her that she never thought existed. Determined to be a part of something bigger than herself, Marley did the most challenging thing in being an entrepreneur. She decided to take a significant risk by leaving her steady well-paying job, in one of the most economically uncertain times of the last century and dived headfirst into Greyark Tech with her business partner.
Marley’s determination superseded any insecurities or outside voices telling her this was crazy. With no previous experience in starting up a business, the Manchester-born entrepreneur relied on trial and error to learn the ins and outs of building and running a start-up tech company.
Only nine months after launching, their debut product ‘The Smart Watter Bottle.‘ Which boasts of features like the “UVC purification system which enables us to eliminate 99.9% of bacteria and bio-contaminants from your water and bottle” and “The sleek, lightweight design paired with the LED temperature display. ” The sleek product landed them a place in the highly coveted walls of Selfridges, London.
Now a key player in the London business world, Marley has combined her love for beauty and technology to independently launch her brand Just Skin. Marley shows a lot of promise to be one of the most influential young entrepreneurs in the London scene. Make sure you check out our interview with her below and check out Greyark Tech and Just Skin today!
Tell us a little about yourself?
My name is Chelsea Marley. I’m the owner and director of Greyark Technology. Growing up I have constantly been surrounded by strong-minded women. I am one of my mother’s eight children, six of us being female. I am second to youngest so I learned to be strong, independent, and resilient from my elder siblings and I truly believe it has a lot to do with where I am today. I was born and raised in Manchester with Nigerian heritage and moved myself to London in May 2019. My initial move was due to being bored with my current role and feeling stagnant, I worked in optics which I had done for 6 years and I felt I had accomplished everything I set out to do. Then came the opportunity to start Greyark which I really got off of the ground in August 2020. I have worked so hard and that work is now paying off!
Tell me about launching the brand in 2020. Why did you decide to launch Greyark Tech and how did you do it?
The idea of Greyark had been there for some time. I personally saw the potential that my business partner saw for the company and wanted to push it and get the ball rolling. We did a lot of product research and realised a few gaps in the market and a few existing products that we knew we could make better!
Tell us about your debut product, the Greyark Tech bottle?
The Water Bottle is my baby! I am so proud and honoured to have designed and manufactured a product that not only looks good but is sustainable and has numerous health benefits. The UVC purification system enables us to eliminate 99.9% of bacteria and bio-contaminants from your water and bottle, leaving you with purified water wherever you fill up! The sleek, lightweight design paired with the LED temperature display is the perfect combination of sophisticated luxury and everyday convenience.
What was a specific achievement or milestone you felt most proud of in the beginning? And also more recently?
Definitely taking on the task of designing and sourcing our debut product. The Smart Water Bottle has gained us so much recognition which leads to my most recent achievement, our signing with Selfridges! It is a surreal feeling that after so much hard work, one of your products is now sat on the shelf in one of the most prestigious retailers ever!
Tell me about your start-up strategy?
The biggest part of any start-up similar to ours is product research. You need to know exactly what you are looking for and why you are looking for it. Being passionate about what you make and sell honestly makes all the difference. We also thought big from the beginning, everybody has to start somewhere but that doesn’t mean that somewhere isn’t sitting next to some of the top brands!
What is your approach to sustainability as a company?
I’m personally proud to say that all of our products are made with sustainability in mind. I think it is so important for us and any other companies to take the necessary steps in becoming more sustainable. All of our products, the future included, are all sustainable and we will continue this throughout our entire catalogue.
What was your experience like during Covid? What changes did you have to make, if any?
Covid actually gave me the time to make Greyark into what it is! I know many people were unfortunate during this time but it meant I was able to focus completely on directing and pushing the company. It also made sense for the Smart Water Bottle to be our first release during this time as people are more conscious than ever when it comes to hygiene and cleanliness. The pandemic meant that people were constantly looking for ways to become more sterile and our bottle definitely helps with that.
What are your plans for the future, any new products on the horizon?
Yes! We plan to have a 10 product catalog by the end of this year. All of them being innovative and something out of the ordinary. The next product we will be launching is the Greyark Smart Notebook. TOur book enables you to transfer handwritten notes in real-time straight to any of your smart devices with the help of our companion app. All notes once transferred can be changed into text and email format, input onto a word or excel document, and translated into 12 different languages.
What is your advice to budding entrepreneurs?
No idea is too big and no question is too small! Do your research and ask as many questions as you need to. Surround yourself with like-minded people or people who are in positions you can see yourself in. Networking is key and you just have to believe in yourself and your product or service.
Arts & Culture Editor/Producer – Chelsea Mtada @chelseamtada
Photographer – Shenell Kennedy @shenellkennedy
Stylist – Korede Alabi @lifeofkors
BTS Video – Sam Adjaye @swrv.adj