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Sarah Parham Queen of rings pop up

How I changed career in my mid forties. Part four.

By SVP

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Read part one here and part two here and part three here on how I changed career in my mid forties.

In part four of this series I discover who you are and learn some new things along the way…

So, if you have read parts one, two and three you will by now know how I came up with the idea of adjustable rings. You will know that I have the SVP supply chain in place and you’ll know I have learnt how to run a business from a business mentor and of course by my own trial and error.

Everything is now in place but who do I sell to and how should I do it?

I had to find my audience, I had to understand you all, how you shop, where you shop, what brands you like and how much would you spend on an item of jewellery. I also needed to find my competitors, how and where they operate and what kind of prices their rings were selling for.

SWOT it out.

I went to the British Library and found Mintel reports so I could discover the marketplace. I needed to find out who was selling what, what is the most popular sector in jewellery and what was the least popular category.

Rings it turns out at the time were the least popular item sold.

I then looked at a mix of smaller jewellery brands as well as the larger players and drew up an axis of where I would sit amongst them all. I looked at our strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) and I could see more clearly where SVP could potentially sit.

I also looked at a rough plan on what I needed to overcome some of the negatives. I then started to get a clearer picture on what I needed to do.

Is it madness to build a brand around the least popular item in jewellery?

Maybe at first glance, but, maybe just maybe that is where the opportunity lay. I started to look at why rings were an unpopular category.

If in doubt just ask…

I discovered peoples hands and fingers changed in size not just with age but with the weather, with pregnancy, with arthritis, pregnancy, some people had big knuckles and the list went on. People never gifted rings as no one knew their ring size and because of changing finger size not just in a year but during the day too.

Thank you to everyone that gave me feedback.

With the adjustable ring this would solve all these problems that made rings the least popular choice when buying jewellery.

I then looked at retailers and went to chat to a few to find out what issues they had with stocking rings and why they found them tricky to sell.

Every retailer said they ended up with odd sizes and their customers were left for the most part disappointed as the ring they wanted often didn’t fit. Waste. They also said that no one bought them as gifts and when they did they nearly always got returned.

So maybe, just maybe my adjustable ring idea could just work.

Change is beautiful.

I knew that I wanted to be an accessible jewellery brand, I wanted to create precious pieces that most people could enjoy and wear.

Therefore I had to create a mix of commercial designs, pieces I knew that would have wide appeal as well as creating new exciting collections to inspire and that people could add to and create different looks.

There is no such thing as cheap.

Price is key, I knew I needed to be in line with other jewellery brands but I had to juggle that with many other factors. Firstly, my amazing artisans, I had to agree fair prices for their amazing work. I had to know that the team were able to pay to keep their place of work in great order, pay fair wages, overtime.

I knew I wanted to wholesale SVP, so we have to put a margin in for that and also for our retailers, they have to want to stock up and when your product goes in store they need to make money from the space it uses up, they need to be able to pay all the rates, rents, pay wages, upkeep etc.

Fairness is crucial, it builds trust and keeps everyone happy, if people are happy and you treat them well, they will create better, do more and be rewarded. If you make a product too cheap, someone is suffering somewhere – that is not what I wanted to do.

The NO ARSEHOLE rule.

When I sat down and started to think about what values the company should have, what do I believe in, how do I want to operate etc. I could only think of two words:

No arseholes

Thats it. Simple. Straightforward and what I still live by now. Yes, I have blacklisted people and I only ever work with people who are fair and honest and kind. It makes for better working relationships, builds trust and ensures we all benefit.

Arseholes use up time, energy, breed negativity and waste money, who needs that in life or business?

The best dressed hands are with SVP.

That is and always has been my mission – I want you all to have the best dressed hands whatever your style or mood or occasion.

The first bit of research I did was to find out the most popular shaped ring in the world – what was the easiest style to sell that would have wide appeal.

It turns out it is an oval shaped ring and research was right. You all love them. I named the collection Atomic.

Say hello to Atomic.

This is now by far our biggest collection with over 20 gemstones and 4 different sizes as well as the choice between recycled Sterling Silver and recycled Gold Vermeil. Why not take a peek here

Where are you?

So I had an idea on audience, and now I had to find you, what do you like to do, where do you like to go, what other brands do you love and buy from and why.

Next time: How to build a like minded community in a place we can all hang out.

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