How I Learnt To Build A Jewellery Brand
What Experience Did I Have To Be Able To Build A Jewellery Brand?
Before, during and after my university years, I was working for Crew Clothing; the sailing-based clothing brand. I was setting up stores, running shop floors and training new employees. Having this job in tandem with studying for my Business Management degree was fascinating. Learning the theories behind business and marketing and then seeing them in action allowed me to understand the ins and outs of retail and branding. I loved it.
Feeling like I wanted to gain further experience, and have some more fun, I started working for Dubarry Of Ireland selling luxury leather wellies at events around the UK. There was a lot of Champagne and partying at the same time as record-breaking sales. My god was it fun! I learnt the most from Dubarry - that brands are about people, quality product and memorable experiences. If you can conquer those, sales follow. Not forgetting that you can have fun and misbehave as well as being successful.
I then moved onto brand management with William Grant and Sons learning how to sell alcohol to the on and off trade. More fun was had; cocktail competitions, bar sponsorship deals, meeting heads of sales at Tesco, Sainsbury & Morrison. The latter was an eye opener, they drive a hard bargain. I decided then that I would never own a brand that sold into the 'Big 4'. They could destroy you in a matter of weeks if they wanted to. It was quite a corporate role because this company is enormous. I was so well dressed! Make up and heels every day, which is not like me at all! We'd have vodka and whiskey tastings at 9.30am at least once a week. A wild time. I loved it.
Hospitality was next. I started a marketing role with a healthy fast food chain called Pod (think Pret, but smaller, Central London only). Every day went by in the blink of an eye. I had never worked so hard in my life. Because I cared and I was proud of my role. I had two amazing female bosses who I greatly respected. Marketing food is a different kettle of fish. You have to be so careful. Allergens, misleading health claims, accurate pictures, lifestyle choices. It was chaos. I worked 12 hour days without question. And I was good at it. I excelled and ended up running the marketing for the brand. I learnt an unbelievable amount about customer behaviour, direct marketing, logistics, people management, project management and recipe development - that was the fun part!
During my last two years at pod I had been running a jewellery brand on the side. Then I decided that it was time to inject my energy and knowledge into my own project full time.
I handed in my notice and began rebranding, designing new products, photoshoots, packaging, building a new website, doing giveaways, podcasts and promotions. It was so much fun. I was addicted to it and would work 14 hours a day, seven days a week, very happily!
Skip forward six years and Florence London is everything I had ever wanted and needed it to be! And long may it continue.
Rosie Florence x