Founder: Alice Herald
Tell us about your business.
I am a Designer Jeweller. I design and together with my team we craft exceptional jewels and sell them to both my loyal local clientele and the international market.
Who and where are your target customers?
Both men and women aged 30–70 in Australasia, and in the future the international market.
How and when did you first come up with the idea for your business?
I have always been creative, and knew I would do something with my hands. My form of expression just happens to be in the small art form that is jewellery.
I have worked in the industry since I did my degree nearly 20 years ago. I have since formed my own style and desire for an exceptionally designed and crafted product so I knew when I launched my own label, it would be at the top of the market and have distinct and personal style. I have never been about the ‘scatter gun’ approach, more that my clients will aspire and seek me out to wear a piece of Herald.
What are your three biggest unique selling points?
- My design style and attention to detail
- My desire for exceptional quality
What are three things about your business that you are proud of?
- The people I work with. They are the best at what they do and I love our respect for each other’s part in the process of creating fine jewels.
- Some of the jewels that I have had the opportunity to work with (e.g. stunning 4 carat diamonds and rare tanzanites)
- The collaborations that are in the pipeline. The fact that very well respected and renowned professionals recognise my skill, see our product on the same level and wish to collaborate is an honour.
How do you market your business and what advice do you have for others around marketing?
I use an independent PR agency for big releases and events. Other than that I use social media and some sponsored posts.
Being a new business that is building their story and therefore brand, I am collaborating with professionals and brands in other industries so share clientele, spread the word and reinforce a story. I have previously co-founded a business where the whole model was based on Google advertising and dollars in/dollars out. Not only do you need a far greater budget for this model but I felt it had less heart than the building a solid brand base to propel from.
What’s been the biggest challenge you’ve faced in building your business so far?
To stay true to me and to my label. It’s not about the scatter gun approach for me. I am creating a beautiful label that both men and women aspire to seek out to wear. I am not selling to the masses. I am aiming for the 3/10 instead of the 10/10. My clients want to discover me and aspire to own a piece of Herald. There’s huge temptation to go and shout about what I do in an attempt to get more sales in – that is a short term solution. Herald is my heart, I am therefore being very measured about my growth and who I work with and where my pieces are seen. I am doing this once – so I’m going to do it well!
What is the biggest entrepreneur lesson you would like to share with other Kiwis thinking of starting their own business?
As above really. Stay true to yourself. Go with your gut. Everyone will have pieces of advice to give you and this is great, but only you truly know how to take it forward.
You need a strong support crew and maybe a mentor or advisory panel. It may consist of friends, family and others. You need someone who will listen and tell you a hard truth if you need it to be told. For me, I am driven by an immense passion for my craft, the process of creating and the finished product that is fine jewels. Whilst most days are fantastic, there are still some that I need that hug at the end of the day. So a surrounding support and belief in what you do is key to success.