Zviad and Auguste had been working with jewellery for many years from bespoke to mass-produced pieces but always felt that there was something missing. They wanted to create high-quality silver jewellery at low, affordable prices, so created their own business, House of Silver. As a small business, their dedication to their craft is a top priority and means that every order is dealt with personally, meaning every piece is created with passion.
Introduce yourself and House of Silver, what was your motivation behind starting the business and what do you sell?
We’ve been working with jewellery for years. Zviad has over twenty-five years’ worth of experience under his belt as a designer, maker and seller and Auguste has been working with and creating jewellery for thirteen years. In our time, we’ve had experience with pretty much every corner of the industry, from ornate, handcrafted commissioned products to the cheap and mass-produced. But in so many years of work, we’d noticed that there wasn’t really anything in between these two extremes—a gap in the market which we wanted to fill with our jewellery and designs. We wanted a space where we could create affordable silver jewellery for everyone to enjoy, and where we could focus on bringing our own designs to life.
This has been a dream of ours for a very long time, but only in 2018 did we finally take the plunge. Voila! Our online shop for sterling silver jewellery, House of Silver, was born, and we couldn’t be happier with how it’s been growing.
Tell us more about your products
We set out to sell jewellery for every sort of person—and that’s exactly what we do! Our range includes earrings, necklaces, rings, bracelets, charms, chains, men’s jewellery and more. There’s just one key linking factor; all of our products are quality solid Sterling silver, and they are all pitched at the cheaper and more affordable end of the price range. Our catalogue also includes exclusive designer items we design and make ourselves, as well as some that incorporate semi-precious gemstones and 9ct gold. Nonetheless, we always make sure that all our jewellery—whether a simple pair of studs or an ornate, hand-crafted cluster necklace—is fairly and affordably priced, and open and attractive to everyone.
Did you have any experience in selling online before starting your business?
By the time we set up House of Silver with EKM, we had been selling jewellery online for some years through platforms such as eBay. But we found that such impersonal interfaces completely took the joy out of client interaction and personalized jewellery making. For us, jewellery isn’t just a business; it’s a passion, and we wanted to be able to build a business that reflected that.
How did you earn your first sale?
Our first sale was the satisfying result of a lengthily planned marketing campaign. It was a little nerve-wracking putting so much time, energy and money into advertising for a shop that was brand new and untested, but that was more than made up for when exactly a week after our spring launch, we received our first order for several items. (We celebrated with a delicious pub lunch!)
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced since starting your business?
Our biggest challenge is an ongoing one, and we have to admit that we’ve still not fully cracked it. Balancing work and family life! It’s sometimes hard to tear ourselves away from the job, and there’s always the temptation to work a little bit more because all it takes is switching on the computer.
What do you love most about running your own business?
It would be quicker to ask what we don’t love about running our own business! Being your own boss is not something that suits everyone, but for us, it was the model that really allowed us to spread our creative wings and flourish. Also, the flexibility works really well for us in practical as well as creative terms: we have a lively four-year-old now, who’s practically a full-time job all in himself! And while we still haven’t found the perfect balance between work and family life, we’re confident that our current business model is the best way to get the most of both worlds.
What advice would you give to new shop owners just starting out?
There’s an overwhelming amount of advice out there for new business owners, so we’ll keep it simple. Plan well, but be prepared for the fact that practically nothing will go as you expected. And that’s okay! Business is all about seizing those unexpected opportunities that you never would have expected and developing in exciting and unexpected new directions. It’s part of growing as a business, so remember not to panic and instead enjoy every new moment and sale as it comes.
What are your plans for the future?
In the next few years, we are planning to expand even further, moving to a new workshop in the Birmingham Jewellery Quarter and taking on even more employees. We’re also hoping to keep on adding to our catalogue, particularly expanding our range of special collections and exclusive designer jewellery. There are a lot of things in our future, and we honestly can’t wait to see how House of Silver will continue to grow!
If you’d like to know more about House of Silver and their products, check out their website www.houseofsilver.co.uk.
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