Selected as one of six up and coming designers for IJL’s leading initiative, KickStart, Natalie Perry has gone from strength to strength, securing two bricks and mortar retailers.
In the midst of creating her second collection, Natalie Perry shares her experience of IJL KickStart.
Q. What was your overall impression of KickStart and how did it help your business in its early stages?
I found Kickstart to be an extremely valuable experience for me. It exposed my brand to key retailers in the trade to which I would have struggled to contact otherwise. Taking part in the training day was also greatly helpful to me as I received valuable advice about pricing and what retailers are looking for. Having the backing of an initiative like Kickstart helps first time exhibitors stand out at IJL as the collective receives a lot of press before the show so visitors are already aware of you.
Q. Being a KickStarter does involve investing in the cost of a shared stand at IJL 2018 – what would you say to people who are worried about taking the leap?
First of all the stand we had was in prime location with a great view over the show-space. The display size allocated to each designer was also generous so I found there to be plenty of room to display my collection. Even though it does cost to exhibit as part of Kickstart, it is cheaper than the cost of a standard stand and you get the added support and exposure from the initiative as well as a bursary to help with travel, accommodation or marketing costs.
Q. How can future KickStarters capitalise on their IJL Journey and the IJL experience? What would be your advice?
I would say take all the advice you can get during the training day which happens approximately two months before the show and use this to prepare thoroughly. My tips to ensure you’re prepared are to ensure you have professional high-resolution product shots and concise information about your brand, whether that be a designer statement, a press release or a lookbook. It’s also really important to make sure your price lists and line sheets are correct to make it simple for retailers to order from you. The best way to convince retailers that you’re professional is to be as prepared as possible! There will be press opportunities before the show, such as interviews with local newspapers and features in the jewellery trade press so ensure you have the images they need and answer any interview questions on time so you don’t miss the opportunity.
Q. How did KickStart help you on your journey to success?
It was so valuable to be able to chat to trade professionals at IJL as well as being able to see which pieces stood out the most to retailers which will help me to develop my collections in the future.
Q. Finally, how is your jewellery industry career or brand progressing and what are you hoping to achieve in the future?
Since IJL I have partnered with two new bricks and mortar retailers in the UK as well as a new online platform so my collections are now more widely available to customers. I hope to continue to expand my retailers in both the UK and overseas and I’m in the process of creating my second collection.
Heading into it’s 10th Year, KickStart will be open for submissions in January 2019.
To read more terms and conditions about KickStart, please click here.
What is the IJL Journey?
As part of our IJL 365 approach, the IJL Journey extends far beyond our three-day trade event. It offers myriad career-boosting benefits, including a mentoring package, workshop days, ongoing pricing, branding and marketing support, and introductions to key industry figures.
This invaluable advice prepares each Bright Young Gem, KickStarter and Design Gallery Exhibitor to meet the 9,000 strong jewellery audience at IJL 2018, from September 2-4.
IJL is #withyou offering career opportunities and the chance to grow your jewellery business, whether you are a student, recent graduate, emerging brand or established player. Speak to our team to find out more.
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