As a KickStarter in 2011 and an exhibitor in 2012, Abigail Stradling has experienced many facets of the IJL experience.
Today, she continues to create beautiful jewellery while working for leading independent jeweller, Allum & Sidaway. Here, Stradling shares her advice for those ready to take the plunge with KickStart 2018…
Q. What was your overall impression of KickStart and how did it help your business in its early stages?
Kickstart is the perfect platform to present your collections to the right people, whilst being supported by an experienced team for that daunting first show.
It helped me to develop my business into a brand for wholesale and equipped me with a variety of tools such as a media pack, logo and display, through to creating suggested order packages.
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?
Any major show is a serious investment to a designer-maker. What I would say is that the people who attend are there to buy. Also the connections that you make could be on-going, so repeat orders rather than just one-off sales direct to the wearer [consumer].
There were a real variety of visitors from retail jewellers, galleries and craft businesses through to representatives from JewelStreet, large department stores and Amazon.
I met many people and introduced my work to people within the industry that I would not have encountered at another event. It was evident that the KickStart stand was one that attendees to IJL actively made a point of visiting and furthermore were prepared to invest in.
Q. How can future KickStarters capitalise on their IJL Journey and the IJL experience? What would be your advice?
Follow up is key. Get cards, make a call or send a personal email thanking them for their interest in your work, or ‘here’s a link to the website/ here are photos of the pieces that you liked’. If it’s not right for that shop or gallery now, it may be at some point in the future. Also, don’t forget to follow up after an initial order; fingers crossed it is selling and they may want more!
I was delighted to win the IJL Editor’s Choice Award for 2011 for Overall Originality & Inspirational Craftsmanship. I used this in all promotion after the show and am still very proud of this achievement.
Q. How did KickStart help you on your journey to success?
It really started the wholesale aspect of my brand and I continued to provide work to the galleries and businesses that I met [at IJL] for a number of years.
Q. Finally, how is your jewellery industry career or brand progressing and what are you hoping to achieve in the future?
I have always balanced my own jewellery brand with working for Allum & Sidaway. I have done so for nearly 12 years. Personally, I love the variety and how one role can inform the other. I am one of a Team of Directors and am responsible for marketing, events, promotions, branding and visuals.
I’m also a member of the ACJW (Association for Contemporary Jewellery, Wessex branch) and I exhibit with them. I continue to have wholesale stockists across the UK.
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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