Out with the old and an in with the branded was the strategy.
Becoming the next Great British jewellery brand is a bold aspiration for a label that’s been around for more than a year, but that’s Daisy’s plan and it’s not relenting.
From the outside, it appears that the stacking jewellery brand has been creeping up the industry ranks in the usual way, exhibiting at The Jewellery Show at Spring Fair International and advertising in the trade press, but scratch below the surface and you’ll discover that Daisy is taking a fresh approach to marketing and, unlike most British upstarts, has a serious plan for global expansion in place after its first year.
But Daisy isn’t exactly a start up. The brand is owned by London silver jewellery company Westminster Silver Guild, which has been in business since 1972. The company had been plodding along with a dedicated following of 400 stockists in the UK but as owner Noel Boyd watched the jewellery market change and evolve with branded players such as Pandora and Links of London dominating the market, he realised that it was time for the company to adapt in order to survive.
Four years ago Westminster Silver Guild released a line of jewellery with a daisy motif that proved popular in the UK, and so the seed was planted in the mind of designer Noel for a whole spin off range that would change the direction of the 38-year-old business. This keen survival instinct led to the creation of Daisy, and also to Noel’s son James Boyd joining the business.
James had been working in London’s high-powered financial sector in investment banking and spending time on the trading floor, and had also enjoyed a spell working for himself after setting up an import-export company that supplied hotels with furniture, but when the call came from his father to join the family business he jumped at the chance.
With father and son united, the pair set about creating Daisy. Noel remains the main creative force behind the brand, with James contributing to some designs, but James’ real contribution has been to modernise the business and introduce the kind of slick glamour that is central to every serious jewellery brand.
“My dad had a great business selling silver, pretty much unbranded, but watching the rise of the brands it became pretty obvious that unless you had a brand and invested in advertising it’s not possible to penetrate the market,” says James.
Father and son spent two years working on Daisy, with James and Noel designing the collections in the UK and setting up production in India, Thailand and Mexico. Then in February 2009 it unveiled Daisy to the trade at The Jewellery Show at Spring Fair.
At the time, stacking rings were exploding and the brand was in danger of being lost in the midst of hundred of suppliers. Rather than fold under the pressure, James forged a plan that would elevate Daisy out of the masses.
Rather than adopting a price-cutting strategy and dipping under the big boys, James decided to compete head on. “We’ve got to fight with people like Chamilia and Pandora,” says James. “Like Annoushka Ducas did with Links of London, we want people to be talking about Daisy.”
To do this, he was very clear that Daisy should position itself as a fashion product, rather than narrowing its vision to just the jewellery market. “We want to keep it on a fashion level and would love to sell our jewellery in a high street fashion store such as Topshop,” says James. “How girls shop has changed so much in the past 10 years.”