Big guns fly in to make maximum impact at UK’s largest trade show.
American bead brand Chamilia’s top brass flew into London today to support the company’s aggressive expansion plans in the UK and Europe.
Chairman Mike Paxton and CEO Mike Flaherty joined Chamilia staff on the largest exhibition stand at International Jeweller London to announce the company’s intention to become a “powerful global brand,” according to Paxton.
These are not merely marketing claims. They come from a business leader who already conquered the world as the chief executive of global ice cream brand Haargen Dazs.
The two worlds of ice cream and jeweller have more in common than the casual observer might think, suggests Paxton. “You have to keep things fresh with new lines every quarter for customers to pick from. That’s true of ice cream and jewellery,” he says.
Chamilia is opening an all purpose European headquarters in Newcastle later this year – a move made necessary by the company’s rapid growth. “We only opened in the UK in 2009, and we have already outgrown our first premises,” says Flaherty. “We’ve experienced dramatic growth throughout the recession,” he adds.
The UK operation now stocks 800 stores, and there have been times over the past 16 months when a new retailer has been added every day, according to Flaherty.
The company has also just appointed a new managing director. David Dryden jointed the business in July fresh from the beer industry where he previously oversaw distribution of Budweiser.
Dryden says that personalisation is the key to everything Chamilia is doing. “This isn’t just about personalisation of products like our bead bracelets. It is personalisation of marketing, customer service and support,” he says.
Chamilia doesn’t like to speak directly about its competition, but has used the absence of a Pandora stand at IJL to make a splash at the show with the largest stand of all jewellery brands.