HOT 100 2011: Avid Larizadeh & Kiyan Foroughi

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The quick growth of Boticca made its founders Retail Stars.

Who has made it into the Professional Jeweller Hot 100 2012 in association with The Company of Master Jewellers and supported by gold partner Ti Sento won’t be unveiled until September 4, so until then we are looking back to the leading lights of the jewellery industry who made it into the Hot 100 2011. Today is the turn of Boticca founders Avid Larizadeh and Kiyan Foroughi whose ambitious online retail launch made them Ti Sento Retail Stars. 

Boticca seems to have sprung out of nowhere, but it has been making big enough waves in the jewellery industry since its launch nearly a year ago to turn part-time hobbyists into full-time designers and attract investment from Links of London founder John Ayton.

The accessories website has a completely new take on online retail. Not only does it not hold any stock, it lets the designers do the selling themselves, setting their own prices, uploading their own photos and choosing their own terms and conditions, but at the same time offering a curated offer.

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Jewellery designers have to either be discovered by the retailer’s team of globe-trotting cool hunters or successfully pass muster with the directors after applying to be part of the site.

Although the site has a global outlook, serving international shoppers and selling designers’ work from around the globe, Boticca has a home in central London where founders Kiyan Foroughi and Avid Larizadeh run the business out of a small but chic office in the city.

“This has been a tremendously rewarding year for us,” says Kiyan, who left behind a career in investment banking to set up the business. “We have built an amazing team, attracted some of the best international design talent and brought on board world-renowned investors.”

But the biggest achievement, according to Kiyan, has been enabling talented independent designers to gain recognition and to cross international borders.

“One particular highlight was watching one of our Estonian designers go from having a few local customers in Tallinn to building a global base of collectors and quit her day job,” he says. “Another high moment was helping a Saudi customer buy an incredible piece from an Israeli designer, having read the designer’s story on Boticca and seen his location. Israeli designers aren’t able to ship to Saudi Arabia, so we made sure the customer received the piece by having it shipped to London first.”

 

 

This interview was taken from the Professional Jeweller Hot 100 2011. This year’s list and photographs will be unveiled at an exclusive invite-only party at The Freemason’s Hall in London on September 4. To find out how you can get tickets email event director andrew.martyniuk@itp.com.

 

 

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