Hot 100 2014: Vashi Dominguez, Vashi.com

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The founder, chairman and chief executive on diamonds and fast cars.

With a work schedule that reads more 5 to 9 than 9 to 5, Vashi Dominguez is emerging from a year of rebranding and rejuvenation with a smile on his face.

Once operating under the name Diamond Manufacturers, Vashi took the leap to completely overhaul his company’s identity last year in a bid to speed up growth and encourage expansion.

He explains: “As my profile has grown, so too has that of my brand, and it’s imperative for me to be the face of the brand – I share my personal journey from diamond fanatic to award-winning diamond retailer with all my customers.”

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Born in Tenerife, Vashi is inspired by his Spanish mother who worked tirelessly to become the highest-ranking insurance broker in the Canary Islands. With this desire to succeed etched into his life-story, Vashi admits he “looks up to anyone who never gives up, like KFC’s founder who was rejected over 1,000 times before he got his fi rst breakthrough”.

With a diamond business that now truly reflects his ethos, Vashi is thinking broadly about the challenges of the online marketplace for the jewellery industry as a whole; namely building trust among consumers who can’t see or touch your products.

Vashi has tackled this dilemma by focusing on customer service; introducing international landing pages in the form of Vashi.ie, Vashi.fr, Vashi.de, and launching the company’s fi rst TV advertisement.

Characteristic of his confidence, Vashi continues: “My vision for Vashi.com is for it to be the dominant online jewellery retailer in Europe, with a major footprint in the Asia Pacifi c area and North America within the next 10 years. This must be achieved by offering the world’s best jewellery shopping experience.”

Also in the pipeline is the Extraordinary collection of 10 statement pieces with prices starting at £25,000 and rising into the millions; designed to target those high-net worth individuals who are currently making the most of Vashi.com’s bespoke service.

New offices in the former De Beers headquarters add an air of elegance to the brand, with improved viewing rooms for one-on-one consultations. Despite his impeccable business facade Vashi does have one weakness: his Maserati Quattroporte. “Taking it for a spin after staying in the offi ce for two days straight is always refreshing,” he enthuses.

Vashi Dominguez was named IJL Retail Stars in the Professional Jeweller Hot 100 2014, in association with headline sponsor Pandora and principle partner The Company of Master Jewellers.

To read a digital version of the Hot 100 2014 book in full online, click here.

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