2015 has been another great year for Rare Pink as the company continued to grow and excel in the online jewellery retailer market.
Here, Rare Pink chief executive officer Nikolay Piriankov answers Professional Jewellers’ 2015 review questions.
What have been the company’s 2015 highlights?
I think 2015 has been an instrumental year for the business. We have grown our team to 10 people now. Finding ourselves in some of our most loved publications is always a highlight. Forbes covered us and we were also recently accepted onto to the Tech Stars accelerator programme in the US, a great accolade. One particular highlight was noticing in November we were more than 100% up on the volume of our transactions on last year. It’s hard to imagine two years ago Rare Pink was just an idea…
On the whole, how would you say business has been in 2015?
Business is always great! We are an incredibly dynamic team with great diversity and strengths. When one part of the business seems to do well, we push harder and invest more into it. Naturally our business is a constantly evolving one which has different needs at different times of the year. The busy Christmas season calls for speed and adaptability for last minute shoppers and we make sure we are ready for whatever comes our way. Also we have found more international interest than ever before. Choosing to go international in terms of service was not an easy move for such a young brand, but at a time where you have a global shop online, naturally people who want rings in Australia will still shop with us because they love the brand. The aim is to make sure you have a presence in any way possible in as many different markets as it forces you to learn the needs and concerns of that client. It also helps in understanding the local market, its taxes and shipping policies.
What consumer trends have you noticed?
A particular trend we noticed is how rose gold is gaining popularity with our clients. We are always striving to ensure our clients have the best that is available on the market and we are working on a special blend of rose gold. Not to give everything away, but in the near future we may be seeing an exclusive blend for our clients only. One thing that we constantly hear is the love people have for pink diamonds. We specialise in these but also understand there is a slither of the market that can actually afford a beautiful pink diamond. Finding an alternative to a pink diamond is one thing that we are constantly trying to ensure a good supply chain for, keeping in mind only very particular gemstones are suitable for engagement rings. A lot of the market is pushing morganite or kunzite and although they are incredible gemstones with these fabulous light pink hues they are in fact not suitable for engagement rings in most cases. Pink sapphire is a great alternative but then again it can sometimes have a slightly stronger pink colour than most people would have.
What products have sold well for you?
Without a doubt solitaires are the bread and butter of the engagement ring market and it is no different to us. However, what we have found is that people can get a little fatigued seeing the same styles over and over again. We tried to make sure our solitaire was the best and spent time investigating what makes the perfect ring? What would the Rare Pink woman want from her ring? I wish I could say there was one thing but I think from a metal point of view platinum is our most retailed metal. Also a lot of people are requesting small changes to existing rings we have designed and without a doubt people are finding they want to remodel their grandmother’s ring or reset the diamond from an existing ring.
What has surprised about the UK jewellery industry in 2015?
I think seeing so many home grown brands in the UK is always a great sight. Attending the fairs and some of the award ceremonies I always get excited knowing we are surrounded by some great companies doing some great things. There is a space in the market for many companies. You simply have to know which particular segment you want to own. In a world filled by so much innovation we have come to be quite demanding in terms of what surprises us. Few things have surprised us this year as we are constantly focused on what we want to do and are usually doing a lot of innovation in house. This makes it hard to be surprised by what anybody else is working on.
What plans do you have for 2016?
2016 is a key year for us. It will be the year that defines what the business will become in the long term. Usually in the third year one determines if this is a large scalable model, which we think it certainly is, and also what avenues are the best to take to grow it in the best way. I would like to remain quietly optimistic in a very British way and say that this year will be a stellar year for the brand as a whole, when a new shopping and browsing experience becomes available to our clients and fans.
What predictions do you have for 2016?
We predict an ever more crowded market place online dominated by larger brands but we are excited to see how smaller brands can now rival them in terms of offering what any large company was able to before. Technology will obviously be the key driver in allowing smaller businesses to compete in an ever more international space online. Better logistics, more trained professionals in multiple countries will allow jewellery businesses to truly internationalise not only their production and manufacturing but also their sales and scope.