Brand founder Charlotte Biehl has shown drive, passion and determination since she was a child, and it is these qualities that have been integral to launching a business into the UK market during a time that has seen many others take their foot off the gas.
When Biehl was ten years old and wanted a pony, she didn’t wait for someone to buy her one; she planted a strawberry field and sold the berries on the roadside until a few years later she had enough money to make her dream come true.
Today she follows the same recipe of initiative followed by hard work to propel her business and achieve her goal of becoming a globally recognised brand.
“I’ve probably always had an entrepreneur inside me,” Biehl tells Professional Jeweller. “I have a small notebook which is full of business ideas, but I kept returning to the idea about starting a jewellery company. I have always liked to create my own jewellery and I came to believe that there was an opening in the market as I couldn’t find jewellery I wanted to buy myself — sophisticated, timeless and personal jewellery of high quality at affordable prices.” This was the start of byBiehl.
Biehl started to create exactly the jewellery she wanted. It was important to her that all byBiehl pieces symbolised something deeper, but at the same time were feminine, sophisticated and delicate. Luckily other women were looking for the same style of jewellery as Charlotte Biehl, and byBiehl quickly became a bestselling brand in both Denmark and Norway.
Eight years have now passed since Charlotte Biehl founded byBiehl in Copenhagen, Denmark and today the Danish jewellery brand has over 300 retailers, including almost 40 doors in the UK.
byBiehl only launched into the UK market six months ago but it has already secured some of the nation’s leading jewellers including T.H Baker, Mococo, Swag Jewellers, and Allum & Sidaway.
“I’m really excited about our start in the UK. We know it’s not easy times right now in the UK with Brexit, but despite that we feel that we are off to a really good start,” Biehl shares. “We receive really positive feedback from the retailers and several of the leading UK retailers have already taken on the brand. This is a dream coming true.”
A large part of byBiehl’s success in the UK has to be attributed to getting the product and pricing right.
Retailers and consumers alike have commended the firm for offering collections which not only inspire women, but also offer stories they can relate to and identify with. As such, collections often have a symbolic meaning that can be seen in product designs and further explored through learning about the inspiration behind the piece.
Examples of this can be seen in bestselling and new collections such as Beautiful World, Together, Life Tree and Unlock.
Leanne Rogers, the director of byBiehl stockist, Sarah Layton Jewellers, shares: “The Beautiful World and Together collections have proved very popular with customers, who like the sentimentality behind the designs. The brand stands out amongst other silver collections due to the contemporary finishes and distinctive POS, along with their attractive price points.”
“We are aware that the UK high street is going through a tough period due to Brexit, but we also believe that it’s an attractive market which demands brands with a personal story telling,” adds the brand’s founder.
Alongside the product offer, byBiehl fully supports its retail partners by building brand awareness and driving customers into store.
A large part of this is done through harnessing the power of social media, with the brand working extensively with local influencers to reach over four million followers.
Social media marketing is then complemented with in-store influencer events, that to date have helped drive sales during lucrative trading times.
“We think it’s very important to support our stockists to create awareness of our brand and their stores. Our focus on social media creates a demand for the brand,” shares Biehl, with Jo Makant, the operations manager for byBiehl’s retail partner, Mococo, adding: “byBiehl brings something unique to Mococo and yet complements perfectly our other brands. We strive to provide our customers with high-quality and affordable jewellery that’s individual and sophisticated, byBiehl is all this and much, much more. The blogger event we held enabled us to showcase the collection to a modern and youthful audience through the power of social media.”
Director of Fourth Avenue, Michele Whittam, adds: “Our influencer event hosted by byBiehl was very successful. byBiehl organised the invites and stock for the evening. We arranged the music and refreshments. The influencers enjoyed hearing about the brand, they loved the jewellery and of course took lots of selfies. The good thing about events like this is that the influencers blog about it for some time after, which is good for the brand and our business.”
Looking ahead byBiehl plans to roll its jewellery collections out into even more stores, with the business looking to be sold in the best independents in the country.
“We are aiming to be sold in the best jewellery retailers nationwide,” shares Biehl, adding: “byBiehl shouldn’t be sold on every corner, so we would be happy to see byBiehl in 70 stores in the UK by the end of the year.”
The brand will continue to support its retail partner with more social media marketing initiatives and in-store customer events.
Biehl concludes: “We have really high expectations for byBiehl in the UK market. We have launched in the UK because we believe that
byBiehl can become a huge success. In Denmark, byBiehl is the best selling brand in several retailers, in Norway we are also growing very rapidly. We might need to be a little more patient in the UK with the current retail climate, however, we believe that byBiehl can achieve the same success in the UK.”
Alongside growing in the UK and Ireland, the Danish jewellery brand also plans to launch in two-three other European countries in 2019.
The first one will be together with a really strong distributor in a Southern European country later this month.