Parul Tolentino and Jo-Anne Owdud on winning industry recognition.
As we look forward to the reveal of the Professional Jeweller Hot 100 2013 on September 3 we hear from 2012’s NexGems about being part of the Hot 100, what it means for business and what’s next for the jewellery brands. To kick off this week’s Q&As we hear from Jo-Anne Owdud and Parul Tolentino, founders of Oak jewellery, which has won stockists, solid re-orders and greater international outreach since last year’s Hot 100.
Professional Jeweller: You were named a Professional Jeweller Hot 100 NexGem in 2012 – what did this mean for your business?
Jo-Anne Owdud: Being named in the Hot 100 has given us a fantastic level of industry recognition. Large multi-door retailers have been especially receptive to meetings and have heard of the Oak brand through [the Hot 100] recognition. Being highlighted as a NexGem also gave backing to our design credentials and allowed this past year to be focused on and prove our business capabilities.
PJ: Tell us about the year since the Hot 100, how has business evolved?
J-AO: In the last year Oak has grown substantially. We have increased our stockists but importantly seen our orders double with exciting loyal customers. We relaunched our own online business this year which is proving a great success in terms of sales, particularly internationally, and also in creating a solid brand following. We have now been selling through Amazon’s jewellery boutique for almost a year. This is proving a great platform for the brand. It has been instrumental in getting the Oak name out to a wide reaching audience through sales and their press channels.
PJ: What can we expect next from the brand?
Parul Tolentino: We are launching two collections in September so more beautiful new jewellery. We are also in talks with international retailers as well as multiple retailers in the UK.
To read more about last year’s Hot 100 NexGems, click here.