Every month I invite our lovely followers to peek behind the curtain at aspects of business life which aren’t always openly discussed. As the female founder and owner of a small (but growing) ethical business, I’ve had a strong feeling that it's important to share my journey and be transparent about the ups and downs of navigating the UK business world; growing my team of amazingly talented women and making difficult decisions, all whilst doing something I truly love; growing a sustainable and eco friendly brand which creates timeless minimalist handmade jewellery in London. By sharing my experiences I hope I can help other women in business and female led brands. It can be difficult being a female entrepreneur, but it's the most exciting thing I have ever done. This is my round up of March at Wild Fawn.
So, March has been and gone and it only feels like yesterday that I wrote my February update, I hope it doesn’t seem too soon for another one?
I started writing these journals when I realised that lots of our customers are also small business owners facing the same challenges. Also some of you just want to know a little more that goes into running a business and I’m definitely an advocate for transparency. After all, we’re a brand that prides ourselves on how open we can be with our customers because everything is made right here. Anyway, onto the good stuff.
March, for most business means the end of the financial year which is a period of time I love because it means a fresh start and it’s a reason to get everything in order. This next financial year is going to be a little different for us, I’ve asked the team to set budgets for their departments so they can really think about their year and what they want to achieve (which I will be doing too). Molly will be thinking about collaborations and how to get the word out about Wild Fawn on socials and how much money she will need for that. Rebecca will be thinking about how much she will need to develop new designs and for shoots. Nazia will be thinking about how much she’ll need to travel and visit the stores that stock our jewellery and for trade shows throughout the year. Jenn will be thinking about the special touches she can add to our customer service that might mean spending money. Rachel will have a think about new tools she needs to make new pieces (and start thinking about stone setting tools too for when we’re going to be launching engagement rings). I’ll be looking into the bigger picture, avenues we can take to grow the brand and get our name out there whilst still staying true to our values.
Speaking of values, this month I finally cemented our mission statement. It has been one of those things that has always seemed so obvious to me so I’ve never felt the need to create one but now, as we grow, it seems more important that my employees know exactly what it is so they feel connected and also it gives direction for our communications. It really did take some thought and it’s probably not ‘perfect’ in a business sense but I think it gives a really good feel of everything we stand for and that’s the most important thing in my eyes. It’s below, let me know what you think!
Wild Fawn Jewellery is the truly ethical and sustainable brand for those who want unique and meaningful jewellery that lasts forever. We use traditional silversmithing techniques so our customers can wear their jewellery with pride knowing it's one of a kind and handmade with care here in London. Made by mindful women for mindful humans, always.
Finessing our Brand Deck, Brand Guidelines and creating a lot of content for the brand has been really useful and necessary for our brand new partnership that started this month with a PR agency. We’ve never done any PR (probably to our detriment if I’m honest) but this current anxiety-ridden climate where people feel more apprehensive about spending, it seems like the right time to work harder at getting our message out there. It’s not that people don’t have the money (millions of pounds are spent on jewellery every single day (although I’m a bit confused why they’re not choosing Wild Fawn to spend their millions?!? ;)), but we are working hard with the new PR agency to convince people that supporting small and locally made product is definitely the way forward!
It was also a month of training! This month I completed the government funded Recover and Grow scheme https://www.bayes.city.ac.uk/study/executive-education/our-programmes/recover-and-grow, a ‘business leadership programme for established SMEs with ambition to grow’. It was 4 modules, 1 on leadership, one on cyber security, one on marketing and one on finance and it was worth every minute. I met some amazing people and took away a whole notebook of ‘to-do’s’ that I’m yet to get started on. I would definitely recommend it I think you’re supposed to have at least 10 employees but I winged it and got through the application stage so I’d give it a go if you think it would be useful (I would say it is a little pointless if you don’t employ more than 4 people though, just because the content is based on that).
On the subject of employees, we have welcomed another amazing member to the team called Nora who has been helping Rachel with making and me with some CAD design work. She’s been documenting her silversmith training on her own dedicated instagram account incase you wanted to look. You can find it here https://www.instagram.com/loviolet.art/ and you’ll see some of our pieces she’s been making - its like our instagram but purely the making side of it if you’re feeling a little nosey.
And finally, we ended the month with our Tesoro Launch https://www.wildfawnjewellery.com/collections/new-in which has been our best launch to date which, I have to say, has brightened up the whole team. Sales have been very sporadic recently because of all the uncertainty that’s around (I think this is a common theme with lots of small businesses at the moment) and each and every order was appreciated from the bottom of my heart.
Right, enough of the sentimentality. It’s 16.43 and time to walk the dog. Until next month!
Read my previous journal entry here: Confessions of a Business Owner; entry #2