Tag Archives: entrepreneurialism

Entrepreneur Of The Fortnight: Alex Fagan of Beauchamps Of London

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Hey there, wee Gazer! Happy Tuesday to you!

Let’s kick off your evening the right way with some seriously nourishing nuggets of inspiration from London’s, Alex Fagan, who gives us a snapshot into her path to entrepreneurial success as CEO of the stunning luxury leather brandBeauchamps of London.

If you’ve ever dreamt of jacking in your 9-5 job if you only knew what else you would do, where you would start and how you could channel your passions into a soul-alighting, money-making reality, this is for you. 

Or maybe you’ve wondered how much experience you need in a new field before hopscotching your way into a fresh new venture - or perhaps you’ve questioned when you should make the first jump – or if you should jump at all. How do you do know if it’s reckless or just – plain – heroic?

And then there’s that golden question – how do you know if your new venture will succeed or flop? How fine is the line between glory and disappointment?

Alex answers all these questions and more, giving you super dooper inside scoop and practical tips about her path to entrepreneurial success.

Over to you, Alex…

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Can You Tell Me A Bit About What You Do?

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Beauchamps of London is a luxury accessories brand focusing on beautiful eye-catching British made pieces.

Beauchamps Corporate is the business to business side of the brand and offers luxury goods, more often bespoke products for company gifts, but we do run a line of standard lower price point pieces. We work with closely with clients to make a truly unique gifts and design the full package including, packaging, bespoke wrapping, leather gift, unique hardware.

We recently set up an import and export arm for the business. This arm is based between the UK & China which allows us to make and source all packaging and product needs from the Far East. It’s quite a complicated business but having built up many strong relationships with suppliers out there it seemed a great idea to help others to import, which otherwise may be quite tricky, especially for smaller brands. It’s a problem Beauchamps faced in the early stages of set up! Importing packaging is becoming a big part service!

What Was Your Previous Experience Before Starting Your Business?

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Before starting the business I worked in commercial property!! Beauchamps started totally by accident!

What Inspired You To Start Your Business?

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I always loved accessories and could never really find anything I loved in the market. After some thinking and many sketches later I set about working out what it was I liked and started making it (myself). Some of the pieces were spotted by Liberty of London at their ‘Open Call’ and the business began from there. The corporate arm was set up about 2 years after the fashion side was established.

How Did You Manage To Build Your Business?

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Totally organically! I was lucky and had grown relationships with some amazing suppliers who gave me some key advise during the early stages. It’s taken a long time but its been worth the slow wait. The time ensured we really found what it was that defines the brand.

What’s Been The Biggest Highlight?

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Being stocked by Liberty of London and seeing Cressida Bonas and Pippa Middleton wearing my bags! The latter two were amazing moments.

What’s Been The Biggest Challenge?

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Setting up supply chain in China for the corporate side and getting the fashion products noticed! They have both been hugely tricky.

What’s Your Favourite Product / Service? 

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I love the corporate service. It’s amazing working with companies and creating something truly unique for them. You can read more about that here.

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I also adore the fashion but it’s a very different business model. My favourite product is the Hutchinson clutch.

How Do You Build Your Client Base?

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Mainly word of mouth but magazine articles have also helped.

What’s The Best Compliment You’ve Received?

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I think the biggest compliment has been people saying how beautifully made all the products are (both corporate and fashion) and the personal level of service we offer. It takes a lot of man power to give such a personal service but it’s key to making clients feel special and understanding their specific requirements.

What Advice Would You Give To Budding Entrepreneurs?

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Take time, definitely don’t rush things and form a good business plan!

What’s Next For You?

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Building the corporate gifting department and growing the import / export / packaging departments. It’s a key part of the business and it has a lot of scope to grow.

And finding time to take a holiday!

How Can We Contact You?

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Best is by email on shop@beauchampsoflondon.com

What’s Your Favourite Quote?

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It’s not about the winning, it’s about the taking part.

Tell Us Something We Didn’t Know About You….

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I love climbing and have a dream to walk to the North Pole!

I also have a huge love for penguins!

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7.Believe-in-yourself-and-back-yourself-to-come-out-on-top.-Afulfilling-career-is-waiting-for-those-brave-enough-to-find-it.

Richard Branson On Why Being Different Is The Fastest Route To Success

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What do Richard Branson, Steven Spielberg, Andy Warhol, Walt Disney, Albert Einstein and Winston Churchill have in common?

All were dyslexics who went on to achieve great things.

“Whenever something goes wrong or you find yourself at a disadvantage, often the best way to handle it is to turn a negative into a positive. I learned this early on as I struggled with dyslexia, a learning disability that affects reading comprehension. I left school when I was 16 years old partly because of my dyslexia. On one of my last days at school, the headmaster told me that I would either end up in prison or become a millionaire” 

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That same Richard who left school the odd one out, was running the biggest private group of companies in Europe by the time he was 50 years old.

That same Richard learnt, over the years, that it was “his different way of thinking that helped to build the Virgin Group and contributed greatly to its success”.

That same Richard attributes dyslexia with teaching him some of his core sub-skills – from the art of delegation – hand-picking a great team with the strengths that he lacked – to a way with language – ensuring that his advertising campaigns are simple and jargon free. Because if he can’t understand them, who can? 

If you’re not already feeling ready to embrace what makes you different or to carve a path which inspires you even if it goes against societal norms – whether you’re dyslexic or not – I’ve saved the best for last…

“Whatever personal challenge you have to overcome, you must be brave enough to accept that you are different. You must have the courage to trust your instincts and be ready to question what other people don’t. If you do that, you can seize opportunities that others would miss. Believe in yourself, and use everything you can — including the obstacles — to propel you along the road to success. Who knows what you might achieve?”

Read the full interview with Richard Branson here and prepare to be inspired.

And if you’d like more where that came from, tune in tomorrow for another inspiring role-model who turned depression to great advantage :)

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Marie Forleo: How To Make Millions From Your Living Room

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What Does It Take To Be A Successful Entrepreneur?

Who’s the first person you think of when you hear ‘entrepreneur’? How important is it to be an extrovert to whip up business? How much experience do you need to launch a six figure online business? Can you really make a fortune from your living room without some serious money behind you?

How Achievable Are Your Dreams?

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If you dream about leaving the rat race and creating a highly successful online business but don’t know where to begin, watch this truly inspiring video from Marie Forleo, Founder of B-School. Interviewing a series of cracking women who have created highly profitable, online businesses across a range of areas from smoothies to fashion and jewellery design, this is a must if you’re looking for motivation to start your own venture.

What Is B-School?

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B-School is an inspiring business coaching academy in New York which focuses on small business and personal development training for entrepreneurs.

Forbes.com listed Forleo’s website on their “Top 100 Websites for Entrepreneurs”, with her work being featured in The New York Times, CNN and Forbes. Having appeared on Tony Robbins’ The New Money Masters, Oprah Winfrey’s Super Soul Sunday and mentored young entrepreneurs as part of Richard Branson’s Centre for Entrepreneurship, Forleo is a great example of a successful female entrepreneur who started a multi-million pound business from scratch.

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At a Career Crossroads?

Unsure about which way to turn professionally?

If you’re at a career impasse and free tomorrow eve, buy yourself a ticket to Escape the City’s talk with Louise Cox-Chester and Dame Stephanie “Steve” Shirley.

Who is the speaker?

Cox-Chester was a Director of several City banks and headed up a global team advising on over £50bn of assets. She attributes practicing mindfulness for the last 18 years as the greatest tool to help her manage life and be more effective, and has subsequently set up her own businesses that train on mindfulness at work.  Incongruous, impressive or all the above?

Who are Escape the City?

For those of you not in the know, Escape the City are top of the range career connoisseurs who connect people with exciting non-corporate career opportunities. Products of top corporate jobs themselves, they understand what motivates us, Generation Y and what may also drive us to look for more.. Whether a job running a winery in Argentina or an opportunity to buy into a desert island in the middle of nowhere, they offer refreshing opportunities a-plenty.

How do I find out more?

For more information, check out their website here.  They host regular talks led by successful entrepreneurs who have shifted path and made it – informative and inspiring, they provide a great opportunity to meet like-minded people wondering if there may be more to life… Go on, hop aboard.  You won’t regret it.

Buy your ticket here.

 

Branson: Not just a businessman

“People often ask why I always have a huge grin on my face: the answer is the love and support of my family” – Richard Branson. Inspirational, human, humble. Read the full article from the Virgin website here.