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 brand, Beauchamps 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…
Can You Tell Me A Bit About What You Do?
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?
Before starting the business I worked in commercial property!! Beauchamps started totally by accident!
What Inspired You To Start Your Business?
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?
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?
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?
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?
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.
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?
Mainly word of mouth but magazine articles have also helped.
What’s The Best Compliment You’ve Received?
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?
Take time, definitely don’t rush things and form a good business plan!
What’s Next For You?
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?
Best is by email on firstname.lastname@example.org
What’s Your Favourite Quote?
It’s not about the winning, it’s about the taking part.
Tell Us Something We Didn’t Know About You….
I love climbing and have a dream to walk to the North Pole!
I also have a huge love for penguins!