URBAN JUNGLE JEWELLERY
Interview with Alison Price, founder of Urban Jungle Jewellery.
A story about local, little and lovely jewellery company, which gives back.
Tell us about yourself
I was born and brought up in England, moved to Hong Kong in 1987, and have lived here pretty much since then except a 5-year stint in Thailand and 6 months in LA.
Tell us more about your business
It’s an opportunity for customers to design their own 925 Sterling silver and 14k gold jewellery (currently bracelets, anklets and rings) without paying an absolute fortune. Each piece is hand-strung and custom made and 5% of every purchase is donated to charity. The jewellery designer is in Hong Kong, so we’re local, little and lovely.
How the idea was born and what were your first steps?
I met the designer with my sister, and thought there could be a little niche in the market for affordable, yet high-quality pieces, as I think we’re the only local business that promotes customers designing their own bracelets (anklets and rings too and soon to be necklaces), with the choice of stones, beads, Swarovski birthstone charms, engraving, and string colours for our string bracelets. The first step was the Facebook page, and just getting the word out there and I went from there!
What was your biggest motivation and inspiration when you decided to start your business?
To be able to give back to my chosen charity which is “Haven Cambodia” in Siem Reap, who train underprivileged teens in the restaurant industry, which in return helps break the family’s cycle of poverty in one generation. 5% of every purchase is donated and customers are sent a link to the donating platform so they can see how much they donated with the mention of their name.
What was the most challenging part of starting your business and how did you overcome it?
Learning as I went along (still am!) and finding the time to do it
What you wish you’ve done differently?
Probably nothing as everyone needs to start somewhere!
Which marketing tools you found to be the most successful? Which methods worked the best for you to acquire new clients?
Facebook works wonders and that’s been my main source of advertising. I designed my own website, which needs a bit of tuning, but Facebook so far is wonderful thanks to the many Hong Kong groups which make it possible.
What did you find to be the most difficult part about running your own business?
The lack of time, and it’s still the most challenging part
What is that you love the most about what you are doing?
I absolutely love the responses I get from customers when they’ve created a bracelet with so much meaning; like a bracelet we did for someone whose father died – with an Angel Wing representing the father, and an August Swarovski birthstone charm for the girl whose father had died, bringing them together forever on her arm. Another one was a lady who designed a bracelet for herself, with four blue Agate stones on a 925 Sterling silver bracelet representing her husband, and two sons, and the fourth stone for her son who’s up in heaven. We’ve done a lot of designs with significant meanings and they’re the best.
What is your favourite part of the day?
Waking up to see if anyone wants to place an order, and loving the constant variations that people come up with!
Your days must be busy, could you share with us your time management ideas and secrets?
They are! I work full time and Urban Jungle Jewellery is a hobby so I email customers and do all my marketing after work and at weekends!
Which are the advantages and disadvantages of having your own business?
The advantages are meeting new people, being able to support the impoverished teens training with ‘Haven Cambodia’ with our constant donations, to support other women in Hong Kong with our “Supporting Women in Business” page (https://www.urbanjunglejewellery.com/supporting-women-in-business), to have write-ups by magazines and online social media platforms like Expat Parent, Sassy Mama, Liv magazine, Localiiz, Playtimes, etc.
What is your entrepreneur's superpower?
Superpower?! Hmmmmm! My passion I think for social media and I love posting photos and coming up with different photo designs! I love supporting other women in business and used a female designer in Bangladesh for example, to help design the name card
, and have a page on the website to help other female business owners
When times get tough, what helps you to keep going?
The comments from customers, even if it’s something as simple as “my friend loved her bracelet”, or “thank you so much, my bracelet arrived this afternoon and I absolutely love it. It’s perfect and can’t wait to show it off”, and “I’m a little concerned as I’m sure this will be the first of many orders. I love the bracelets and that you donate to the charity in Cambodia”!
Thank you for sharing your story and I am sure it empowered many inspiring female entrepreneurs to try harder to make their vision a reality.
Check out Urban Jungle Jewellery at:
From 22nd of March 2018 selected items will be presented at Melomist spa, pop by!
3/F, Cheung Hing Commercial Building, No. 37-43 Cochrane Street, Central, Hong Kong.
Learn more about upcoming What a girl needs?! Pop-up with a self-development twist!
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