Our own Laura McCreddie had the joy of interviewing Elizabeth Galton, a successful entrepreneur in the jewellery business, at the first London Jewellery Week trade day, which took place on the opening day of Treasure last week.
This year, the event kicked off with an additional day in which retailers were invited to view the exhibits before the public. Elizabeth’s interview gave both etailers and exhibitors the chance to hear how she became an influential designer and businesswoman.
Design and the arts have always influenced Elizabeth’s life. Members of her family were especially interested in photography and fashion, but Elizabeth knew she needed something different. She had her mind set on designing 3D precious objects and her initial success can be credited to the first series of BBC’s Dragon’s Den where she was offered an investment after delivering a memorised pitch on catwalk jewels in the intimidating “den” environment.
After that, Elizabeth became involved with a “British brand with heritage”. She became the creative director of Links of London. Although the CEOs gave Elizabeth full creative reign, she said she knew it was a fantastic brand with loyal customers, so she didn’t want to stray too far from their established designs.
In 2011, she opened Galton’s Studios. Her leap of faith was due to her desire to work with the talent she had come in contact with over the years. “I wanted distinct brands that complemented each other,” she said.
With her career constantly moving in a positive direction, Elizabeth has realised how important the online market is, especially among younger consumers. She believes there is a special balance between the online world and the real world. A consumer still desires a tangible experience but an online identity also needs to be created. She noted that the customer needs to be engaged on multiple levels, which can be achieved through online comparison, style tips and video.
The online world also helps with geographical expansion even among small brands. Elizabeth has spent time in Asia and the US, and hopes to move her sales into Latin America.
When asked about mobile commerce, she acknowledged that it will be incredibly influential as another way to engage the customer.
“The future is mcommerce and beyond,” she said.
As a designer who started out pitching statement catwalk jewellery, she feels a customisable piece stands out the most to consumers. People are conscious of the way they spend their money, and she believes they look for an iconic product to update their personal wardrobe. However, in her eyes “it’s great craftsmanship and a sustainable product” that make a classic standout piece of jewellery.