Since launching online with ASOS Marketplace in January 2015, Amrit’s “edgy but elegant” jewellery business, Avaaya, has only grown in momentum: “we enjoyed a broad international customer base before the launch,” the proud owner and fashion-conscious entrepreneur told us, “but with this seismic brand behind us, the world-wide sales have become consistent. We now have shoppers from the US, Turkey and Kuwait on repeat purchases. It’s incredible. When you see so many satisfied customers tagging you in their pictures on social media, alongside all their favourite labels, there’s no feeling that rivals it.” It’s also telling that Amrit has both a qualification in Psychology and valuable merchandise experience working with the legendary Coca –Cola: she's part of that millennial generation who aren’t afraid to take passionate risks and venture out of the canny. Indeed, if you look at Amrit’s current pieces – an array of frosty, bold necklaces, that are simple but striking to behold – there emanates a signature ornamental allure: already approached by style giants such as Vogue and Elle magazine, the wider world seems to agree. “A lot of market research, taking on board good practices and the success stories of fashion brands, definitely entered into it,” Amrit aptly added, “but it was important for me to infuse my own personal style: I thought very hard about what I would wear; what matched my wardrobe and various pieces; what could be deftly accessorised for both the office and evening settings. Much of the development of the brand followed on from my self-belief and the desire to push further. You’re only going to get back the energy you put in.” So Amrit shows us, to always build yourself personally is to be at one with professional success.
So tell us a bit more about Avaaya?
Well I’m proud to report that every month the profits have built steadily, since the store’s inception in 2014. In the future, I’m hoping to expand out from jewellery and accessories – we have actually just launched a selection of bags too – and make the brand a one-stop place for fashion: clothes, shoes, western and Indian clothing.
How would you describe Avaaya’s style?
I’m very particular when it comes to design: I think it’s about originality and simplicity. I’ve noticed, for example, that statement necklaces are trending. Those can be very elaborate but still have a modest sort of appeal. The layout of our website complements the product: it’s monochrome and very easy on the eye, emphasising your desired product. I’m an avid online shopper and I know I just want to be able to reach the clothing I want to buy easily. I had a simple, everyday collection which just sold off the charts- keeping simple is surprisingly difficult but it’s a valuable skill.
What were some of the particulars of your market research?
I always keep an eye on what’s going in the fashion world: what the next new trend is. I researched a lot of websites and the different turnover rates. You don’t want to emulate successful products but it’s good to learn from what they do right. I also immersed myself in the product – I would never buy from suppliers whose product I didn’t try. I’ve travelled to India to sample the different fabrics available as well as arranging potential business meetings.
What’s the most important aspect about branding that you’ve learnt?
First develop your own style; then stay consistent. The jewellery boxes I send out are black and white, for the continuity of my simple style. People will come back to what they trust.
How has your Psychology degree helped you?
Of course marketing is very psychological; you have to draw people into buying. You have to think about what triggers a consumer into making immediate decisions - where their eye might go to instinctually on the page. It’s evident in the lettering of my logo – it’s very snappy and angular, again reflecting the edginess and continuity of my brand.
What’s a top tip for best utilising social media?
Observing top brands like Topshop and ASOS, I think it’s about not shoving all your products into the consumer’s face. You should make sure your posts have a total of one to two good images a day, with the essence of your brand in mind: the colours, the shapes, and the theme.
Finally, what’s a brand you really admire?
I like Net-a-Porter because they’re plain but chic as well. Topshop is incredible in that it is a British brand which has exploded world-wide. When they opened as a high street store in the US, it was buzzing. Zara is a great in terms of an efficient business model: it takes them something like a month from the inception of the product to getting it into the stores. They’ve streamlined the turnover process for clothes in way no other store has. Now they don’t have to spend anything on advertising.