Attire Accessories - Dec 2017/Jan 2018 (Issue 67)

ATTIRE 61 PROFILE Black & Sigi’s co-founder Clio Sigismondi shares the story of the jewellery business she set up with her sister, and explains why a handmade in the UK ethos and supporting the indie retail movement is so important to its future Tell me a bit about when and how the label started. The love of creating our wire jewellery stems right back to when Athena was at college studying fashion. She had made a beautiful ring out of wire scraps found in her classroom. At the time, both Athena and I had just sold pieces to friends and family for fun. Fast forward 10 years, while on maternity leave I took the bull by the horns and sat with Athena and created a name, a logo, invested in a website and started creating the collections we have today. We aren’t trained jewellers, but we have the creative vision and passion for accessories, and it’s this energy that has taken us to the point we’re at today. What was the aim of the label when it was first established? We were, from the start, very focused on our website, and made sure that we invested in this to create a good platform to launch our collections. Wholesale was something we didn’t think about initially, but when a local independent boutique wanted to stock our designs, we quickly adapted our strategy to incorporate this channel into our business model. We were very lucky to have had this opportunity, as it made us focus on this side of the business from day one. How were the initial products developed, and what was the response? Although the rings are what started the love of our wire-wrapped designs, once we went live our bangles using semi-precious stones is what we really concentrated on and marketed.The response was amazing, on a wholesale basis the bangles would completely sell out within two weeks of delivery and sales through social media and the website were steady and above all, there was repeat custom. What challenges were overcome when the company was starting out? We’re still overcoming challenges today, so it’s an ongoing process! Initial challenges stemmed from areas such as pricing and funding the stock we had to buy in to be able to create and sell on demand. Looking back on our initial pricing, we were practically paying people to wear our jewellery! We got savvy, asked a lot of questions, researched and made sure that was put right. HOME GI R LS ➨