Tell me a bit about how the company started. What was the aim of the label when it was launched? Talbot Fashions was established in 1980 and will be celebrating 40 years in the industry this year. It all began when Robert went travelling while he was in his twenties. Whilst in Bethlehem, he sourced unique, intricately carved mother of pearl accessories, which stood out as being totally different to anything else on the market and real statement pieces.
Tell me a bit about how the company started. What was the aim of the label when it was launched?
Talbot Fashions was established in 1980 and will be celebrating 40 years in the industry this year. It all began when Robert went travelling while he was in his twenties. Whilst in Bethlehem, he sourced unique, intricately carved mother of pearl accessories, which stood out as being totally different to anything else on the market and real statement pieces.
How were the initial products developed, and what was the response?
Clutching these samples, Robert went from town to town showing the items and the potential packaging. One in four shops expressed great interest.
What challenges were overcome when the company was starting out?
Space! Stock arrived and was stored all over the house and under the bed before we found our first premises. Also, gaging the level of stock we needed to invest in and anticipating the demand of this unique product. Producing our first catalogue and recruiting agents was also challenging.
What sets you apart from your competitors?
Having unique products and the total belief in the story – there was nothing to lose when we started out.How important is your location and history to the company in its success?With Brighton being a famous seaside resort it lends itself to the well to the now TIDE jewellery brand image.
Do you champion any charities?
Over the years we have supported Cancer & Hospice charities.
How has the product offering changed over the years and how would you describe your current collection?
The Tide Jewellery collection is natural inlaid paua shell jewellery and accessories, still with some mother of pearl incorporated – many designs are exclusive to us and designed in house. We can also design to customer's requests. All products are supplied in our elegant, branded gift boxes.
How often do you launch new lines and what are your best-selling designs? Tell me about your recent campaigns.
Every three months we have something new to offer. We recently launched our new branded and gift boxed WISH range, which is a diverse collection of fashion jewellery. It encompasses pendants, bracelets, earrings and brooches in a variety of materials and themes.The current Tide jewellery hot sellers are the Kingfisher, Highland Cow, Robins, Moon gazing Hare, Bee's and Owl.
What trade shows do you attend, and which ones work best for you?
We attend both the Spring & Autumn Fair at the NEC, Birmingham. Spring Fair is the best for us as it ties in with showcasing the latest new products for the year and the production of the new catalogue. We also attend Giving & Living in Exeter and Home & Gift in Harrogate.
When was the website launched and how does it support the business?
The website was launched over 10 years ago and is extremely important for existing and new customers so they can place their orders online, sign up to our newsletters and see our special offers. If we bring in new lines between catalogues, we can alert customers to view these on the website and keep them up to date with the trade shows we are attending.
What have been the key milestones in the business?
Moving to larger premises 30 years ago, then doubling the premises size 10 years later. Most of all the Tide & Wish brands, which were introduced three years ago – they have proven to be a real hit with our customers.
How do you view the current market and what trends, in both product and business, do you see emerging over the current months?
The internet reigns supreme! However, it's still a niche market for the smaller retailers away from the expensive town centres. We will also be continuing with our exclusive inhouse designs.
What are your future plans for the business?
To relocate to even bigger premises and be market leaders in design, colour and packaging.
Is there anything else you'd like to add or say about the company?
In a depressed retail environment, Talbots is expanding due to our genuinely great customer service, which we pride ourselves on. We supply excellent, exclusive products at very competitive prices, with many customers saying this allows them a good profit margin for which they are grateful. We also supplying children's jewellery, hair accessories and gift lines. Likewise we can advise on POS, provide free posters and the story of Paua shell leaflets.
+44 (0)1273 776 415