Anne Mordi is full of life, determined and the owner of a unique Jewellery line, Jewellery by Anne. Her skills, tenaciousness, perseverance and sense of social responsibility is the reason we chose her as Ladybrille Woman of the Month! Get to meet Anne Mordi, be inspired and we hope her focus and drive is the extra push you need to finally turn that fashion hobby into the business you’ve always wanted!
LADYBRILLE.com: Tell us your personal journey into the jewellery business.Is it true that you are/were a train operator in London before starting your business?
Anne: I am still a train driver and have been now for a few years and totally loving it. My journey into the jewellery business started accidentally in my bedroom. Hard it is to believe now as I look back,but, I’ve always had an eye for the elegantly accessorized lady, whether in print or in person; and I had certain ideas which I felt could enhance the images I saw and experienced. One day I decided to experiment with a jewellery design idea I had conceived and when my circle of friends discovered what I was creating, they encouraged me to explore a business structure with which to possibly earn money for my efforts.
After a little persuasion, I did some research on the web and at the local library,decided on a business name and registered it. Since starting in 2006, I’ve had the distinct pleasure of creating jewellery and accessories for a variety of individuals and photo shoots for magazines where I was asked to provide the jewellery and accessories for the models.The reaction to my jewellery has been overwhelmingly positive and that is gratifying. I particularly enjoy sharing the ideas I’ve harbored with others and getting their feedback and impressions. I find it is also useful way to give people special, unique gifts.<
LADYBRILLE.com: What were some of the challenges you faced in starting your jewellery business?
Anne: [T]he biggest challenge [I] faced in starting my own business was simply having the confidence to do it; formulating a business plan and the risks involved. Finance was also an issue when first setting up. I needed to remain working full time and use part of my income to start and support the business, which was tough going because of the sheer number of additional hours I needed to put in at the end of my working day. Also, the general attitude and rejection in the fashion industry was hard, as online retail was [and still is to an extent] treated with suspicion by many. Going to the Spring Fair which was the first trade show I attended after I set up, was an experience which made me channel my annoyance with the attitude of some towards online businesses, into my business determin[ed] that I would achieve success.
LADYBRILLE.com:What kind of woman purchases your designs?
Anne: A woman not afraid to express her individuality.
LADYBRILLE.com: What are the main channels of distribution for your jewellery?
Anne: Mostly through my website, but also through craft shows, fashion events and jewellery parties.
LADYBRILLE.com: Are your jewellery designs one of kind?
Anne: My jewellery designs are definitely one of a kind, I try not to make more than [three] of each piece I create.
LADYBRILLE.com: How have you been getting the word out about Jewelry byAnne? Have you been attending trade shows?
Anne:I have been attending trade/craft shows. I did the spring fair show last year, and also the Nigerian Fashion Show in Lagos. This year, I have about three fashion shows lined up.
LADYBRILLE.com: If a buyer at Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth or Barney’s was interested in stocking his/her shelves with your designs, would you be able to meet that demand today?
Anne: By introducing new ranges to keep people interested, by increasing manufacturing space and turn around time and changing production methods.
LADYBRILLE.com: How important are jewellery trends when it comes to making your designs?
Anne: I don’t completely alter my jewellery line based on trends since I have a unique voice of my own which is why people buy from me. BUT, it is important to be aware of jewellery trends so that I can make subtle changes to my line based on demand. So I keep myself abreast of what’s going on in the fashion world.
LADYBRILLE.com: Tell us a bit about your price points, how do you determine them and how affordable is your jewellery?
Anne: My price points are quite simple and are based on [three] things; the materials used, the time it takes and the design created.
LADYBRILLE.com: Could you tell us a bit about maintenance of your designs? How easy is it to keep it looking as beautiful as when we first purchasethem?
Anne: Maintenance of Jewellery by Anne pieces are quite easy because of the products used to create them in the first place. Also, what I try to do is include tips on how to keep it looking the same on my website, blog and jewellery packaging.
LADYBRILLE.com: I understand that part of the proceeds from the sale of your jewelleries goes to the Down Syndrome, non-profit organization in Nigeria. Share with our readership what your non-profit initiative is about and specifically, why down syndrome as opposed to breast cancer orother non-profits?
Anne: Yes, 10% of my proceeds go to the Down Syndrome Association of Nigeria. The Down Syndrome Association of Nigeria is a registered not-for- profit, non-governmental organization and the only one of its kind in Nigeria and West Africa established to cater to the plight of children and adult members of our society who have down syndrome; and are most often neglected or underprivileged, their parents, guardians and caregivers.
They support, encourage and train them to develop fully as relevant members of our society.Why specifically Down Syndrome? Well unlike other disabilities which are physical, or well known, down syndrome is not, especially in Africa; where due to the culture and beliefs held by some, we have a very long way to go to curb the attitude of society towards people living with down syndrome and indeed any other form of learning disabilities. While I became aware of different types of learning disabilities early because of my sister’s proximity, my life’s experience has demonstrated to me that even a sibling relationship is insufficient, by itself, to spur an interest or even less, an involvement in disability. I believe my persona welcomes the road less travelled or familiar and I do what I do in order to dispel some common misconceptions and myths about some disabilities.
LADYBRILLE.com: [Interesting and highly commendable]. Strong site you got going but independent of a beautiful site, the jewellery market is saturated with so many jewellery makers, how are you distinct from others?
LADYBRILLE.com: Why should our readers or any woman buy your designs?
Anne: Thanks! Yes, [t]he jewellery market is saturated, but I love the fact that there’s competition out there because this keeps me on my toes. I learn from my competitors, look for aspects of their business that I could adopt and those that could be improved on.Why your readers or any woman would/should buy my jewellery? My pieces are versatile, timeless, yet individual, unique and bold; while offering professional craftsmanship. Jewellery by Anne appeals across generations, it’s an eclectic collection of jewellery for the contemporary woman and that is what makes me stand out.
LADYBRILLE.com: I notice that you have three retail stores. One in London and two in Nigeria. Are these retailers that sell your designs?
Anne: Yes,these are retailers that sell my designs.
LADYBRILLE.com: [W]hat tips do you have for budding jewellery designers [on] how to approach the boutiques and retailers to sell their designs? Anne: Perseverance is a great element of success. [I] would [say] believe in yourself and know your product because that’s the only way you’re going to get anyone to believe how great your product is.
LADYBRILLE.com: What is a favorite quote you live by? Anne: Gosh, I’ve got a lot, but I’ll share a few with you.
“You see things; and you say, “Why?” But I dream things that never were;and I say, “Why not?” ~George Bernard Shaw.
“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” ~George Bernard Shaw.
“Success is the good fortune that comes from aspiration, desperation, perspiration and inspiration.” ~Evan Esar.
Congrats to Anne Mordi for being our Ladybrille Woman of the Month!
Visithttp://www.jewellerybyanne.com/ to see more of her work.
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A running feature for 12 years on Ladybrille.com, The ‘Ladybrille Woman of the Month’ celebrates women in business and leadership, who empower themselves and others through their contributions and actions in their local and international communities. In 2014, the feature expanded to include a podcast show. If you would like to nominate a woman to be celebrated, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.