Say it with Diamonds: The Incredible Journey
From super mums to boss women, there's no denying that the founders of Say it with Diamonds have been on quite a journey.
The business itself started as just an idea shared between friends. Still, it quickly snowballed, and these two incredible women managed to create not only a fierce community of online fans but also change the entire jewellery industry for the better.
Settle in, grab a brew, and read all about how Steph and Charlotte created the Say it with Diamonds we all know and love. Believe me; it's an extraordinary story...
Q: When did you meet each other, and how did you become friends?
S: We knew each other from way back. Charlotte and her family used to be my auntie's neighbour. When we were younger, we used to bump into each other through family get-togethers. We properly became friends in 2017 when we were at a family party and got talking. Charlotte was planning to have a baby, and I was already pregnant with my second.
Q: What was the inspiration behind starting your own business?
C: The demand for a product - we had accidentally stumbled across something that everybody wanted. We literally couldn't sleep thinking about it. We looked hard for the perfect supplier, then pair that with a few ideas for a name (off the top of our heads!) and a couple of awful pictures (we're talking an ugly grey box with a ribbon and poorly-angled photography), Say it with Diamonds was born. Steph and I had become business partners almost overnight. I used to be so bad at photos, but today's photography goes to show that practice really does make perfect.
Q: SIWD first came to be through Instagram. Can you tell us a little bit about how that started and how it took off?
S: We started our Instagram page in the summer of 2017 and basically just asked all our friends and family to follow and repost. Slowly, we began to build up a pre-order system. The only thing we were selling at that time were white gold initials - then customers started to ask, "Did we do bracelets? Did we do earrings? Do we supply silver?" The key was that we never said no. We weren't sure where we were getting these items from, we just knew we had to find them. We got introduced to more suppliers; people came to us, and we were told we had turned the jewellery world on its head; we were young, new, we weren't greedy with the usual markups for jewellery, and we were not scared to try new things.
C: The most significant thing to have happened at that stage was our first ever competition. "Win a sterling silver initial necklace by reposting and tagging us". It blew up, and every time we refreshed, our follower count was jumping up hundreds at a time. There's honestly no feeling like it, such a complete buzz. Steph was on a flight to Barcelona, and I had to go to Costa to sit in silence to be able to concentrate. I thanked every single person for entering one-by-one. My fingers almost fell off that day, and Steph couldn't think straight whilst on her rare child-free weekend away. We still laugh at that now. By the time that weekend was over, we had gained over ten thousand followers!
When we first saw an advert on TV, that was pretty surreal. Not many independent small businesses get to that level of marketing. When our kids hear our radio ad, they always say "Mummy, Say it with Diamonds is on the radio!" and that's pretty cool as they are so starstruck - it's the little things, isn't it?
Q: Have you faced any difficulties since starting SIWD, and how did you overcome them?
S: Anybody who has their own business will know there are obstacles along the way, but I have to say it is your mindset which will either make it or break it. We take criticism very well, a little too well, and we have come out of it the other side as better business women and people. We have learnt so much about juggling business and personal life in such a short period, and it is clear that SIWD was a complete blessing. We consider ourselves very lucky.
However, one particularly bad time was running out of bags on a busy Christmas... safe to say we will never run out of bags for as long as we both live (we hope!). Nevertheless, we found a solution; god only knows how; our guardian angels were looking over us.
Q: How did it feel when you opened your flagship store in Liverpool?
C: Our store wasn't planned at all. We had a conversation with someone who wanted to stock our jewellery in his hairdressers in Cavern Walks, and he said there was a unit available. We signed for the keys a week later. The lead up to it was a mix of nerves and excitement. We had to completely change the way we worked and who we worked with very quickly. We were entering the unknown, but we took nothing too seriously and thought of it as the next chapter. Steph bought me a book, 'Yes Man', and I think we took saying yes to the next level.
Q: Can you give us a bit of an insight into just how much the company has changed since it first started?
S: When we first started, we were working out of my kitchen. We were addicted to Instagram at that point and checking our DM's constantly. On 'delivery day' Charlotte used to come over, and we would organise the orders - or at least we would try too. With two young babies emptying the herb cupboards, we were falling over children, Dalmatians, everything! Our first little grey bags had customers' addresses held in place with a paperclip, and we would take them around Liverpool, delivering personally. We did everything ourselves back then - we were the customer service team, the content creators, the buyers - the lot! We suddenly had our business and our families to run, and it quickly became a full-time job.
Now we have a team of 13, a store, and a full eCommerce website.
Q: What's the next big goal for SIWD?
C: The next big goal for SIWD is our national campaign. We are rapidly growing our client base up and down the country, and we now have our brand new subscription model - that we intend to roll out to hundreds of thousands of people over the next year.
We want to be the nation's best-loved jewellers.
Q: Looking back to where it all began, is there anything you would have changed or done differently?
S: Looking back, it is easy to say we should have got a shop earlier or we should have maybe got more help earlier, but we firmly believe the path we have been given is the one we were meant to take. Everything happens for a reason.
Q: Can you sum up your SIWD journey?
S: There aren't enough words, to sum up how we feel about it, but it has undoubtedly been life-changing; a completely unbelievable experience for which we feel truly blessed.
Q: And finally, we're all dying to know what your favourite pieces are from the collection?
S: Has to be the 18ct white gold initial! That is where it all began.
C: Mine has to be our new Moissanite range, I have honestly never seen so many stunning rings, and it's something we have been working on for such a long time. We wanted the best in the industry, who all wanted that big look for less, so we created that affordable luxury. They're all set on 18ct gold or platinum, with all the same qualities of diamonds at a fraction of the price. They also come with a free valuation from the Birmingham Assay Office and value them at more than you pay. Our biggest competitor is a jewellers in London who charge almost double... you know where to shop.
Steph & Charlotte x