I sat down with the founder of Home By Rachel, my lovely mother Rachel Callow, to discuss what it’s been like starting up a brand from scratch. Full interview below.
Celine: So what products do you currently do and what’s the price range?
Rachel: I do a range of products, lots of jewellery, and homeware too. I do an array of different things; ornaments, tea-lights, vases, lanterns, picture frames, beautiful jewellery boxes, I try and get things that are a little bit unusual. I like things with inspirational words. I have lots of lovely cushions and throws as well, I’m always on the loo out for new products to add to the range. The prices range from £6.50 to about £70.
Celine: Who’s your typical customer?
Rachel: It does depend really, anywhere between the ages of 10 to 70. I do offer a selected range of jewellery for children, because I think it’s so nice when they can pick something they love. The majority of my customers are between the ages of 30 and 45, women who love going out and buying jewellery for themselves or as gifts for their mums, sisters and friends.
Celine: You also have your own custom candle range, what made you want to create your own original scents for your candles and diffusers?
Rachel: I LOVE candles and diffusers, and often when I used to buy my own scented candles I would be a bit disappointed when I came home and I couldn’t smell the scent as it describes or it’s just not strong enough. Or the smell doesn’t last for as long as they say and I can’t smell anything, I find that so frustrating!
So I wanted to create something that could be like beautiful perfume for the home, something where you come in and you can really smell it, and enjoy a lovely ambience, after all you spend a lot of money on it and you want it to smell!
Celine: What’s your favourite scent that you’ve created?
Rachel: My favourite smell is Restful Rock-Salt and Waterlily! It’s such a unique, cool smell, very modern. It’s sort of earthly and natural, I think it’s great in a bedroom or bathroom and lovely in the summer. It really does depend what kind of atmosphere you want to create. I also love Rich Winter Cinnamon because the house smells like Christmas which is lovely, it’s so homely and it really takes you back to your childhood, and baking lovely treats in the kitchen.
Celine: What’s the first thing you do when starting a jewellery company?
Rachel: My experience was quite unusual, I actually bought a lot of jewellery before I had the idea to start the business. So I bought a box of jewellery and then I decided to do a little party at home and invite my friends and family a long, and see if I could sell the items. It was a great success! It was a great social event, I realised how fun it is to try on jewellery with your friends and enjoy an evening with process and nibbles!
Celine: By this stage had you got your website set up, or anything else prepared?
Rachel: No not at all, I had my first jewellery party just to test the waters in June, I didn’t launch the business until 30th September, with a big launch party. I learnt a lot from the first party, firstly that I have an eye for jewellery and that people really like what I pick. People loved that the jewellery I chose was unusual, I’m always hunting for original pieces and I like to mix and match, I always want to give my customers access to something new.
Celine: How did you come up with your colour scheme and packaging?
Rachel: The colour scheme and packaging are based on my personal style, I love aubergine, grey, white and lavender. They’re great because you can use them all year round, they’re neutral tones that will always be stylish and classic. It was natural for me to gravitate towards those colours.
Celine: What are your best sellers, what’s the most popular jewellery you’re selling at the moment?
Rachel: Rose gold! Rose gold bracelets sell out every time, I’m constantly restocking those. The Christmas collection is also a really big seller, it’s a white crystal or pink crystal necklace and bracelet set. They’re always selling out as well.
Celine: You have a really unique way of displaying your jewellery, how important is presentation to you?
Rachel: Presentation is absolutely vital! It can take me more than two hours to set up a table to make it look inviting and interesting. I like to imagine it’s like a girl’s dressing table where she can enjoy indulging in making herself look beautiful. I like to make it almost an immersive experience, I like to drape my jewellery over white branches or dangle earrings from something, I love people to pick up my jewellery and move it around, it’s all part of the experience.
Celine: The collection is so beautiful and christmassy at the moment, how do you plan on changing it for Spring and Summer?
Rachel: For Spring and Summer I’m hoping to get a lot of beads in, I think beads in the summer are just lovely with white T-shirts and denim. Whether it be friendship bracelets, beaded earrings, I really want to incorporate turquoise, it’s such a flattering colour and works with both gold and silver.
Celine: And finally, where can we buy your products?
Rachel: You can buy them online at www.homebyrachel.co.uk.