I was able to pin this busy founder of Hoolala down for a short interview. Today we chat with the extraordinarily talented Sam Jones of Hoolala from Lancashire England. Sam has one of the most successful shops on Etsy and is years ahead the curve when it comes to branding. Her creations are unique and Sam knows how to incorporate the latest trends into her designs. Thanks to Sam for taking time out her very busy schedule to share her process with Becklee blog. Be sure to "like" her facebook and follow her tweets.
God Save the Queen
1. would you give us a brief history of Hoolala?
I have always made things as far back as I can remember. I can never find anything I like in the shops I want to buy but I am a huge fan of handmade and vintage. I used to wear my designs to meetings when I was a graphic designer. At one meeting near London a client said ooh I love your bracelet and I said I made it myself. They commissioned me to make a collection for one of their spas which turned in a collection for 4 of their other therapy rooms - the collections sold out twice and my business was born! A year later after I had developed my ideas one of my pieces was picked up and featured by The Sunday Times Style Magazine and I haven't really looked back since.
2. We have been running a series on branding, How has branding effected your business?
I started my brand in 2005. I always knew what I wanted the business to look like and in my minds eye it was always going to be iconic which was a union jack, red post box and a little red bus. Which which were all familiar images and objects from my childhood. When I started Hoolala no-one was really using the union jack apart from the top end designers such as McQueen, Westwood and Galliano who were and are all huge influences on my work and they represent real British talent. Now the union jack it is everywhere and it is getting to fever pitch as we are in a Jubilee and olympic year too! I think that the icons I have used are instantly recognisable all over the world and that was important when I was designing the corporate ID for my brand.
3. Your designs are so unique, how do you deal with plagiarizer's or theft of your designs?
Thank you. Well that is a really good question. I do have an IP lawyer and I always email the plagiarist first to point out that their designs are stolen. The problem is the internet is a huge place and it you can tie yourself in knots emailing non existent companies to cease and desist and this is very costly. I have started to use a lot of vintage parts in my work which makes it much harder to copy pieces. Also I find people who deal in antiques and vintage a very interesting bunch they are so friendly and have great stories to tell. I love my weekly trips to the local flea market where I spend most of my time these days.
4.What bit of advice would you give to someone just starting out? In relation to branding your products.
I gathered 5 of my favourite objects which would represent the look and feel of my brand and developed my logo from there.
Visualise how you want your customer to see you. Getting it right first time round and it will save you a lot of time and you will look professional from day one. It took me 12 months to research and develop my brand and logo and it was certainly time well spent.
Think about your logo and how it will look 1. online 2. on a business card 3. on packaging 4 on an avatar etc.
Keep it simple.
Choose your corporate colours and fonts then stick to it so you look professional and people will begin to recognise your brand if you have consistency - think of coca-cola and how iconic that logo is. it hasn't really changed in the last 50 years and is instantly recognisable all over the world. It is simple and has impact be it on a pin badge or on a huge bill board poster.
Don't spend huge sums of money on printed letter heads, comp slips and business cards. If you business is handmade I think you should reflect that in your branding - I love handmade business cards and always keep them on displayed on my pin boards and around the studio.
5. Please list all the places that we can find your products. Photos are welcome too.
All over the world! From UK, Moscow, Japan, USA and online. The best place to see new things are either on my Facebook page search hoolala jewellery or www.hoolala.etsy.com