These posts are quickly becoming my favourite to write. Yes, I love breakfast but I love people even more so getting out and meeting independent Canberra business people is ending up making me so happy. This week the spotlight is on Bonty, an online jewellery store started by a very talented Canberra resident.
Bonty is owned by a lovely lady called Bonnie who nearly 12 months ago decided to make the leap and turn her long time dream to run her own business into a reality (don’t you love people who bite the bullet and go for what they want?). The result was Bonty an online retail space for independent jewellery designers and makers.
I asked Bonnie how the concept for Bonty came about,
I had purchased a particular necklace while travelling in New York in 2012 and then could no longer remember the designers name. After searching online, I realised that many artists do not have websites or are selling through large platforms where it is difficult to identify the quality of pieces. So Bonty was born – a place for contemporary pieces by independent designers.
Designer – Maclatchy
The bright colours and unique designs, as well as the affordable prices are what originally drew me to Bonty. Choosing the designers to feature on Bonty is a result of a combination of factors. The main thing that Bonnie looks for is designers that are creating something that is contemporary, playful and of top quality. Bonnie is always hunting at markets or online for pieces that catch the eye, offer something different to what you see in mainstream stores and are made with quality materials. Given that Bonty is predominantly an online store, the jewellery also needs to be at a price range that is appropriate for online buying.
Designer – Sweet Sherbert
Bonnie says that while she enjoys being able to call the shots, it can be lonely sometimes when making business decisions.
It has become a case of just winging it in some cases and trusting my gut. There can be quite a lot of self-doubt when embarking on something new such as building a website from scratch, commencing with social media or doing markets. Plus sometimes I worry that it just won’t work! Luckily I have had the amazing support of my partner, family and friends along the way.
When asked if she would have done anything differently when starting her business Bonnie says that she would have originally invested more in a website that did everything she wanted it to. However the new site will be launching next month and is something Bonnie is really excited about.
I have rebuilt websites in my day job, but doing one from scratch was difficult so I brought in some assistance. I really should have done some website coding training now that I reflect back!
A lot of Bonty’s success is based on setting up successful, long terms relationships with business partners. Bonnie has advised that the best way to establish mutually beneficial relationships is to be genuine in your approach so you can identify any shared visions or approaches. Bonnie also states that it is important to know what you’re both wanting to achieve from the business relationship.
Designer: Hook and Matter
Designer: Boxy Jewellery
I have a keen interest in social media so I am always interested in hearing how business owners are using social media to grow their brand. Bonnie explains that sociial media has been integral to growing the brand and awareness of Bonty.
I am a self-confessed social media addict and it is also part of my ‘day job’, so I knew it would always be an important aspect of marketing and customer engagement. The Bonty audience is growing online quite quickly through facebook and instagram, and it is often the first point of contact customers have with Bonty. Initially facebook was the main platform to reach customers, but instagram is quickly taking over!
Designer: Percival Luto
So what does the future hold for Bonty? Well Bonnie has a new website being launched next month she is also keen to increase advertising in 2015 so that Bonty can reach a broader audience and share their designers with more communities. Bonnie is also throwing around the idea of doing some stories on some of the designers Bonty features. Oh and of course there is first year celebration of Bonty in January!
Designer: A Merry Mishap and Sweet Sherbert
You can follow Bonty on facebook, instagram and twitter or visit their website here.
Bonty online jewellery store will also be at the Canberra Night Markets on 12 December 2014.