Blog > Interview with the Founder of Thrasion
Posted By Create
There's nothing better than seeing an innovative idea become a thriving business, and that's just what bespoke jewellers Thrashion have done. Offering unique and interesting pieces that are good for the environment, there isn't anything not to love. Read all about how Thrashion have flourished over the years and their top tips for success.
You may remember at the end of 2013, we interviewed Nat from Thrashion, well since then her inspiring company has gone from strength to strength. We caught up with Nat again, to see how Thrashion has grown and get her tips on maintaning success online.
Hi Nat! It has been great to see how well Thrashion has done since we last spoke to you, any particular highlights from the past year or so?
I’m starting to feel like Thrashion is really on the map as we have had broken skateboard donations from some really great and well known companies including Route One and Surf Dome. Our seasonal collections are also working really well and its been great for me to concentrate on the design element of the brand and to come up with fresh designs each season. We have also had a massive re-brand this last year too.
Selling online has seen such a huge increase over the past 10 years, how have you found straddling both your online shop and your bricks-and-mortar retailers?
I am very lucky that I have a good selection of bricks-and-mortar stockists across the UK, I find this really helps, as I always have a constant supply of shop orders to attend to when there is a lull in online sales. As I’ve been trading for so long now I know when the down periods will be and use these moments to make sure my Bricks and Mortar stockists have everything they need.
How have you found social media has helped/hindered building your brand?
Social media is integral to the brand and although it is often difficult to juggle all the different outlets I try and post at least one thing a day to the main social media networks: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. I find that in particular Instagram is good for my demographic as it used so much within the skateboarding industry.
Is Instagram the social media outlet you enjoy using the most?
Instagram for me is perfect as it is so visual, and also allows people to see into the window of your business. Also being in one of the most picturesque counties in the UK they can really feel involved in the skate/surf/beach vibes we have down here in Cornwall.
With such competition online, Thrashion really has a uniqueness, what do you think makes your business different?
The one thing I’ve always said to myself is to innovate. When I started there wasn’t really anyone doing what I was doing but now its all over the place. I respect what other people are doing but I don’t follow any other brands that are similar to mine, as I want my ideas to be fresh and new and I am very aware of being subconciously influenced by things that I see. When I realised the market was getting competitive I started working seasonally and changing my designs every six months, I feel this is really important to keep ahead of a growing market.
The ethos behind your brand is great, I love the story of how you came up with the idea - a fall over some old skateboards kick starts a business! Now that you are a few years in, do you have any advice for start ups?
Starting a business has been a real learning curve (don’t get me started on corporation tax!) I am still learning every day, I have learnt more from running a business than any 9-5 job I have had. My only advice to start ups is to get as much advice as you can at the start, this is something I didn’t do! Also network as much as you can because running a business can be lonely and its always good having people to sound off to who understand the trials and tribulations of running a business.
We offer a wide variety of well known payment gateways, who did you end up going with?
Being a Barclays customer it seemed common sense to go with them. Also they are a recognised gateway that have been around for years and people trust. I just felt that being a British high street bank and being recognised within the UK that this made sense.
Do you think having a well known gateway provider improves sales with your customers, do you think they ‘trust’ it more?
It definitely makes a difference using a trusted name and this was the main reason behind my decision. My instincts were right as I have had more sales since moving to Barclaycard. It is easy to use, and Barclaycard are really helpful if you have any problems or in my case really stupid questions! I am definitely proud and feel privileged to be using Barclaycard as a gateway on my site.
As an inspiring entrepreneur, we’d love to hear your top 3 tips to starting an ecommerce store:
- Make your store really user friendly and easy to find! I don’t like to have my shop on my front page but make sure that its visible on the home page.
- Categorise your products so that people can find what they’re looking for. I always get feedback on this as where I would look for things is definitely not where other people would look!
Design is really important to me and my brand so I always make sure that everything is nice to look at and consistent. Product photography is really important and it needs to talk about your brand. All my colours, photographs, logo etc are influenced by the colours of my first skateboard and it runs throughout the entire site.
You’ve re-designed your site to be fully responsive and mobile-friendly, how important do you think it is to build your site in this way?
As someone who never really uses a computer and runs the business from their iphone, it is really important to optimise for mobile users. Customers often work on the go and are often in a rush so you need to be able to cater to this.
How easy was it to make the changes?
Really easy, Create pretty much did all the hard work for me!
What are Thrashion’s future plans?
I am currently working on a massive project recycling 100 longboards donated to me by Surf Dome. They contacted me as they had ordered these longboards but they had a manufacturing fault so they were unusable. I am making furniture for my local indoor skatepark who are currently fundraising for a refit, this will be my big charity project this year and I will blogging about the whole process. Next year we are working on a new season collection which will be something we’ve never done before and also might be a completely unique and new! but I’m not saying anymore than that!