#022: Growing a Luxury Brand With Chocolate Entrepreneurs, Lois & Michela Wilson

Lois Wilson & Michela Wilson are both sisters and co-founders of Saint Aymes, a brand with a mission to make every moment beautiful, by creating luxury, enchanting artisan chocolates, that are hand painted with 23ct gold, enriched with opulent colour and inspired by artistic greats.

Saint Aymes have been featured at the Saatchi Gallery for Scoop International Fashion Show, London Fashion Week and in Virgin Red Hampers.

The accomplishments of both sisters in business meant they were selected from hundreds, to represent Virgin Start Up as Virgin Startup Ambassadors. Since the launch of Saint Aymes in Oct 2016, they are now stocked in Fenwick Bond Street, Central London. The Fenwick Newcastle Flagship store, a few independent UK boutiques and they will soon be stocked in the renowned Selfridges, here in the UK.

Saint Aymes

Main points of discussion

  • An introduction to Michela Wilson & Lois Wilson
  • We find out what Michela & Lois were like as children in school
  • How the challenges of dealing with dyslexia and bullying have helped prepare Michela for their entrepreneurial journey
  • Why Michela and Lois picked chocolate as a business.
  • We find out if the Art or the Chocolate is more important to Saint Aymes as a brand
  • What it’s like to do business with your sister
  • Why modern technology puts you at an advantage in business now, more than ever
  • Both sisters share their first business ideas
  • We find out what it’s like to sell vegetarian soaps in a market
  • Are employment options viable in trying to plan for your future?
  • Why a market stall business, in unlikely to facilitate a lifestyle with your business
  • Entrepreneurial advice for job seekers, who are currently handing out CVs and looking for work
  • The benefit of doing free work
  • We find out, how many staff members work for Saint Aymes
  • How making your business partner into your fictitious internal client, can help with productivity and accountability
  • Michela and Lois share how their chocolate business got started
  • How Michela and Lois partnered with the right events to help grow the brand
  • How being the forefront of your brand, can be great PR for the brand of your business
  • Michela and Lois share how Instagram helped grow their business
  • We hear a story about some of the early mistakes made in trying to source packaging for Saint Aymes
  • Michela and Lois share their employment history leading up to the launch of their business
  • We find out how much money was needed to start Saint Aymes
  • Why there are no ‘hands off’ ways to start a business, while on a budget
  • Michela and Lois share how well business is at the moment
  • Why when creating a luxury product, you must consider the longevity of the business, not just immediate short-term revenue
  • Why rushing to launch your product in the market, can kill your business
  • We find which countries like to buy Saint Aymes Chocolates
  • We get advice on if you should start a luxury brand
  • Michela and Lois share tips on commercial kitchens, food hygiene and manufacturing certificates
  • How Michela and Lois managed to get their brand inside Selfridges / how to get your product inside top retailers
  • Take away lessons learnt from meeting Sir Richard Branson
  • We find out how mentors have shaped the Saint Aymes founders
  • Why you should not get comfortable and wait for everyone’s approval before launching your business
  • How to deal with negative feedback

Key points you will learn

  • How making your business partner into your fictitious internal client, can help with productivity and accountability
  • How Michela and Lois partnered with the right events to help grow the brand
  • Why when creating a luxury product, you must consider the longevity of the business, not just  immediate short term revenue and why rushing your product to market, can kill your business

Links and resources mentioned

Homework

  • Write out three objectives you would like in your life, don’t worry about the “how”
  • Write 5 positive affirmations abut yourself, or about where you want to go in life.

Prizes

Win some Saint Aymes chocolates! Listen to the podcast for more info. Entries close on the 1st June 2017

Tweet #DiversityAllStar to discuss the show on twitter.

 

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