There are plenty of companies that sell jewelry. So brands within this space need to find unique ways to stand out. Vivalatina accomplishes this by offering custom pieces that are handcrafted in Mexico. Read more about the company and the founder’s journey in this week’s Small Business Spotlight.
What the Business Does
Sells custom jewelry.
Founder Nicolas Tranchant told Small Business Trends, “We sell silver and gold jewelry. But our core activity is making custom-made jewelry for our online customers abroad.”
Making pieces completely on-site.
Tranchant says, “We are located in Mexico. And 100% of the jewelry making process is made in our shop, from CAD modeling, 3D printing, metal casting, stone setting, and finishing, which is quite rare nowadays. As most jewelers focus on designing, finishing and stone settings, working with other professionals to achieve the whole making process.”
Business Origin Story
Small Business Deals
Tranchant explains, “After traveling a while in Latin America, my Mexican girlfriend came to live with me in France, back in 2008.
“As she is a doctor, graduated in Mexico, she had no right to work as a doctor in France. So we had the idea to sell Mexican silver jewelry online in 2010. As we had friends in Taxco, we were able to import Mexican silver jewelry to France to get started the business. This was a way to, maybe, make some money while she could not work as a doctor in France. This was the easiest way to start a business for us back then.
“But I was working full-time as a mechanical engineer and had very little time to learn how to set up an online business, even less to learn SEO and online marketing. So this intent never succeeded.
“Then, in 2012, my wife was fed up to be in France. Having no opportunity sooner or later and decided to go back to Mexico, and asked me if I would go with her. I said YES and decided to give a try to this jewelry business idea, working 100% of my time on it, since July 2012.”
Almost getting a big order.
Tranchant says, “I have been struggling and failing during almost 3 years in this business project, not making enough sales to make a living. While one day, some guy from Paris contacted me for a 5000 euros engagement ring project.
“I gave him my quote. And at the end, this guy did not order the ring from me. But I was so happy to confirm it was possible some clients could contact me for high priced jewelry. And that some day I would be able to convert such leads in clients.
“This experience gave me so much hope and helped me to switch my business from reselling Mexican silver jewelry and cheap gold jewelry to actually making my own high-end jewelry I sell now online.”
Tranchant adds, “The biggest risk was to start this business. As I knew nothing about eCommerce, marketing or SEO, not even jewelry, as I was planning to resell jewelry at the beginning of my project.”
Focus on the business side.
Tranchant explains, “[If I could do it over again] I would start to learn the skills as sales, marketing, SEO and setting up an online commerce much sooner, studying books, through blogs and webinars.”
How They’d Spend an Extra $100,000
Invest in SEO.
Tranchant says, “By my experience, this is the single best long term investment I could do for my business.”
“No guts, No glory.” -WWII pilots.
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Image: Vivalatina, Nicholas Tranchant