Interview with Hitomi, Owner and Creator of Vert Jewellery

Tell us about yourself and your business.
My name is Hitomi and I'm the owner and designer behind Thé Vert Jewellery, based in Vancouver, Canada.  I was born in Japan and grew up in Canada.  I love both countries and always looking for ways to connect them, giving me a reason to travel back and forth.  Thé Vert Jewellery strives to provide unique, but simple jewellery with some Japanese influence at an affordable price point.   Each piece is delicately handmade by me.  Signature pieces include ribbon tie necklaces, origami triangle necklaces and earrings.  I hope that our pieces bring happiness and confidence to our customers.

What is your background? Education, Work Experience?
I have a Bachelors degree in Arts.  My background is in Human Resources and Arts Entertainment, so not very related, but I've always had a love for fashion and a creative side.  Because making clothing takes a bit more time, I decided to start creating jewellery in my spare time.  I started giving my pieces to friends and family, and then eventually, started selling at craft markets.

How long have you been in business?
I have been making jewellery for over 15 years, but started my online store in 2016.

How did you get started in this business?
I started by sharing a small space at a table at a craft market with my good friend, and then started to increase the number of pieces until I had enough to have my own table.  When my life took a turn and became a stay-at-home-mom in 2016 to be with our kids,  I took the next step and opened up my online Etsy store - something I had dreamed about for a long time.

How do you market your business?
How are people aware of your business? I market my business mainly through social media - Instagram, Twitter, Facebook.  When I'm at the craft markets, I ensure that I have plenty of business cards to give out.  My friends and family have also been great marketers for me!

Where do you see your business in the next year? In the next five years?
This year, I'm hoping to expand my jewellery line, look into improving my packaging and branding, and overall increase sales.  I would also like to start knocking on some shop doors to find some stockists.  In the next 5 years, my goal is that I'm stocked in a bunch of the local boutiques in Vancouver.  

The next ten years?
My goal in 10 years is that my jewellery is in shops across the globe.  

How has technology, such as computers and the Internet, impacted on how you conduct business?
Technology has definitely been a game changer for me.  Having access to all the social media and being able to open up an online store has made a small shop like me be able to advertise at very little cost.  With the right kind of marketing, you can reach almost anyone in the world.  You have to be smart about how you apply all this technology, so that you are getting the most of what is readily available to you.  

Whom do you seek advice from for your business?

I get some good pointers from the jewellery parts suppliers I go to, as well as my fellow craft makers.  I always make sure that I connect with fellow vendors at the craft markets I go to too.   

Social Media Pages

Website/Etsy Shophttps://www.etsy.com/shop/TheVertJewellery
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thevertjewel/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TheVertJewel
Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/thevertjewel/