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Claire Hammon unveils the secrets of her successful jewellery brand

The brains behind one of New Zealand’s most beloved jewellery brands, Claire Hammon, sits down with Idealog for an exclusive interview about what it is like being an entrepreneur in 2023 and her goals for the new year.

For over 10 years, Meadowlark Jewellery has been at the forefront of New Zealand jewellery, especially in 2023 thanks to the creative work by Claire Hammon.

Having been an entrepreneur with your own business for many years now, what would you say has changed the most from when you first entered the industry to now?

So much has changed. There wasn’t really social media or even Shopify when we started; everything was a lot more straightforward and marketing was mostly word of mouth.

Everything is very slick now in so many ways, from how people start and launch new brands to technical systems. It feels like there are many more hurdles and expenses than there used to be. And less room for experimentation and for making mistakes.

Being a jewellery brand, a lot of your work is working to stay on top of trends to keep up. How do you stay being innovative and original but also keeping up with the fast moving world of trends?

We don’t really take notice of trends in jewellery, but we do keep an eye on fashion in general.

I personally try not to look at any other jewellery so as to keep a clear mind for design. Trying to keep up implies you are already behind, and I think that is energy wasted – we just try to make cool things. If we are focused on being innovative and creative, then the work will follow. We believe in being sincere when it comes to our creativity.

2023 has been a very different year compared to others as we reach a peak in normalcy following Covid, what would you say has been the highlights but also the most challenging parts of the year?

2023 has been our most challenging year to date, and that followed two already very challenging years!

I think the highlight would be our designs are better, the brand is improving and evolving and our reason for being is stronger than ever. As always, it’s the challenges we face and persevere through that produce the best in us.

Read more: Idealog’s Entrepreneur Wrapped 2023: Lisa King

The most challenging part is always cashflow – this year everyone has struggled with the state of the world, and this has meant people choosing affordability vs quality, which is totally understandable but also short term, we believe in buying less but better if you can.

As we head into the new year, what are some of your entrepreneurial new year’s resolutions and is there something you are hoping to work on in 2024?

I personally don’t do new year’s resolutions, I try not to look at time in years anymore, we just keep going on and everything flows.

We really don’t know what 2024 is going to bring, but personally I hope for travel, time for some personal projects and space to spend more time on the bigger picture rather than in the details.

If we were to make a resolution it would be – to become more zen so we can face each challenge in a state of calm.

During the beginning of any new year, many start-up companies launch, what would you say are some of the tips you would give to entrepreneurs who are just starting out?

Make sure you are deeply passionate about what you are doing and why you are doing it. Running a business is much bigger than a full-time job; there are no real breaks from it as you are the one taking all the risks, so things are inevitably on your shoulders. It can be a really lonely experience and only other business owners know what it’s like, so surround yourself with other business owners if you can.

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