Anna Dimond can be an inspiration to all of us in business and in life. She turned the hardest time of her life, into an on-going business success – what she calls her “16 year overnight success”, is Palas Jewellery: “It is the brand of my dreams – I love sharing the story and it is a product that makes a difference in peoples’ lives.”
She faced her sadness and her fears in 2007, knowing her next decision would be a game-changer. As she told me in 2013 for my Enterprising Women column in the AFR, after the death of her sister and business partner, Eran, of a brain aneurysm in 2007, Anna considered closing Palas Jewellery, the business they started together in Adelaide in 1996.
But, driven by the memory of Eran, she decided it was too precious to let go and set about relaunching the brand with a new image and philosophy. They used to design a range of silver jewellery and manufacture in Indonesia – but in the new iteration, Anna became the designer and focused on just one product segment, charms with spiritual and personalised messages at an affordable price.
Anna says the unique selling point for Palas jewellery is the emotional connection people make with the pieces.
It’s working. Revenues for the 2013 financial year were up around $2million, a rise of some 55 per cent on the previous year. Palas Jewellery is a wholesaler to stores all over Australia and New Zealand and Anna does sell some products online, although her website is more a marketing and branding tool. Beautiful charms, made with love by Anna, reflecting her very personal story.
Anna joined us for our Fulworks Business Q&A event in Sydney in June 2014. The theme was “Brand and Reputation” and here are Anna’s insights – from the video, attached.
1.The key to the Palas brand: It goes beyond beautiful pieces of jewellery – customers can connect with the spiritual messages on the charms which gives them another reason to buy.
2.Where does Anna find her inspiration? It all comes from Anna’s own personal growth and her own spirituality – if you are going through a hard time, the sayings and messages chosen by Anna resonate with all her customers.
3. How did Palas jewellery start? It was launched by Anna and her late sister, Eran, in the mid-1990s as a sterling silver jewellery brand. Anna says it has been re-launched as an emotive jewellery brand after the loss of her sister in 2007. She says she wanted to “run away” and close it down as nothing was working. She realised that in order to make the brand work, she had to re-invent it and change the brand completely.
4. The lesson? A brand can be re-born: Anna says you don’t have to close the door – you can create a brand or business of your dreams. She says it has escalated beyond her wildest dreams and she never could have imagined the possibilities.
5. What is the focus of the Palas Jewellery brand? It is predominately charms – as Anna says, it is a charm brand and she feels she owns that sector of the market in Australia. “When you define your purpose with your product, people know what they are coming to you for.”
6. How does she use social media? Anna is the face of, and the spokesperson for Palas and says that when she put her face to the brand, it enabled customers to speak with her directly and it has assisted with the growth.
7. How proud is Anna of Palas Jewellery? She says she didn’t always feel proud, as it was often a disappointment. Now, it is a 16 year, overnight success! “It is the brand of my dreams – I love sharing the story and it is a product that makes a difference in peoples’ lives.”