Trade Intro – Meet Jo McLenaghan
iXXXi might not be a brand we have all heard about but we will soon, its one of the new brands to hit the UK market and is creating quite a buzz as it opens new account across the UK. They have already expanded the team with an agent in Scotland and also looking for someone in the south.
Heading up the success in the UK is Jo McLenaghan, the UK brand manager, as with a new brand Jo is kept busy wearing many hats that comes with the territory of launching an exciting brand with a mission of offering affordable jewellery with a changeable system so that everyone can express their own personality with our jewellery.
We now have the pleasure of finding out a little more about Jo, enjoy!
Have you always worked within the jewellery trade and tell us a bit about your work with children.
This is my first job in jewellery and I come from a Media and Marketing background, launching many fashion and iconic brands into the UK. I am a trustee of Georgia’s Charity of the World, which I volunteer in my spare time. Our biggest fund-raising event is a Music Festival which I help to organise. The charity helps children in poverty here and overseas building Georgia’s Houses. Steve (The founder) is a best friend and I was very close to his daughter, name sack who sadly passed away. The charity is in honour of her and I love giving back.
What attracted you to ixxxi?
My boyfriend is Dutch and lives in Holland where I spend a lot of time. He bought me an ixxxi ring which I loved for the uniqueness and the tiffany blue fill ring. Several rings later, whenever I retuned to the UK people asked me about my jewellery. I then asked the question to the CEO Stefan ‘why are you not in the UK’ and here I am….
iXXXi might be new to the UK but its very established in Netherlands, tell us more about the growth of the company
ixxxi in September celebrated 10 years and designed a special edition collection off base rings. Now in 17 countries. Also, we concentrated on the growth of the Men’s Market (due to demand in Europe) and have a comprehensive collection. The company has grown due to the success and popularity of the ‘uniqueness of the endless switching concept’. Stefan Van Goolen (CEO) started in watches and developed the concept of the rings due to the decline of watch purchases. We have just taken on our first brand representative in Scotland Kerri Murphy. We will be exhibition at the Autumn Fair in September.
How has the launch gone and did covid affect it?
The launch has gone well. Now with 14 stockists and growing on a daily basis. We were a finalist at the PJ awards in December- Emerging brand. For a brand of only 6 months – when our paper was submitted was a great achievement. Unfortunately, Covid restrictions have had an impact on all business trading. However, personally I feel having something new and fresh has given clients and consumers a reason to buy….
What is the most challenging aspect of your job?
Balancing all the many aspects of the role as I do everything for the UK. I am supported by my Dutch Colleagues but it can be sometimes hard to juggle all the plates. Now we have many clients they also need to be looked after. I now have Kerri on board which will help with the Scottish area where we have 4 clients and lots of opportunities for more…. It can be a challenge doing everything but also it keeps the job varied and I like seeing the brand grow knowing that the hard work pays off…
How do you support retail jewellers with your brand?
As a stockist you receive all our rich media content and website banners. We change this monthly and it goes direct to them to use. Free merchandising and POS for store. As a new brand we also do bespoke POS and visual marketing for each new store. Also geographically listing on the website. There are many tools our retails receive to ensure sales. As a new brand to the UK this is imperative to our success.
Can you share any plans for the new range later in the year, Christmas for example.
We bring out a Christmas Collection each year which our clients love – lots of sparkle. As a fashion forward brand we bring out 2 main collections a year spring – Summer, Autumn Winter and Christmas. The Men’s Market is growing for us as we seem to be one of a few brands that has a fashion focus on it.
To find out more about iXXXi and contact them, click here