To many people, starting a business from virtually nothing and turning it into a multi-million pound company is something dreams are made of.
But for Tiffany London, Founder of maternity fashion label, Tiffany Rose, this is a reality that has been achieved by recognising the power of international sales.
“I fell upon the idea in 2002 as I was searching for a maternity dress for my pregnant sister. She was due to attend her best friend’s wedding and wanted to wear something fabulous. I was surprised by the lack of stylish maternity dresses available and saw this as a huge opportunity to fill a gap in the market. From a kitchen table in my rented South London flat, I drew up a business plan to offer beautiful maternity occasion dresses to pregnant women around the world. However, with access to only £600 on a credit card and no outside funding, my business needed to grow organically. I launched Tiffany Rose online in May 2003, and today the business operates from its head office in Surrey and ships orders to 120 countries and over 100 boutiques including US favourite department store, Nordstrom.”
“Our biggest business achievement so far”
Tiffany London described winning the Queen’s Award for Enterprise twice – both in 2013 and again in 2018 as “…Our biggest business achievement so far. There is no higher support we could wish for and we could not be more thrilled with what we have accomplished to date, or more excited about the opportunities for future growth.”
Fifteen years after founding the company, Tiffany Rose has seen international sales grow from 40% to 80% of total revenues. The brand has built a strong global presence in a niche market with growth opportunities still to be explored in existing territories.
Expanding Internationally – our strategy
After establishing its brand in its home UK market, Tiffany Rose’s next growth strategy was to expand internationally. Initial test marketing told us that designer maternity wear was sought after across the globe. This was an exciting opportunity for us to roll out the business in a selection of countries where we saw a good brand/customer fit.
• After researching birth rates, population, shopping culture and online search trends we identified France, The Netherlands, USA, Germany, Ireland and Australia as exciting initial markets.
• We created local language websites and expanded our in-house customer service team with French and German-speaking reps offering international customers a full-service customer experience.
• We initially expanded the number of currencies we could accept to include Euro and US Dollar and today we accept 10 major currencies across 15 localised websites.
• We partnered with DHL Express to offer fast and affordable country-specific shipping options. In most cases our international customers receive their order within 1-2 days.
• We set in place an easy and affordable returns systems so customers felt confident ordering more than one size or style, safe in the knowledge that their return would be quickly refunded or exchanged hassle-free regardless of location.
• We invested in online advertising and social media and secured press coverage with international maternity and fashion publications to help build brand awareness.
• We worked closely with international bloggers and celebrity stylists and have dressed influential women from around the world such as Crown Princess Victoria, Princess Madeleine and Princess Sofia of Sweden, Hollywood actress Julia Stiles and French television presenter Ayem Nour.
• We launched a wholesale division internationally and supply over 100 physical boutiques worldwide in addition to major online womenswear retailers.