Welcome Tonya from Kotori Photo Jewelry to vendor week here at the Savvy!
We love Kotori jewelry...and we love the sweet girl who created this amazing line...come meet Tonya (we think you'll like her too!)
Business Name: Kotori Photo Jewelry
How Did I Decide to Start My Business:
I first became interested in the idea of photo jewelry after having my own children and remembering how much I had loved the photo pieces my own mother had when I was a child. Unfortunately, those pieces had yellowed and faded, so I set out to find a way to create heirloom quality photo jewelry that would never fade or yellow. Years of experimenting and practice have lead us to where our line is now. Fun and trendy photo jewelry printed on archival paper that will not fade and a coating that will never yellow.
What's the Mission for My Business:
I began selling retail and did quite well selling to the general public as well as photographers. All of that changed, though, after working at a photographer workshop with Kimberly Wylie & Laura Novak. I went and listened, really listened, to what photographers were telling me about the business and how they wanted to use photo jewelry to market themselves. They told me horror stories of bad customer service and that they were tired of using vendors who sold retail. I was inspired. I left the conference and changed the whole direction of my company. No more retail. We started focusing exclusively on photographers. We listened. We made policy changes, we created programs based of photographer input. Everything we create or do is designed to meet the needs of photographers, and that makes a huge difference in how our company is run.
Do You Run Your Business Alone:
Thankfully no. Not only do I get to be married to the most amazing man, I also get to work with him too. My husband, John, joined Kotori in the fall of 2010 so we are truly now a family business. We work side by side every day. We also have several employees who are part of our Kotori family. One of our requirements to work at Kotori is that you have to have a good sense of humor, so we laugh a lot.
Favorite Part About Running My Business:
Meeting with photographers and hearing feedback. Some of our best ideas come from our customers! We love being a part of the photographic industry - going to shows like Imaging is like a big class reunion. We look forward to it every year!
I'm really excited about our brand new Client Gift Concierge Program. We know how crazy the fall get (trust us, we are in the same boat!) so we wanted to come up with a very simple way for photographers to gift their clients without all the stress and hard work. We do everything from creating personalized cards for the boxes to shipping directly to your clients (for FREE!). You end up with a happy customer AND a great marketing tool. For a more detailed explanation of the Client Gift Concierge Program, watch the video here.
We'd love to give one lucky Savvy reader a $50 gift certificate good for anything in the store! (www.MyKotori.com)
How to enter~
**Leave a comment below and let us know your favorite product from Kotori...we love hearing what you love! That's all you need to do to enter...leave a comment and you're entered. The giveaway ends tomorrow (September 25) at 8am EST. So hurry and leave your comment to win a $50 gift certificate from Kotori!