I often feature massive brands on Sparkles and Shoes so I love when I get the opportunity to highlight a small business with you all and today, that is Add Salt Studios. This is an amazing London based company and continuing with the trend of the last few months I am brining you another interview with an empowering female entrepreneur. The majority of today’s feature is with Helena Chan, the co-founder of Add Salt. She started a jewellery subscription box service in the United Kingdom (and yes, in this country they spell jewellery with two L’s, not just one) last year and they offer three, four, or six month subscription boxes and which arrive directly to your door with a variety of jewellery pieces including as earrings, necklaces, and rings.
After you subscribe your box arrives monthly with three to five pieces of jewellery to wear and then you send them back at the end of the month (you can see more about the boxes here). However, instead of me telling you more about Add Salt Studios, you can hear it directly from Helena, and a few answers from her other cofounder, Supriya:
What are five words you would use to describe yourself?
Helena: Positive, Tenacious, Generous, Loving, Authentic
Supriya: Kind, Beautiful, Authentic, Creative and Unique
How do those personal characteristics relate to your brand?
Helena: Add Salt is full of positivity, it oozes passion, fun and playfulness. And each piece is made and put into the box with a lot of love. The brand, the vision, the passion come from a place of love and authenticity. We hope the clients can feel that when they receive an Add Salt box.
Supriya: Add Salt believes every woman is unique. We believe women are kind and compassionate and that is what makes them authentic. Our branding is pink around those values. Each piece is put into the box with a lot of love. The vision of the brand is to be creative and make every woman feel beautiful in their own skin. We hope that they can feel that when wearing an Add Salt piece.
What inspired you to start a jewellry subscription business?
My co-founder Supriya were friends before we decided to co-found Add Salt together. I even attended her wedding in India. One day she and I were chatting about jewellery and food (we are both foodies). I had listened to a pitch about a houseplant subscription business and thought about Supriya as she had a costume jewellery line in India. I suggested she consider doing that for her business and got very excited, as part of her new year’s resolution was to expand internationally and London was on her wish list. I offered to help her as we were friends and I am physically in London. We started brainstorming and decided to create a company together. She is the creative force behind it, designing all our jewellery pieces, while I drive the strategy side of the business, but we are both incredibly involved in both parts of the business and make decisions together. Add Salt Studios. We named it Add Salt because it brings together all the beautiful ingredients in a dish and helps enhance the flavor. Just as salt lends flavor to a dish, we believed our jewellery would enhance a woman’s inner beauty and help accentuate her personality. Through that, our jewellery subscription business was born.
How are you spreading the word about Add Salt?
Through networking events, having a presence online and having our current clients help us spread the word as they are loving our boxes.
The website mentions many of the pieces are designed by the co-founders of Add Salt, how did you all come up with the name?
Other than their passion for beautifully made pieces, we had fallen in love with the restaurant scene around the globe. We were always keen to get information on the latest hidden gem. Just like salt to food, we add the final touch to complete your look.
When do you envision collaborating with different designers and brands for the monthly Add Salt Studios boxes?
As soon as it’s feasible. For the time being we are growing and making sure the business is scalable, but our vision is to collaborate with as many women as possible and create a community where all jewellery lovers can enjoy an Add Salt experience. We want to be the go to place for fashion jewellery!
Each box comes with 3-5 pieces, how do you decide what combination of jewellry to choose?
We have a video consultation or an online survey that the client fills out. We get a feel for the woman’s preference and from that she selects at least one piece that she knows she will be receiving (she chooses it). The other pieces will be a surprise, meant to delight, and potentially challenge her past her comfort zone. To look at a piece that she may not have picked up, but try on and fall in love with it. It’s to push past fashion comfort zones to explore and enjoy. If they love it, they can always purchase it. And if not, they had fun wearing it for a month, pop it in the envelope to send back and be able to look forward to the next set!
They absolutely can. We can’t guarantee they will be available, as some are unique pieces and we have limited numbers. But we will certainly do our best! Otherwise we will try to find similar pieces.
What is one lesson you have had to learn the hard way?
Trying to get things perfect before launching it. As we started rolling things out, we learned through an iterative process. But waiting too long by trying to get things just right ended up delaying things. Now we just do it and tweak and perfect as we go along the way!
If you had to give advice to other female entrepreneurs, what would you tell them?
Helena: Do it, do it now. Fail fast and fail often. Do not try and have all the answers and be perfect. You will learn, evolve, improve and grow as you go along. Even the biggest brands out there started somewhere and improved along the way. Don’t let perfectionism be the enemy of progress. You will make mistakes, but they will help you improve. (Helena)
Supriya: It’s all about mindset. From the moment you wake up to the moment you rest your head at night. Everything’s up to you. Your emotions, your thoughts, your perceptions – everything’s up to you. So use that to think about what you want to achieve and constantly keep working on that. As you hone your skill set constantly, you will see yourself reaching closer to your goal. (Supriya)
Is there a particular designer or brand you would love to work with?
We’d love to work with Megan Markle, Reese Witherspoon, Scarlett Johansson and Natalie Portman to name a few We’d love to do collaborations with amazing entrepreneurs like Rhian Stephenson, the founder of Psycle London or a collaboration even with the Edition Hotels around the world for a pop up.
Where do you see Add Salt Studios in five years?
Helena: An international brand, where everyone loves the Add Salt experience and wears the jewellery we carefully select for them. Everyone loves the boxes so much they gift them to loved ones and it’s as widely used as Fairy dish detergent! And as a large and growing company, empowering women not only as our clients, but through the maternity leave policies, mentorship programs and supply chain processes we will have on the business side. (Helena)
Supriya: I want Add Salt to be as popular as salt. Salt is something everyone needs through all income classes. We want this to be a brand that’s cool for everyone. And as a large and growing company, empowering women not only as our clients, but through the maternity leave policies, mentorship programs and supply chain processes we will have on the business side. (Supriya)
What is your favorite quote?
Helena: “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” Aristotle
Supriya: “Beauty begins the moment you decide to be yourself.” Coco Chanel
Lastly, is there anything you would want to tell my readers?
We would love to hear your feedback on the Add Salt experience. We are passionate about women and jewellery. Our motto is Bringing Joy Through Jewellery. As a thank you for signing up, we will be offering an extra piece of jewellery in your first box if you use the code SparkleKD when you sign up. Thank you for your support!