Interview Contact Name and Job Title: Audrey Williams, Founder and Owner
Website URL: www.theenglishbeagle.com
Number of outlets: Purely an online business
Market(s): Homeware, Baby, Children, Gift, Pets, Garden & Beauty
Other relevant info: Established in 2017
Modern Retail talks to Audrey Williams, founder of The English Beagle, made in Britain the brands have hand-picked to guarantee you’ll be getting the most remarkable and perfect gifts.
MR: How do you aim to stand out as a brand?
AW: There are many retailers out there who offer a larger range of gifts on-line, but none of them specialise solely in supporting British Brands that are manufactured in the UK. The English Beagle is not only here to champion British producers and offer them a friendly place to sell their creations, but also to bring small brands to the forefront of consumers’ thoughts when they make that all important gift purchase.
MR: How would you sum up your target customer?
AW: Our customers are down to earth, grounded people who like to do things their own way. They are similar to the people who work with The English Beagle; warm, welcoming and full of life. They place huge value on friends and family and love to show their affection for those around them by giving gifts that have personality and purpose.
MR: Why should people shop with you?
AW:To support British brands, boost British manufacturing and to discover quality handcrafted gifts at a competitive price point.
MR: What do you want to do differently to your competitors?
AW: We want our customers to develop an emotional bond with the brand. We are a small tight knit group of entrepreneurs who treasure the relationships with everyone we work with. I don’t think other online retailers achieve this. We want people to feel they receive personalised customer service.
MR: What challenges do you face as a business, and how do you aim to overcome them?
AW: The current squeeze on disposable income is a big challenge. The English Beagle strives to offer the best value for money while not compromising on quality and design.
MR: How do you use technology/media/ecommerce to improve your offering?
AW: We have a vibrant social media campaign to generate interest. We have developed good relationships with suitable Bloggers and Influencers, which have proven to be effective in driving sales.
MR: What do you love about your work/business/brand?
AW: Besides working from home, starting The English Beagle allows me to follow my dreams and support and champion British talent! I have always prided myself on good relationships with businesses. With The English Beagle I have been fortunate to create and develop some wonderful relationships with brands and partners.
MR: What advantages/disadvantages does your location bring?
AW: Within the area I live there are wonderful groups of like-minded business women (and men) who are all striving to achieve the same goal. This has led to some fantastic networking and brainstorming sessions where we all help each other.
MR: What are your growth aims for the next 12 months?
AW: With a new year brings new goals. We want to increase exposure over the next 12 months through both online and out in the field. One of the ways of achieving this is host a ‘Support British’ press event in July to further develop strong links with key press and Influencers.
MR: What advice would you give to a new retail start-up based on your experience?
AW: There are two main points I would advise. The first is to trust your instinct; you need to believe in yourself to ensure that your dream will come true. The second piece of advice would be to align yourself with professionals who can offer guidance on those areas of business you have no experience in.
Charlotte Lynch, Modern Retail UK