Mosher turned her passion for jewellery into a thriving business
Budding young entrepreneur Alexandra Mosher has turned her passion for jewellery design into a thriving business in the space of just over five years.
The up-and-coming artist has managed to balance her ides and flair with her business and marketing skills to create a truly Bermudian brand through her original and unique pieces.
And like a very good business person, Ms Mosher has realised the value of her bank in helping to launch her business.
Indeed Butterfield Bank assisted her with getting financing and an overdraft, setting up credit card payment and even establishing her own website.
Her history with the bank goes back a number of years and when she decided to start out in business she got the best response from Butterfield, culminating in opening a merchant account in November 2009.
Through the use a portable card swipe machine she has been able to take payments on customer deliveries and at her stall at Harbour Nights, as well as at gallery shows, while also having transactions made through her website, which won the Best Business E-commerce Website at the TechAwards 2011 event held last month.
“If ever I have an issue, the bank responds to its straight away,” she said.
“I always get a very positive response, a warm welcome and a friendly hug when I go there.
“They made it really easy for me to set up everything I need to run the business and which has allowed it to grow.”
She first got involved with the Butterfield entrepreneurs marketing campaign through the bank’s assistant vice-president and product manager, merchant services, Flo Smith, who she worked with as a panellist at TechWeek and who recommended her as the perfect candidate to Rhonda Joy, vice-president of marketing at the bank.
Having graduated with a double major in French and Art, Ms Mosher returned to Bermuda and started doing some painting and photography before discovering her talent for sculpture and creating 3D structures.
Taking apart her entire jewellery box, she redesigned all the pieces, and following a successful show and with encouragement from friends, she decided to formally launch her business part-time under the name Gemeaux in 2005 before going full-time two years ago.
Discovering that people were more familiar with her as the personality behind the brand, she relaunched as Alexandra Mosher Studio Jewellery with a whole new look and feel, marked with a gallery show at the Kaleidoscope Arts Foundation with her friend and photographer Amanda Temple.
“I chose the studio partly because I wanted people to know all of my pieces are handcrafted and art jewellery,” she said.
Ms Mosher’s jewellery lines very much reflect her image and she has received a lot of compliments and offers to exhibit at galleries and events just through wearing some of her pieces when out and about, as a smart but subtle marketing ploy.
Catering to most budgets, she has a number of different lines which incorporate the pink sand of Bermuda, from the popular Bermuda Reef Collection, which came to her in a dream, to the Isla Collection, which is more a of a hit with tourists.
“I think they are wonderful because they tell the Bermuda story and they are a little memento or keepsake that people can take away to remember the Island,” she said.
“The cool thing about jewellery is that it rides the line between a gift, art and fashion.”
Asides from exhibiting in the traditional gallery setting of the April Branco Gallery, the Windjammer II Gallery and the Art Centre in Dockyard, Ms Mosher also designs what she describes as “funky conceptual art” jewellery and her pieces also can be found at three of the AS Coopers chain of stores and the newly-opened Lovit Boutique in Queen Street.
The more abstract works of art are featured in the Melt Collection a series of pieces formed using a wax gun in the form of vines while the distinctive Caviar Collection has a wide appeal to the younger audience.
Despite admitting that she would probably have been doing better in an economic upturn, Ms Mosher said that the growth she had experienced so far had been beyond her expectations, with orders coming in continually from not just Bermuda but from across the world.
In fact she has sent consignments as far afield as New Zealand and the UK, in addition to Canada and Florida, Virginia, Connecticut, New York, Massachusetts and California in the US.
Pretty much all profit Ms Mosher makes is reinvested back into the business. As her own boss, she has found herself wearing a number of different hats, from actively promoting her brand online through her website and social media networks such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, posting pictures of her latest creations, through to designing and producing the pieces in her studio and then delivering them to the client (free of charge Islandwide).
“At the end of the day it is all about the product,” she said.
To ease the burden of the workload, Ms Mosher hired some administrative assistants, which has also enabled her to focus more on the direction of the business, including expanding into galleries and shops in the US and the UK, possibly starting with the New York Gift Fair.
Having started out in marketing and event planning at Tucker’s Point for five years, she went off to New York to study the various jewellery making techniques, prior to coming back to Bermuda to work part-time doing the marketing for Newstead Belmont Hills.
In her spare time, Ms Mosher is an active member of Bepro (Bermuda’s Emerging Professionals), having sat on the board for two years and through whom she made some useful business contacts, including one boat building company who provided her with access to a hydraulic press to produce some of her finer pieces.
Being your own boss is not as easy as it may seem with the work often becoming all-consuming and Ms Mosher has had to be very disciplined and set tight deadlines, but to get ahead in business she said that above all you need to have a passion for what you do.
“You have got to love it,” she said.
“I am working harder and longer hours than I ever have before in working for another company.
“You also need to make sure that you are not spending frivolously, you are smart about your products and are constantly coming up with good ideas, and of course make sure that people know about them.”
For more information email studio[AT]alexandramosher.com or visit the website at www.alexandramosher.com.