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Journey of an entrepreneur
Interview with Raphael Sperdin
Met during the trendy Parisian jewelry fair BIJORHCA 2019 at Paris Porte de Versailles, my team and I had the occasion to spend some time with this duet from the west of france ( nantes) . One of the most bublling regions and most creative in France.
Créated , just a year ago, the brand Raphael Sperdin, although new on the market , benefits from the comptence and experience of both his founders Yoann & Arnaud, who are no strangers to the universe of fashion, luxury , business and beauty.
Through their online store (www.raphaelsperdin.com), they offer a range of diverse timeless jewelry trendy and fancy: neclcaes, earings, bangles and bracelets of platted gold or silver, some of them stamped with the seal of reference in fancy quality: Swarovski
Exceptional jewelry custom-made and designed in France. A craftsmanship of art and quality through which savoir-faire and creativity make these jewels match your outfits and moods, as much as your desires and your wallet.
Desires that also apply to representatives of the male community. Because yes, in recent years, men have recaptured the prerogative of jewelry. Of course we are far from the time of King Francis I of France (who let me remind you, was the first king to set up the collection of jewels of the royal treasury to support his kingdom in case of financial problems … Collection sold by the French Republic in 1875, for a pittance regarding the valuable treasure!) or King Henry III of France, for whom jewelry and jewels testified of their power, education and refinement. For a long time, only watches and cufflinks were worn by gentlemen. Today, with a certain dandyism feel coming back full force, it is the height of refinement to be shown jewelry (vegetable leather or not, gold, silver, steel) worn only for their aesthetic and ornamental side.
Passionate and really attentive, Arnaud and Yoann have a real advantage over other competitors in the sector. Not only do they like their work, talk about it with enthusiasm, but they also genuinely like people and are very humble. To have customer satisfaction at heart so much, just by sincerity and not calculation, is rare enough to be notified.
Watching those two work closely, makes me reckon one again the importance of working with the right people, why being an entrepreneur is about the journey and not the goal and why challenges are a vital part of achieving success in business. Arnaud and Yoann , two childhood friends realized early on that to attain success, the main thing isn’t the actual goal itself but the person you become as a result of attaining that goal and having fun in the process. If you want success and to have the grand things in life, you need to be willing to go through the ups and down, because it is only then that you are able to appreciate what you achieve. If it was easy everyone would be doing it.”
This could sum up the philosophy behind Raphael Sperdin.
Yoann and Arnaud: please do introduce yourselves to our readers. Who are you? What are you doing? Who for? Where did you get the idea?
Two childhood friends with a similar vision of a company and with complementary skills. Yoann, 32 years old, specialized in marketing, passionate about fashion, his international career within a big jewelry brand makes him a real expert on fashion and trends. Arnaud, 40, has dedicated himself for many years to the commercial development of large international groups in France and abroad. We want to bring women and men a sleek and timeless jewelry style. For a year now, we have been manufacturing and marketing our jewelery under the RAPHAEL SPERDIN brand. Raphael, of Franco-Austrian nationality, is the son of Yoann. This project was born several years ago and expresses a desire for independence and self-fulfillment.
How did you go about creating a brand from scratch?
Our respective experiences in complementary fields (business management, marketing, communication, …) eased the construction of our network.
What is the hardest thing about launching a company from conception?
The launch itself, the administrative burden, the complexity of a system that could be simplified. External notices (families, friends, banks, consultants). The point of view of these people does not take into account the desire and the personal motivation of launching a business. Once these psychological barriers have passed, to end a project as we wish it is part of the obstacle course. In France, starting from scratch is not the norm … you have to be established to be taken seriously.
What was the main reason why you started your own business? Was it to make money, change the industry, leave a legacy, etc?
Above all it is a question of independence. We both worked for large groups and were, at one time or another, dependent on binding decisions made by our top managers. Managing his society, a baby built from scratch, deciding on each variant is really more interesting. In addition, to see that our products please and satisfy an increasingly large clientele is enjoyable. Leaving a legacy is also a good reason. And finally, gain some financial independence. In all cases, success or failure, it is a rewarding experience and out of the ordinary.
What is it like working with each other?
We are business associates because we have complementary experiences and skills. This brings the synergy in different facets of the business.
In your opinion, what could be the most contributing factor to your success?
To follow our instinct and to believe in our project. We also have a strength in our commercial approach to the market.
What are the components necessary for a brand to be successful?
Stand out without completely changing the already established codes, we also want to keep a French manufacture. We have 2 visions, that of the brand RAPHAEL SPERDIN, and that of our company. As a result, we are marketing a second brand under the name DEKADANCE. Entry level costume jewelery still made in France.
How important a customer service is in your business?
Customer service is essential in our industry. In an extremely competitive market such as fancy jewelery, we must satisfy our customers in an exemplary way. This has a significant cost but the impact is much more important in the long term.
How do you go about creating such a loyal fan base?
We start on social networks. Our Facebook and Insta accounts have few fans currently but we are working to turn the tide. In progress
Where do most entrepreneurs go wrong in business and why?
Feeling invincible in a market, and therefore no longer questioning. Failures are there for that. Making bad investments, being poorly surrounded or poorly advised can put a society at risk.
Where do you see your business in the next 5 years?
Difficult to answer this question. However, we wish in a few years to be well established on the international scene, with our place secured in this market. As soon as we can, our society will contribute financially, at our own level, to the development of the necessary infrastructure in Africa.
How do you measure success in business?
Of course, statistics and numbers speak for themselves. However, notoriety and disturbing your competitors is a positive factor.
How do you deal with challenges and setbacks in business?
Constantly ask yourself the right questions. Make thoughtful decisions quickly.
What advice do you have for entrepreneurs who are looking to start their own business?
Believe in your project. Do not be alone (psychologically important), surround yourself with good people. Ensure financial security at least the first year of practice. Invest yourself 200% and of course, do not count your worktime.
You are doing several fair and jewelry salons. Is it new to you?
Yes, the last edition of Bijorhca was the first faitr we attend. Until now, we had developed in the west of France. This show brings us a national and international visibility essential to our development.
Where can we find you?
The headquarters of our company is on the outskirts of Nantes. You will also find our workshops and offices.
Thank you for giving us time and especially to be such a great example of encouragement for young people by showing that more than ever, despite difficult economic times: the Made in France is trendier than ever.
Site Web: www.raphaelsperdin.com
Atelier 3 rue de Coulomb | Zone Artisanale Ragon| 44119 TREILLIERES
Social media : facebook/ Instagram @raphaelsperdin