60 Second Interview

  • Daniel and Jak Ozel, Unique Jewelry

    Unique Jewelry was established in Germany in 1993 as a family business, and remains so today with Daniel and Jak Ozel at the helm of the London office since 2005.

    Daniel and Jak will be bringing both Unique Jewelry and the Festina Group to IJL this year – so we asked them to spare a quick 60 seconds to give us an overview of their brands, their plans for IJL this year – and what continues to keeps them ‘unique’ and a step ahead in the market!

    IJL: So Daniel and Jak, can you tell us a little bit about the family history of the company, how it was founded, and how it’s evolved into the international distributor and manufacturer it is today.
    As correctly mentioned, we started with a family shop in Germany in 1993, and in 1999 decided to branch out into the wholesale industry. Having understood our customer from a retail point of view, and also the consumer, it is our hard work and good eye for trends which has positioned Unique to where it stands today. Of course this is combined with exceptional service.

    IJL: Can you give us an insight into your individual roles within the company.  Do you have quite defined roles and responsibilities – or is it very much still a family approach to all areas of the business?
    I (Daniel) focus on the marketing and sales, whereas Jak likes to take charge of the financial, operational and manufacturing elements in the company. However, don’t get me wrong, as we both do have a big and equal say in the decisions made across the board.

    IJL: And any downsides to working with family that you’d be able to share with us?
    There are no real downsides.

    IJL: Coming back to the business, you distribute a growing portfolio of jewellery and watch brands now in the UK market, can you tell us a little bit more about how you go about selecting new brands to bring to the UK?
    The brand which does exceptionally well is our own brand (Unique Jewels and Unique Men), however to complement this we added additional brands which are different, a big trend in Continental Europe and a leader in their category. For example, FESTINA is a huge brand in Europe, and one which does very well for us.

    IJL: And what for you has been the stand out product and success story for Unique in the last few years?
    Our in-house designed Unique men’s and ladies leather bracelets. They have performed well in the past and still continue to grow in popularity.

    IJL:  What would you say are the key factors that contribute to the success of a brand in the UK jewellery market?
    This is a complex question and of course there are many factors to consider. But for me the key factor is that you have a vision and try to develop your own style.

    IJL: And we mustn’t forget the watch brands within the Unique portfolio – Festina, Lotus, Candino and Oxygen.  How have you seen the UK watch market change in recent years?
    Each week we hear of new international watch brands entering the UK market, so it is incredibly important that the brands tell a story or have a focus point for the consumer. For example, FESTINA are the official time keepers for Tour de France, and other cycling events such as the Giro D’Italia and Tour of Britain. Naturally cycling enthusiasts will then want to wear the official and trusted merchandise.

    IJL: It sounds like it’s been a very busy last few years for you both.  What can we expect to see new from Unique this year?
    Marketing and branding has become most important in our industry so we will focus & invest much more on these departments.

    IJL: And can you share any of your plans for this year’s IJL?
    Visit us at IJL and you will see….

    IJL: We very much look forward to seeing you at IJL 2015 and seeing you both and the team on Stand F60 Unique Jewellery and Stand E71 for the Festina Group. 

  • Jesper Nielsen, Founder, Endless

    60 Second Interview with Jesper Nielsen, Founder, Endless

    Jesper will be unveiling the secrets behind building the world’s next super brand in the Inspiration Theatre on Tuesday 8th September at 1pm.

    Ahead of his session, Jesper spared 60 seconds from his busy schedule to give us taster of what we can expect to hear from him in his session, and all the latest news from Endless ahead of exhibiting at the show on Stand E20

    IJL: So Jesper, ahead of IJL 2015, can you give us a sneak peek into what you’ll be sharing with us in your seminar session at the show?

    JN: I will tell a little bit about having a mega celebrity as Jennifer Lopez as a co-designer and brand ambassador, and how to optimize ROI in such an investment. But also on the brand development of a megabrand like Endless Jewelry.

    IJL: What is the one key thing that you can attribute the success of Endless to in the 20th months  in took to build the brand?

    JN: I cannot say one thing, as a megabrand will always have more legs. For us it’s been: A great product in contemporary designs, distribution, listening to the retailers and working with them on with a “yes” attitude, and a significant investment in marketing – including The J Lo effect.

    IJL: What do you think are the 5 key things a budding entrepreneur should take into account entering the international jewellery market today?

    JN: Believe in your product, be ready to invest in marketing and distribution, listen to your customers and go all in. If you don’t believe in what you do, nobody else will. There is room for 2-3 new brands on the top shelf, but you need to be ready to invest.

    IJL: You’ve recently appointed a new CEO, Paul Moonga, to the Endless jewellery team, leaving you with more time to focus on brand development.  Can you share with us any news on up- coming collections or Endless creative news, both for IJL and the seasons ahead?

    JN: The next phase of Endless Jewelry is very very exciting. We’re moving from being a bracelet brand to becoming a true fashion jewelry brand with a range of contemporary designs and products. We’re introducing new designs in our present collections, new bracelet types, necklaces and rings – and we have a couple of very interesting surprises coming up as well.

    IJL: You now more than 3,500 retail partners in more than 20 markets. And by the end of 2015, these numbers will be doubled.  So what’s next for Endless over the next 12 months?

    JN: We’ve actually just introduced Endless into our 23rd market – and 4th Continent – by launching in Taiwan. This being said, we’re actually focusing on establishing ourselves in the existing markets, strengthening our marketing towards the end consumer, investing in our supply chain – and off course our products. We will see a much stronger Endless Jewelry over the coming 12 months – in all our existing markets and a couple of new ones.

    IJL: And can you share with us what are you looking forward to at IJL 2015

    JN: It’s always a pleasure to be a part of IJL. I am looking forward to introducing our own new collections, but also to see the show itself, the presentations and the way our colleagues in the business are presenting themselves.

    We look forward to seeing you and the Endless team at the show on Stand E20.
    Jespers session in the Inspiration Theatre, along with the entire IJL Seminar programme is free-to-attend, with seats in sessions available on a first-come, first-served basis.

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