Sydney-Based Jewelry Brand Expands
Internationally Through EMDG
Kirstin Ash is a family-run jewellery brand that was started in 2008 in Sydney by siblings Nick and Kirstin Ash, who were originally from New Zealand. Being a medium sized business with around 20 employees, it is now a fast-growing company well-recognised in Europe, Australia, and New Zealand.
The business started as a hobby so Kirstin could earn some income while completing her university studies. Her jewellery was so well received that through the encouragement of their father, Nick and Kirstin became business partners and started growing the business. Over the last decade, they have grown into a well-known international brand that is sought after. Now, Nick works as the Managing Director while Kirstin runs all the design, branding, and marketing as the Creative Director.
Initially they were having struggles with the supply due to busy schedules, with them taking up to eight weeks for the design and creation process. This continued until they decided to invest and spend a lot of money on marketing, branding and positioning. Eventually the brand grew and the business finally matured, but the growth was so high that the production and capability was not possible internally anymore, so they started to look for options and funding for the international promotions of their brand.
One of the reasons they were able to expand internationally over the years was because of the Export Market Development Grant. The grant provided the cash flow needed to grow and expand internationally and cement their position as an international jewellery brand. According to Nick, the grant program has helped them to hire a new employee each round by investing the funds back into business for growth. This strategy has really helped to establish their brand and ensure growth.
When asked why they chose Vebiz, Nick said that Vebiz made the process easier including the one audit they had. It was seamless which allowed him and his team to focus on the operations of the business. They initially attempted to apply for the grant themselves which they did successfully for one year but found the process time consuming and tedious. Ever since, they have worked with Vebiz and are very happy with the work we do.
According to Nick, jewellery brands are one of the rockiest industries to be in, yet the funnest work to do. Working with the best of the best Australian photographers, the creativity, and being able to express their designs, those are what the Ash siblings love to do. As Nick Ash said, “It is an industry that is often under looked, but it is so creatively driven.”
See their collections at au.kirstinash.com.