Jane Dallin, co-founder of SOOS Rocks Accessories, exudes incredible passion and pride when she speaks about her jewellery company.
Started in early 2005, she and her business partner Bryn Nihill are savvy; they’ve snagged celebrity endorsements, graced the pages of popular fashion magazines, and become known for providing a very personal level of customer service.
So what is the key to their success? According to Ms. Dallin, it is having the guts to step out of her comfort zone and be willing to take chances.
As we all know, in the early days of establishing a reputation, something as simple as making a phone call can be nerve-wracking.
“I felt like I didn’t know what to say. I felt stupid…insecure,” says Ms. Dallin, of making cold calls. “Now we just do it. It’s still not the easiest thing to do, but it is going to be beneficial in the end, so we have to step up and just do what needs to be done.”
Today, Ms. Dallin can share some incredible examples of how having the confidence to make the ask has benefited her company.
“We heard through a friend that MTV was looking for an accessories company to work with all the hosts of the shows, so we packed up our samples and immediately headed over,” says Ms. Dallin. “We armed ourselves with everything we thought would be perfect for the genre and managed to land a short meeting with the stylist.”
The pitch was successful.
“It was a great pairing, and we built a solid relationship with a lot of people at MTV,” reflects Ms. Dallin. “This has allowed us access to a number of special events… [and]we have met many celebrities and musicians that have worn our jewellery.”
The list of celebrity endorsements is long, including everyone from musician Lenny Kravtiz to former Spice Girl Melanie C. SOOS Rocks has been featured in places like Brides magazine, Chatelaine, Lou Lou, and the popular TV makeover show What Not to Wear. They’ve also become essential resources for public relations and event companies looking for ways to impress clients.
“We’ll go to trade shows and multinational companies will come up to us and ask us how we have received such great press,” she says. “They have huge marketing budgets, and they ask us for advice.”
So how did they do it?
“By being persistent,” says Ms. Dallin, matter-of-factly.
This is not to say that Ms. Dallin and Ms. Nihill haven’t suffered through their fair share of rejection – but the key, says Ms. Dallin, is to stay focused.
“It’s hard when you get shut down, sometimes you think you may as well pack it up,” she says. “But it has to be like water off of your back. Remember that there is always something around the corner and don’t get bogged down with feeling defeated.”
Determination is one of the key ingredients to a successful marketing campaign and the development of a strong business. No matter how intimidating the call, or how lofty the goal, the SOOS Rocks team has taught us that we can’t let our fears prevent us from shooting for the stars.
Special to The Globe and Mail
Mia Pearson is president of the Canadian region for Fleishman-Hillard Canada and its sister company, High Road Communications. She has more than two decades of experience in creating and growing award-winning communications agencies. Her experience spans many sectors, including financial, technology, consumer and lifestyle. She works in partnership with her clients to build brands, mitigate risk and shape communications strategies.