Rachel O’Mahony is a passionate jewelry designer and the founder of WedLock, a luxury designer jewelry brand based in New Jersey. Growing up in a family who has designed and manufactured wedding wear for a lot of fashion stores in London, Rachel witnessed the behind-the-scenes of the fashion world, especially the wedding and festivity-related market. She inherited her love for creativity and translated it into designing and crafting jewelry.
After completing her BA in Jewelry Design from the University of Art’s London she decided to fulfill her childhood dream of working in the luxury jewelry industry. While she was planning to kick start her own business at the tender age of 24 she met her boyfriend, and moved to New Jersey. He encouraged and helped her to set up her own designer jewelry brand, WedLock in the competitive market of America. In the last eight years, Rachel has opened a store in New Jersey and another store in London.
With an eye for detail and perfection, Rachel’s specialty is in custom wedding jewelry. Today, WedLock works toward its mission of creating one-of-a-kind experiences through luxury yet affordable jewelry pieces for the needs of a modern woman.
How did you get started in this business?
After completing my BA in Jewelry Design from the University of Art’s London I decided to fulfill my childhood dream of working in the luxury jewelry industry. While I was planning to kick start my own jewelry brand I met my boyfriend and moved to New Jersey. He encouraged and helped me to set up my designer jewelry brand, WedLock in the competitive market of America. In the last eight years, I have opened a store in New Jersey and another store in London.
How do you make money?
I use my creativity and design skills to help clients enjoy their dream weddings and everyday jewelry.
How long did it take for you to become profitable?
From the very beginning, I started generating steady revenue, because I had the best business manager by my side to set up everything in the best possible way and that’s my dear husband. With the most enticing re-launch marketing, on the opening day of my store, I had sales of a whopping $3000.
When you were starting out, was there ever a time you doubted it would work? If so, how did you handle that?
I think it’s very natural to second-guess yourself but my husband always stood by me and ensured that I could do it. It wasn’t easy to establish yourself in the designer jewelry industry since it is a male dominant space with most businesses kept “in the family.” It took plenty of faith, perseverance, conviction, and massive cheerleading from my husband to get my foot in the door.
How did you get your first customer?
My in-laws were my first client. At my sister-in-law’s wedding, even before I formally launched my store I received massive appreciation. Her wedding day proved to be my first jewelry exhibition where all the guests saw and admired the jewelry designs my sister-in-law and family members wore. It started a referral chain and actually helped a lot to market my brand.
What is one marketing strategy (other than referrals) that you’re using that works really well to generate new business?
My husband takes care of this department. He is a business consultant and marketer and he plans and runs our online and offline marketing campaigns. WedLock has a very solid social media presence and we invest in influencer marketing as well to grab attention.
What is the toughest decision you’ve had to make in the last few months?
It was laying off a couple of employees post Covid. This was really rough as I invested my time and energy in training my employees. But tough financial conditions compelled me to do so. I’m still in touch with them and have referred them to other jewelry brands too.
What do you think it is that makes you successful?
My willingness to work hard. I don’t mind working all day and night to meet a deadline. I believe persistence has led to my success, and there is a long journey ahead.
What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
The day I opened my store in London, was probably the best moment in my career, in fact, my entire life. The store was inaugurated by my late father and the spark and pride in his eyes was worth more than a million dollars. The following day I received the sweetest note about how much he is proud of me and that made my life. I was overwhelmed with satisfaction. The note is still posted in my office with a photo of my father.
What does the future hold for your business? What are you most excited about?
We are trying to bring technology on board to help our clients design and visualize their dream wedding jewelry before ordering. We are working on launching an application with integrated AI to help them digitally craft their jewelry from the comfort of their homes. The vision is for our clients to be able to experience a piece of jewelry that is best close to their imagination. I want my current and prospective clients to know that we are determined to make their wedding memories as cherished as possible.
What business books have inspired you?
“Rich Dad Poor Dad” was an inspiring read.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
I would advise that if it’s not going to matter in five years, don’t spend more than five minutes being upset by it.
Are you willing to be a mentor? If so, how should someone contact you?
Yes, definitely. I will be more than happy to support entrepreneurs and arts, no matter where they are in their entrepreneurial journey.