Audra’s Brooches Bounce Back!
Audra Daws-Knowles is the founder of Audra's Brooches and a former participant of Enterprise Enfield's Female Founders Accelerator Programme - where she gained valuable support to grow and develop her business. She is also an appointed Female Founders Ambassador with the role of speaking at various seminars events to encourage and inspire other business owners and start ups. As we are all coming to terms with a 'new normal' world, we catch up with her to find out how she is doing and how she has adapted her business during the current crisis.
Audra started her business in 2017 selling a thoughtfully curated collection of antique, vintage and retro brooches, pins and clips both online and at exclusive fairs, pop ups and markets in London – including Canopy Market at King’s Cross N1C. Since beginning lockdown, she has concentrated purely on online sales. Even though markets are starting to open now – she believes, “the new safety and hygiene system for markets does not really suit my products so I won't be selling in person for the foreseeable future. Antique and vintage items are delicate and will not survive repeated disinfections”.
Audra applied for and received a government Bounce Back Loan and she is buying stock online via FaceTime with her regular dealers. “It's really good to speak with them and choose new brooches for my collections. I am also coaching vintage dealers who have only ever sold in person how to sell online. Online is where I started my business. I enjoy website design and the building of a social media business strategy.” Audra now participates in weekly virtual vintage fairs set up via Instagram – showcasing brooches and other items not available on her website. She is creating and posting videos on the history and styling of brooches. Personal consultations are also available for her customers to speak with her and see the brooches up close.
Last year Vogue UK approached Audra with a possibility of including one of her brooches in a fashion shoot for the magazine. After sending a selection of brooches for them to consider – one was selected and eventually featured in an editorial in the April 2020 edition.
“Having one of my brooches worn by a model in Vogue UK was really exciting and great publicity! My brooches date from 1880 to 1980 and are most often one-of-a-kind. I do not change any of the original designs. I simply clean, polish and photograph the pieces before researching their history and style. I have also created a fashion fix to allow everyone to wear any pin on any fabric. Every brooch is paired with a pad to hold antique pins securely and ensure weighty pins are supported and sit up properly on whatever you put them.”
You can find Audra and see all of her brooches online at https://audrasbrooches.com
Instagram https://www.instagram.com/audrasbrooches Use the code ENFBUS to receive 10% off any item including discounted items.