#BusinessSpotlight on Nikolay Piriankov of Taylor & Hart
We were thrilled to find out this was a very successful dinner for them so we caught up with Nikolay to find out more about him, his business and what happened at THAT TableCrowd Dinner:
Explain your business in one sentence?
Taylor & Hart offer a personal jewellery service, empowering customers to design bespoke engagement rings and jewellery pieces for their loved ones, online and through our showrooms.
What were you doing before you launched your business?
I was studying at university and involved in quite a few affiliate and digital marketing projects. I wanted to run my company like Tim Ferris described in “The 4-Hour Work Week” and live on an island – instead, I dived into Taylor & Hart to build a company over the next few years working 80-hour work weeks!
If you have business partners, where did you meet them?
As many people do, my first business partners were my friends from school. I think it’s a no-brainer to many, going into business with friends. There is excitement and trust and camaraderie, but these factors alone are not enough to guarantee a successful partnership. The main factor in choosing great business partners is looking for people who compliment you and your skills.
What is your biggest ‘hindsight’ moment?
I guess it’s realising how much we limit ourselves through fear. Looking ahead into the unknown always makes us do things that in hindsight could have been avoided. Here are some examples in particular:
Being people-dependant; when you have someone in your team who is talented but a poor culture-fit, fear makes you want to hold on to them as you wonder “how can we grow without this person”. In reality, as soon as they move on you always wonder why it took you so long to part ways.
Taking too long to make a decision; Indecision can be crippling for a small business. One of my mentors told me, speed is the only thing you have that your larger, better funded and more well-known competitors don’t have – and if you don’t use it, you have nothing.
What will 2018 bring?
2018 for us is all about sustainability. We.ve spent the last few years figuring out a product-market fit and now that we believe we’ve found it, we want to make sure we can grow in a sustainable way. We just closed a funding round and we want to use the funds to grow to a healthy bottom line which makes us a scalable business with healthy cash flows. We’re almost there…
1 piece of advice for someone starting a business in your sector?
The online luxury space is all about the friction between trust and desire. Focus on increasing desire through beautiful designs, fair pricing and investment into brand assets and story-telling.
At the same time, ensure you have sufficient media and social proof around your business, opportunities for customers to physically engage with your products and a natural website user experience.
Convince someone to use your product/service in under 50 words.
The jewellery our customers buy and wear acts as a talisman, an anchor that helps them recall fondly the memories of the special moments in their lives. These stories give our life meaning and when gifted, enable us to show and appreciation for one another.
What’s your favourite business in your sector? (not including your own)
I like what Catbird out of Brooklyn, New York are doing. Their designs, especially their rose cut diamond rings are quite raw and take jewellery back to its base components (a feeling of being less refined and more natural), while still having a strong design aesthetic that is unmistakably their own.
Tell us about your TableCrowd experiences?
I had heard great things from a few friends who had attended a Table Crowd dinner and I decided to have a look. By pure coincidence, Ben from Garage Soho, the one VC I had not met during our funding round, happened to be an upcoming guest and I did not even think twice about signing up. What a great way to get an introduction to a potential investor – in an informal environment where Ben was happy to be engaged in a conversation about our business. I managed to have a wonderful chat with him and he asked me to send through our pitch deck. Half-a-dozen meetings later and we just successfully closed out round and Garage is one of the main investors. I am extremely grateful that a business like TableCrowd had existed for us – talk about right time, right place, right people!
What is your favourite London restaurant?
I love Tayyabs! Please do TableCrowd at Tayyabs!
Dine with Nick Halstead from InfoSum >> Raising over $80m & being backed by some of the best investors in the world