Transparency helps ceramics business to prioritise authenticity

"Transparency is a guarantee of authenticity.
This programme provides peace of mind and ensures that only those who have invested time and effort into developing their brand will reap the rewards."

Supporting local communities and creating a successful e-commerce business

David Richards had only dabbled in retail.

Although he found it "quite enjoyable", he couldn't have imagined that he would one day launch a successful business.

However, this is what happened when he went to Thailand while he was on a sabbatical from his career in broadcasting.

Thailand was everything David expected and more — colourful, exciting, and, above all, inspiring. "I met some extremely talented artists there who were making exceptional, one-of-a-kind products," he recalls.

Having already captivated David, these craftspeople did not have too much trouble in persuading him to bring back some of their goods in order to sell them upon his return to the United Kingdom.

Establishing a network of creators

It turns out that the items David brought back home were very popular. He quickly expanded his network of Thai artists and craftspeople and sought to sell more of their products in craft markets across the United Kingdom.

"Initially, I thought I would create a lifestyle business. Neither big sales nor big profits were my aim. I was satisfied with covering my own costs and supporting the craftspeople I worked with."

So, for a few years, he allowed the business to grow organically.

Then, in 2015, the contacts he had made in Thailand put him in touch with a local family-run factory that made hand-painted ceramics featuring very distinctive rainbow patterns.
It was a unique opportunity to support the factory and sell a range of premium ceramics. This is how the Windhorse brand was created and registered.

With Windhorse ceramics, David's goal has always been to support the incredibly talented craftspeople and artists in this magnificent, faraway country that he fell in love with.
I am delighted that I'm making it possible for extremely talented people to make a living doing what they love. I think that's the best reason to have a business.

Protecting talent

Unfortunately, Windhorse's growing success was quick to draw the attention of malicious parties. "People were copying Windhorse products, selling them and passing them off as originals."

He had to do something, and quickly.

For brands like Windhorse, the impact of counterfeiting is not restricted to the clientele and the business.

For starters, the products are made in deprived communities in which economic opportunities are scarce. By producing and selling counterfeit goods, malicious parties are depriving people in these communities of the opportunity to earn a living in a sustainable way.

That is why David felt that he needed to take immediate action.

Registering a trademark and enrolling in Transparency

"We decided to register a trademark to protect our products from counterfeiters."

At the time, David had just launched the Windhorse brand on Amazon, and that's when he became aware of Transparency.

"I noticed the Transparency label on a number of products and immediately thought it was a good system. Each item having a unique code immediately prevents everything you want to avoid, such as other people selling similar items or even factory rejects."

Starting to sell items on Amazon and joining Transparency has been a blessing for Windhorse.

"Transparency has transformed our entire system," says David. "It sets a standard and prevents people from trying to take over your brand."
"Our turnover between September and October 2020 was half a million pounds. What’s more, our sales doubled between October and December 2020. And Transparency definitely has a lot to do with that."
However, the growth in Windhorse's sales is not the only way in which it has profited.

According to David, Transparency has also helped build sound business relationships with new producers. "Transparency affiliation shows them that you are trying to do something good rather than simply copying other brands."

This good reputation has opened up new opportunities for Windhorse and, more importantly, for local artists and craftspeople whose livelihoods depend on the brand.

New summits on the horizon

Expansion is an integral part of Windhorse's future.

Having cemented the reputation of the brand in the UK, David is now planning to grow Windhorse in the US, Europe, Singapore, and Australia.

It's a special time. David credits this success to his status as a seller on Amazon and to joining Transparency.

"Amazon is an incredible platform for expanding," he concludes, "because it offers you a lot of support and many programmes.

The advantage of Transparency is that it makes it impossible to sell a product without having the right code. And your products must be genuine in order to get that code.

It's as simple as that."
LOCATION
United Kingdom, Thailand
INDUSTRY
Home, Ceramics
AMAZON LAUNCH
2015

Contact the Transparency team to learn more.

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