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22 February 2019

Chupi: An Irish Success Story

Posted By: AIB Business
jewellery designer Chupi Sweetman

Since its creation in 2013, Irish jewellery brand Chupi has gone from strength to sparkly strength. Founded by Wicklow native Chupi Sweetman, the company produces everything from stunning handmade rings, bracelets and earrings to gorgeous stationary. Taking her inspiration from the natural beauty of Ireland’s epic countryside, Chupi makes around 18,000 pieces of bespoke jewellery per year, shipping to an impressive 64 countries. But how did this homegrown business get started?

Following Her Dream

Always interested in design, Chupi was scouted to work for fashion giant Topshop at the tender age of 21. She stayed there for six years, before deciding to follow her dream of setting up her own jewellery business. “I always thought you should be lots of things in life, but you should never be bored”, she notes, reflecting on that time. “I needed a new goal to keep me driven.” She went on to start what was to become a hugely successful Irish business and hasn’t looked back since.

 

Facing Challenges

Though the Chupi brand is renowned worldwide, the journey hasn’t been without its trials and tribulations; gender equality being one of them. “Being a woman in business is still a huge challenge”, she says. “Thankfully things have changed over the years, which is empowering, but being taken seriously as a woman is a challenge that’s still very evident today.” Having to prove herself in a field dominated by men has, however, made her stronger and more ambitious. “We, as women, have to fight harder to prove how good we are if people doubt us, which has been a very powerful driving force for me.”

Utilising Social Media

For a company that’s grown so substantially in just five years, social media has undoubtedly played a key role. Instagram is a perfect fit for a business with such visually compelling content; and unsurprisingly, the Chupi account currently has over 100k followers. For the team, it’s a great way to interact with customers on a personal level, like helping them choose the perfect engagement ring. “I feel so privileged to be a part of that special moment for people”, says Chupi. “I have the best job in the world – I get to make people happy!”

Looking to the Future

Though this fantastic Irish business is absolutely flourishing, Chupi is by no means resting on her laurels. Looking forward, she sees innovative tech playing a key role in the company’s further success. “In five years”, she says, “I want you to be sitting in Tokyo, and be able to try on a ring without leaving your apartment. We’ll be using AR and VR, and have it delivered to you within two days from Dublin.” Continuing to meet people and hear their stories is also important to Chupi going forward. To emphasise the brand’s personal connection, they’ll be doing a series of pop-ups in London, New York and Dublin this year. Check Chupi’s Instagram for further updates.

Looking to Start Your Own Business?

Finally, some advice for anyone keen to start their own business? “Do it today, not tomorrow”, says Chupi. “It’s easy to talk about the things you’re going to do. Do it now, it may not be perfect, but you’ll have started. Believe in yourself; if you don’t, no-one will. And learn to take advice.” Ready to take your business to the next level? We’ve got a whole range of business products and services on offer. Get in touch with our experienced team today.

 

 

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