Instagram interview with Svea Wedis, Brand Specialist, DC Swim Week
April 21, 2020
How is this whole situation affecting you?
Personally: I’m doing OK so far, getting caught up on a lot of home projects!
Business: Very challenging, since I just returned from a three-week shopping trip in Myanmar, Thailand, and the Philippines with wonderful inventory for the Spring and Summer, and then COVID-19 hit! I was all prepared to showcase my latest inventory in a lovely Pop-Up Boutique Shop in Old Town during April and May, but that was canceled.
Now, I’m working to upload product photos to my website with NO MODELS, and I’m having to take the photos! Let me tell you, photographing jewelry is difficult! I’m currently building a photo box to photograph our JADE bangle collection from Mandalay, Myanmar. I’m VERY CHALLENGED RIGHT NOW!
What are you doing to cope/help with this situation
First and foremost, I’m trying to be patient, stay focused, and check in on friends and neighbors. I’m also contemplating new ways to grow my business during these difficult times.
Next week I plan to begin offering “SHOP CASHMERE & PEARLS FROM HOME”. You can look online and select clothing or accessories you are interested in, and I will pack your selections up and deliver them to your door. My customers will have 24-36 hours to decide if they want to make any purchases. I will then return and pick up the box and if requested, gift wrap any purchases, at no extra charge. This sales event will be offered to all of my established customers & supporters in the DMV area.
How did you get the idea for your business?
I lived on Guam for almost 9 years, and during that time I had many opportunities to travel throughout Asia. In my travels, I discovered many quality and sometimes very unique things. For instance, I still have and still wear a lovely Cashmere jacket I found at a market in Hong Kong in 2010…and I still get compliments every time I wear it.
I also discovered REAL cashmere in Inner Mongolia! This was purely by accident since the purpose of my trip was to spend time in a YURT and ride horses in the Grasslands, much like Ghengis Khan!
Although I didn’t realize it at the time, I have a love and a passion for discovering timeless and unique clothing and accessories. So after retiring from my first career, it only seemed natural that I would pursue this passion. AND, my commitment to my customer base has never changed: I will bring you the most unique and highest quality collections at the best prices. I don’t purchase items which are mass-produced, so I don’t have much competition.
Your clothing and accessories are so fashionable, where do they come from?
My selections are all handpicked…I have a small collection of women’s dresses made from HANDWOVEN cotton and silk fabric from Myanmar; I have handcrafted, and sometimes hand-painted Thai Silk jackets from Thailand; I have exclusive Lotus fiber scarves, handwoven at Inle Lake in Myanmar, and I carry Golden South Sea Pearls from the Philippines. All of my offerings are timeless…and valuable.
And on that same note….where did my business name come from? My HEART! The two most important items to include in your wardrobe are a GOOD CASHMERE SCARF and a STRAND OF PEARLS. Cashmere and Pearls (of course)…..”BECAUSE WE NEED BOTH!”
Do you have any advice for everyday creatives and entrepreneurs?
I know this sounds like a cliche, but follow your passion. Be true to yourself and respect and honor your customer base, no matter how small.
To date, I have never, to my knowledge, had an unhappy customer. In fact, most of my advertising comes from my customers who LOVE what they purchased and therefore they feel great when wearing it and they want to share their photos. And of course, I LOVE to post their photos….I have BEAUTIFUL customers!
In Summary, we are living in an age of disposable fashion. We all have limited resources and naturally, we all want to look fabulous all the time. I’m a big believer that with just a few pieces of quality accent clothing, and a nice collection of GOOD accessories, you can always look fabulous!
Just remember, you don’t need a closet FULL of FABULOUS to look FABULOUS, you just need a few really nice pieces!
Check us out at https://www.cashmereandpearls.com