As the host of this podcast, I recently had the pleasure of sitting down with Kiralee, the founder of Murkani Jewellery. Our conversation was filled with insights into her journey, her brand, and her passion for creating beautiful, affordable, and ethically made jewellery.
Listen to the podcast here 👇🏼 :
The Birth of Murkani Jewellery
Kiralee’s journey to founding Murkani Jewellery began over a decade ago. She had the idea for her own brand when she was 30, but it wasn’t until she moved to Vietnam a few years later that she found the confidence to bring her dream to life. With the support and opportunities available in Southeast Asia, Kiralee took the leap and started her own jewellery brand.
Murkani Jewellery is handcrafted by artisans in Southeast Asia, with Kiralee designing everything herself. Her love for jewellery and the desire to create beautiful, affordable pieces in an ethical way were the driving forces behind the brand’s inception.
The Creative Process
Kiralee’s creative process involves drawing and designing, with the help of an in-house graphic designer to ensure accurate production. She also draws inspiration from architecture, art, and historical events for her collections. One such collection, “Lost and Found,” was created to support the anti-trafficking and anti-slavery work of the charity Hagar in Afghanistan. Kiralee incorporated elements from a collection of jewellery that had been lost for 20,000 years and rediscovered in the 90s, creating pieces that symbolized love, renewal, and courage.
Balancing Newness with Conscious Consumerism
In our conversation, Kiralee emphasized the importance of keeping retail and wholesale customers engaged with newness and excitement. However, she also highlighted the need to balance this with conscious consumerism, encouraging customers to invest in beautiful, long-lasting pieces that can be mixed and matched.
Collaborations and Giving Back
Kiralee’s passion for collaboration and giving back is evident in her work. She recently collaborated with Daisy, resulting in a collection that combined different perspectives to create something unique. Additionally, Kiralee has been working with the charity AIGA on their Cambodia project for the past four years, raising and donating over $50,000.
The Importance of Imagery
Kiralee acknowledges the importance of creating compelling imagery to showcase her jewellery. Regular photo shoots for different purposes, such as product shoots, campaign shoots, and flat lay shoots, have become a significant part of the business.
Expanding Globally and the Role of Sales Agents
Kiralee shared her experiences of expanding her business globally, investing in trade fairs in Paris, and hiring agencies in the UK and the US. She emphasized the importance of finding partners who genuinely believe in the brand. She also discussed her use of sales agents, explaining that she has six agents covering different states in Australia.
The Breakdown of Revenue
Currently, around 60% of Murkani Jewellery’s revenue comes from Australian wholesale, while 30% comes from online retail. The export market is growing, accounting for around 10-15% of the revenue.
The Importance of Brand Differentiation
Kiralee and I discussed the importance of brand differentiation. She believes in the power of storytelling and showcasing the brand’s unique narrative. She also emphasized the need for retailers to invest in their brand and not just focus on short-term profits.
The Business Side of Things
Kiralee believes that for a jewellery brand, it’s essential to do a bit of everything when it comes to marketing. She also highlighted the importance of having a strong business mindset and managing cash flow. Many brands fail because they neglect to consider the financial aspects of their business. To get help with this side of your business you can dive into my Roadmap program that helps you build a Profitable Product Business of your dreams.
Regrets and Aspirations
Reflecting on her entrepreneurial journey, Kiralee expressed a wish to have started earlier but acknowledged that now is an exciting time for anyone to pursue their passions. She emphasized the importance of having a unique point of difference in the market to stand out.
A Passion for Anti-Trafficking and Sustainability
Kiralee is passionate about anti-trafficking and raising awareness about the issue. She is committed to improving supply chains and transparency to ensure fair treatment and wages for workers. Additionally, she is passionate about environmental sustainability and acknowledges the need for the jewellery industry to use recycled materials and reduce plastic usage.
The Future of Murkani Jewellery
As we concluded our conversation, Kiralee mentioned the upcoming launch of a new collection, which can be found on the Murkani Jewellery website. She continues to be driven by her passion for creating beautiful, affordable, and ethically made jewellery, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for Murkani Jewellery.