This article is a part of our encyclopedia, and is editable by you. Edit ➜
No early career info added yet...
Taylor & Hart
Nikolay started Taylor & Hart in 2013. They detail the beginnings of their company in their Starter Story interview: 
Q: How did you get started on Taylor & Hart?
It all started many years ago in South Africa where I grew up, originally born in Bulgaria though. At the age of 17, I got a job as a sales representative in a diamond store tailored for Chinese customers. That was the first time when I developed an interest for diamonds. After finishing high school, I headed to the U.K. to study digital marketing.
During this period, me and my high school friend David Sutton decided to start several websites and e-commerce businesses while studying at the University of Manchester. Some teenage experiments and years later I reunited with David and we decided to start a real venture this time. That’s how the brand Rare Pink ( the first name of Taylor & Hart) was born in 2013.
Think whether or not you need an investment and when exactly to make an investment round. An investment makes you grow faster and potentially bigger than growing organically, but you need to think about what you are getting into.
We realised there was a gap in the market ** ** for the bespoke engagement rings and jewellery product category. Additionally, when I wanted to propose to my partner, I found traditional jewellers weren’t able to incorporate my ideas, but I didn’t feel comfortable using an online retailer either. The existing offerings were too standard and expensive. I was frustrated in my attempts to find ethically sourced engagement rings online. A lot of people I spoke to felt the same. The young people want to express themselves and their own unique love story through a piece of jewellery and play a part in the design process.
David’s background was in the wholesale diamond trade and he had built relationships throughout the supply chain, cutting out all of the middlemen and going straight to the polishing firms in India, while I had experience in e-commerce and digital marketing projects. Together, we thought we could merge our skills and experience to sell diamonds and diamond jewellery online. We completely underestimated how difficult it would be.
It was around this time that we were fortunate to have our first Rare Pink bespoke design customer. His name was Piers, and I knew him through friends at university. Piers reached out to ask if we’d be able to help him create a custom-designed engagement ring. So we said yes.
This was our first insight into the huge impact of a custom design experience and we realised that this was the new direction we wanted to follow. It had allowed Piers to tell he & Jenny’s story. We wanted to be part of it and we wanted to tell other couples’ stories too.
Fast forward a few months, the website was geared up to deal with bespoke engagement ring enquiries and we were crafting all kinds of wonderful rings! Sales were growing and we’d successfully raised investment from angel investors and through crowdfunding.
In 2016, we went through an extensive branding exercise where we re-branded to become Taylor & Hart. While attending the Techstars Boston accelerator the same year, we realized that if we were really going to make a go of it, we had to re-invent and revolutionise the Rare Pink brand and offering. With this brand evolution, we focussed on bringing jewellery back to its roots, emphasising the storytelling behind jewellery creation. We wanted to enable more people to have access to that by keeping the price point low and by making it fun and accessible.
Taylor & Hart was born to unite the best of both worlds – transparency, the ability to design your own ring, and a personal touch. During the journey, I found that I wanted the best of what online companies offered (better prices, privacy, convenience), while still being able to talk to someone, see products in person and get a custom design. So, we decided to start a hybrid business model that offers the best of both. The jewellery industry is ripe for disruption, and that is what we are hoping to do, to challenge the “very traditional” jewellery industry culture.
The new identity as Taylor & Hart led also to 30% sales increase.
Contributors to this article:
- Pat Walls, Founder @ Starter Story
- Wiki Updater