Sonya’s an export ‘Winner’ thanks to e-commerce
Sonya Winner Studio designs and produces vibrant contemporary statement rugs and more than half of sales revenue comes from online sales.
Sonya launched her business at her exhibition first in 2011 at the London Design Festival and immediately had huge interest and enquiries from around the world via her website. Since then her vibrant contemporary rugs have been shortlisted for Elle Deco, Homes and Gardens and Society of British Designer awards and won the American Society of Interior designers “Top Pick Award” at The Architectural Digest Show in New York.
Sonya said: “Before e-commerce we were overwhelmed by interest in our products, so creating e-commerce on our website was a natural progression to deal with orders efficiently and quickly.
Having e-commerce enabled us to sell into markets we didn’t even know were aware of our brand. It has made us accessible to new markets and we are now proud to attribute 67% of our sales to exports.
Once our online shop was up and running, UK Trade & Investment helped us develop our website by taking part in an Export Communications Review, conducted by Sarah Carroll. Evolving our website though the recommendations from the ECR we have been able to reach more customers in more territories thus sales through export.”
Sonya has worked closely with UKTI throughout her export journey, receiving help and support from her International Trade Adviser, Julian Ferguson Davie.
Julian said: “Sonya’s products are unique and bold and are in demand in markets all over the world. It is our job at UK Trade & Investment to help Sonya and her team effectively engage with their markets as the business develops.
Through taking part in our ‘Passport to Export’ scheme, Sonya was able identify the markets which showed the most interest in her products and, with the help of UKTI grants, has since taken part in two tradeshows in the USA – gaining her more sales and solidifying relationships with existing clients. She was also delighted to win a prestigious award at the Architectural Digest Show New York and have one of her rugs on permanent display at the British Consular residence in New York.
More recently, Sonya has moved onto our ‘Gateway to Global Growth’ programme. This one year programme enables her to benefit from additional focused international business training, access to the UKTI network, allowing her to attend events to build a solid foundation for overseas expansion.”
Sonya says: “Britain has a reputation worldwide for being a centre of excellence for creativity and innovation. I urge businesses, particularly small start-ups, to engage with UKTI and explore what e-commerce can offer, so that you can become a part of building the British Economy back to a position of strength.”
Sonya and her growing team now exports to over 25 countries, and continues to expand through e-commerce. To assist with this growth Sonya Winner and her team are benefitting from on-going advice and support and training from UKTI as part of the Gateway to Global Growth Programme.
“Through UKTI we have learnt about opportunities, developed strategies, and identified potential problems across markets to enable us to grow our business through exporting. The funding we have received has softened the expense of taking part in overseas trade exhibitions which have opened up exciting new markets for us.
UKTI has a lot to offer businesses of all sizes, from financial support to training, mentoring and networking. It is well worth engaging with them!”
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