#BEYOUROWN MEETS ZEYNAB AL-KHERO
Zeynab Al-Khero is the founder and creative director for fashion jewellery brand Hers London. Established in London since 2017 creating hand-made, unique and incredibly fun to wear jewellery. Zeynab also designs and creates the beautiful jewellery to deliver her vision of what fashion jewellery can be and how to get creative with it whilst wearing it.
Hers London is the only fashion Jewellery brand of its kind in the UK with its designs and colours. If you ever heard of the Hamsa Hand, Hers London is your go to as they have the biggest and most unique colour selection, we want them all! Zeynab wanted to appeal to the wider audience by recreating a very traditional and popular design using colour pop and ensuring a worldly match to any woman’s skin colour.
Hers London is also famously known for its collection and colour names like the Dizzle Dazzle Hamsa Necklace in Sweet Lime. The pieces tell a story, they have real character and personality that showcase exactly what they are, unique all round.
Zeynab pursued her career in law in the corporate world and became a business woman through her corporate knowledge of 12 years. She then took a career break when she had her baby girl and wanted to be a full-time mum for the first 2 years of her daughter’s life. She wanted to experience motherhood at its fullest and make the most of her bundle of joy.
After realising what true happiness is and becoming more in touch with her own values and emotions, she decided to leave the corporate world in pursuit of her ambition by releasing her jewellery drawings that she kept hidden for years out to manufacturers who were able to re-create her vision. Whilst juggling a new born, motherhood and every day obstacles, Zeynab created her Brand and launched it together with her all new Jewellery collection designed by the woman herself in November 2017.
As well as balancing her love for fashion, jewellery and anything creative, Zeynab is also an entrepreneur and business woman as together with her brand she also maintains her every day job in business. She is a strong and resilient woman who is fully independent and believes in empowering other women to pursue their ambition no matter what life throws at them. She is the example of a woman who fixes another’s crown without wanting any acknowledgment for it but strives on other’s success. She is a member of the Mumpreneurs Group and is on her way to giving public talks not only about mums in business and how to handle those hurdles but also an inspirational speaker who has taken a few hard hits in her private life but has risen an even better and stronger version of herself.
Hey Zeynab, can you introduce yourself to us?
If you can maintain a deep and meaningful conversation with me then we have hit our first base of friendship! Simple girl really! A selective Fashion junkie, I love elegance with an edge and I appreciate beauty and style in all forms. I particularly love a good living room well designed, a design well thought out and what makes me happy more than anything is seeing another woman who carries style and confidence in her step! I am that girl who would wear an incredibly classy set of Jimmy Choos and own it but equally chill in my trainers and trackies on other days! Best of both worlds I say!
Can you take us through your journey to where you are now as the founder of Hers London?
That is definitely a long story! However I can tell you that I’ve been hit with real life changing problems, ones that can either make or break you. Going through the motions of losing everything I had and worked hard for in a split second and starting life from absolutely nothing at this stage and with a one year old child alone meant that I had no choice but to make it with my business. At the time Hers London had only launched for 2 months, it was my sole income, there was absolutely no break and no looking back, I had to make it happen. Let me tell you, I hustled hard! Whilst I was building my brand I was doing odd jobs working from home and looking after my baby. It always makes me very emotional thinking about it because I’ve never been through so much pressure and pain in my life until then. But being in that situation literally gave me a rebirth and to make it count I finally started to pursue my passion and do things for me and only me. I took that risk and reached my happiness and discovered my purpose with Hers London. This together with my daughter was the only light in my life at the time that brought me peace and satisfaction. I used it as a form of escapism to help me deal with my personal issues and I would put my daughter to sleep and spend hours until the early morning strategising and planning my next move to grow my brand.
I come from a respectable family, a loving mum and dad who have dedicated every hour of their day to us ensuring we get the best education and grow up with values, manners and basic respect for humans. Due to their busy schedule, I have always been independent and done things pretty much alone. I spent a lot of time drawing and creating things from nothing as a kid. I remember making bracelets out of coloured paperclips and wanted to sell them in school but my tutor caught me and told my parents lol! First detention but I could see that smirk on my tutor’s face as if he was secretly proud of me! I was 10 years old by the way!!
I discovered my love for jewellery at a young age and I used to always draw jewellery pieces and women’s features at the back of my homework books! I always appreciated the female form and always imagined jewellery matching its beauty. Over the years I built a collection of drawings which I only had time to do as a hobby at the time whilst juggling work and studies. My work was very demanding with long hours but when I was on maternity leave I had more time to dedicate to my passion. And it was the being at home more often part that enabled me to contact a few manufacturers who were a good match for my brand and who were able to re-create the pieces just as I want them. I am not designed to sit at home and do nothing my brain has to work!
I took a few months break when I had my daughter and then carried on working with the manufacturers to get the products right and I started to dedicate a hell of a lot of time to my branding and website creation which is also the online shop. At that point all I had to do was to make sure my packaging and branding as well as website were on the go so that all I had to concentrate on was brand content, photoshoots, quality check and marketing. As a one-woman band this took some time in terms of learning and getting things right just how I want them. All of this led to November 1st 2017 when I launched Hers London from my very living room!
Now, Hers London is an up and coming brand in London, I have a full-time business job that I respect and value, my daughter is in full time nursery and I actually have a social life too!
How would you say Hers London is set apart from many other fashion jewellery brands and how are you competing with other similar brands in your market?
Hers London is simply unique in very single way. From colours to designs and from branding to marketing. With very competitive pricing, typically £28 for a bracelet, it sits right within the high-street fashion jewellery market. Most fashion jewellery tarnishes and I absolutely hate that! I don’t particularly want to take my bracelets off every time I take a shower! So I ensured I make all my jewellery from pure silver and use a clever gold plating method to ensure a long life with TLC. Yes I am a business woman, and I do understand profit but when it comes to my brand its more profitable for me to see women enjoying wearing my brand than making maximum money out of it! But this in itself generates more sales because it’s quality over anything else.
Where can you see yourself within the next 5 years and what plans do you have in place to expand and further develop the growth of Hers London?
On a break of a life time in an island somewhere feet up sipping on my favourite drink getting a head and shoulder massage celebrating my successes lol! This means that I have hit my 5 year goals for Hers London, first one being selling in the retail store of my dreams (it’s currently a secret. Well it’s not a secret I just don’t want to jinx it)!! Second goal is to expand and sell worldwide! Third goal, release at least another 3 collections and final goal- GROW!
What outlets do use to promote Hers London?
Social Media, facebook but mainly Instagram. Also participate in events, stalls and bazaars to promote the brand.
What gives you ultimate career satisfaction?
Seeing my jewellery on other women, the way it looks against their skin and how it compliments their features. I am a bit of a feminist in that I thrive on supporting other women and watching them grow. I want to help people reach their full potential and I don’t believe in competing against each other, its about competing with one another because a little bit of competition is healthy.
What challenges have you seen to have been presented during the growth of Hers London?
The market is saturated with jewellery brands, in particular online shops. So why should people buy from me. I had to translate my USP to my customers because I believe in my products and I’m very passionate about it. That together with growing an organic fan base on social media. I wanted real genuine figures and followers and I was able to use those numbers and growth to determine what pieces were favoured, what type of marketing my instagramers enjoyed and it genuinely taught me a lot about my market base. We are very lucky we have platforms like social media in this day and age that can help us showcase our work and determine a few important marketing and branding strategies
Which other leading entrepreneurs and pioneering game changers do you also admire and why?
I’m an absolute sucker for life coaches and self-development books. I lived at the self help section in Waterstones for a while! I love the theory of The Secret, it rewired my way of thinking. I admire Jay Shetty, someone who also took a risk, left his corporate job and followed his calling.
How do you define your own success?
Not sure if I’m allowed to swear but BLOODY eventful!! A complete emotional and physical rollercoaster but maaaaan is it worth it! And I’m still not there yet, I still have huge successes I want to reach it doesn’t stop here, this is only the beginning!
What does #BEYOUROWN mean to you?
When I was approached by beyourown, honestly I was honoured. For a magazine to represent women entrepreneurs and women in business it’s right up my street of values and beliefs. I love what this magazine does for women like us, gives us the opportunity to stand together and inspire likeminded people.
Finally, what are you working on throughout 2019?
I want to make a video advert for Hers London slightly underestimated it! I need to have a launch party at some point too! Otherwise lots of behind the scenes, hiring a team, working on my development as a person, smash it at my business job and making sure my daughter is happy! Spend quality time with family and friends that’s me done.