If you’re a young professional, chances are you probably know someone who is working for a start-up company, or someone who has taken the career path of an entrepreneur. But with what seems like a new company launching every day on Instagram, it could be time to start measuring a brand’s success by how long it’s lasted in the industry (and not just by how many followers they have), particularly in a competitive market like Australia. Creating unique pieces for jewellery lovers everywhere, you could definitely consider Najo a legacy brand, as it has operated for three decades and continues to grow today.
After a nomadic trip around Mexico, the brand's founder Jo Tory took her travel inspiration and translated it into a business that continues to grow and break new ground while still maintaining its core characteristics.
If you too like the idea of starting your own business, or consider yourself more of an entrepreneur, wanting to see lasting success in the company you work for, read on to see Tory's takeaways from her success so far.
How have you remained relevant over three decades?
By remaining true to the original essence of the brand: I believe in always remaining in line with one’s vision but at the same time adapting ideas to current trends and movements. I am a big believer in collaboration. My team and I are always exchanging ideas, and having this open dialogue of creative perspectives is key to keeping a brand fresh and current.
What are some of the biggest lessons you’ve learnt after 30 years in business?
To surround yourself with like-minded people and instil a passion for what you are doing. Keep your focus, and don’t get distracted on a whim. Creativity is found in all people and all departments; I do not believe when an individual says, “I am not creative.” For your own success, and for others, you need to have a creative viewpoint which can be harnessed for a cohesive and successful outcome.
What does it take to succeed when launching your own fashion brand?
Trends, styles and colours come and go, but when you have a razor-sharp message that communicates with your consumer then you know you are on the path of longevity. For Najo we have a key message—a story to impart with our clientele. I believe consumers appreciate the heritage that is Najo. It is not just a brand, but a passion, and my story. Always believe in your key message.
What advice would you share with your younger self?
Analyse more and understand the market better. I created Najo from Mexico in the '80s. I would love to tell my younger self: "The hurdles are going to be okay, much like in life. You will learn and grow."
How do you stay competitive in such a huge market?
By underlining our point of difference and communicating that difference. We are in an era where brands are competing for attention, and those brands that have the longevity have a message, a story, an emotion. I believe this element makes a brand stand out from the rest.
Shop all of the latest Najo offerings at their website.