Devon based Du Maurier Watches is poised to launch its range of luxury watches to a global market, keen to capitalise on demand for its high quality British designed products, delivered with unique literary twist.
Watches are a passion of co-founder Ned du Maurier Browning, great grandson of famous author Daphne du Maurier. He founded the business, alongside his wife, Marianna, in 2013.
Each watch in the range has been inspired either by a character in Daphne Du Maurier’s classic novel Rebecca or by one of the many other colourful characters that make up the Du Maurier family tree.
The watches are designed in-house by Ned, and each design is created in limited edition runs of around 300.
The couple have focused on developing the business as an e-commerce operation and, as such, the Du Maurier range has already gained a loyal customer base across the globe. However, they now feel it’s time to take a more proactive approach to export.
With Ned in charge of design, Marianna leads the day-to-day operations of the business and is leading the export drive. She said:
“So far our export strategy has been very reactive. We’ve attracted some overseas custom, in fact we think we probably have at least one Du Maurier watch in most countries around the world but, now is the time to become more proactive.
“We believe that the international market is definitely key to the next stage of our growth, and as an e-commerce business, we are well placed to take advantage of that. Our vision is that the majority of our sales will eventually come from overseas.”
As a young business with no international trade experience, Du Maurier have looked to the Department for International Trade (DIT) for help and guidance on launching its business to overseas customers.
They are now one of a number of companies in the region that have boosted their export potential by taking advantage of the support offered by Exporting is Great, a government initiative to consolidate the export support available to companies.
Marianna said: “We met our DIT adviser, Hilary Charman, not long after we launched and she persuaded us to join an introductory export programme. The programme ran for 12 months and during that time we attended regular seminars, heard from other businesses with experience of exporting and generally were given a thorough education on the export market. By the end of that year we felt that we knew what we were doing and were ready to start putting together our own strategy.”
As well as promoting their range of watches, which they believe offer customers affordable style, sophistication and luxury, Ned and Marianna are hoping to capitalise on the interest around the Du Maurier name.
Marianna continues: “We know that there is a great appetite overseas not only for quality British products but also for brands with a heritage like ours. We hope that this combination will help us to stand out from the crowd. We are currently looking for suitable e-commerce partners to help us bring the brand to the US and Asia.
“This is where we have really benefited from the DIT’s support. Through Hilary we have made some extremely useful contacts with experience in the relevant markets.
“The amount of support available via the Exporting is GREAT programme is phenomenal. There is a huge amount of information on offer, and access to a huge network of contacts.
“With the support of the DIT we have achieved things we’d never have believed possible as a smaller business.”
Hilary Charman, DIT adviser, Cornwall said: “Ned and Marianna have created a strong brand, based on their fascinating family history and their passion for watches and high quality design. We’ve enjoyed being part of their story so far and are looking forward to continuing to work with them on this next, exciting, stage of their growth.”