An interesting success story has told us Christian Graggaber, SKOLKOVO MBA graduate, about his beautiful project JUVALIA & YOU .-What is your project about?
JUVALIA & YOU is a social selling company with a simple goal: to give women all around Russia the unique opportunity to fulfill their dream of being an entrepreneur, no matter what their situation and training is. We call them stylists. But in fact they sell our special and beautiful JUVALIA & YOU jewelry.
JUVALIA & YOU has style scouts on 3 continents who are exclusively working for us in order to identify the latest fashion trends. JUVALIA & YOU is the first company in Russia that combines fashion jewelry with social selling and e-commerce.
Everybody is welcome to visit our showroom which is situated just two minutes away from the Tretyakovskaya metro station in the centre of Moscow and participate in one of our style shows which we hold every evening. There you can also see with your own eyes, touch and feel our summer collection. If you like it you can buy it and take it immediately with you or ask for shipment. Soon, our stylists will host style shows not only in our showroom but all over Moscow.
- How did you come up with this idea?
I did my full time MBA at the SKOLKOVO business-school with the clear goal to start up a company afterwards. During my studies I used the SKOLKOVO network to get introduced to successful start-uppers and investors and with those people we are now starting JUVALIA & YOU. Similar companies in the US have shown the potential of the business model.
-What makes your project special?
The size of the Russian jewelry market is approximately 3 billion dollars. The social selling market is of a similar size. This is exactly where we have identified a highly unmet demand. JUVALIA & YOU is disrupting the Russian jewelry market via its new social selling strategy. Moreover JUVALIA & YOU is the first social selling company that is fully supported by online tools and e-commerce. Every stylist gets her own webpage where she can promote the latest collection and consult her customers as well as track her earnings with the JUVALIA & YOU fashion jewelry in the real time scale.
-Describe your team: who work with you, how do you collaborate?
We are currently a team of 10 highly motivated full time Juvalias. The team is a mix of fashion experts, social selling specialists and people who are not afraid of challenges and who like to walk the extra mile. On top we have stylists who run our style shows and sell our current summer collection.
We also carefully choose our suppliers. We do not only ask every supplier to sign a code of conduct, we establish strategic partnerships with them. We are very proud that we have signed a partnership with "Princess Kimi" from Bali - a young and very promising jewelry designer. Her summer collection is exclusively hand made for JUVALIA & YOU Russia and will be available from the second half of May onwards.
JUVALIA & YOU has also sister companies in Germany, India and Brazil. This allows us to exchange the latest fashion trends and share start-up experience on a multinational level as well. The exchange of information with the founders and CEOs in other countries allows us to increase the overall speed during the start-up phase. Since we are in the start-up phase we are always eager to get feedback in order to improve our performance and we are also hiring motivated people for full time and part time. We are looking for stylists from all over Russia who want to earn some extra money working part time and we are hiring full time team members mainly in IT and M&S
-What challenges are you facing?
The biggest challenge especially for me as a foreigner is the Russian bureaucracy. One example is the inbound logistics. With our first collection it took twice as long to get the goods from Sheremetevo to our warehouse than from Bali, Germany and China (these are the countries where we sourced our first collection) to Sheremetevo.
-How did/does SKOLKOVO help you?
SKOLKOVO has helped me to change my career path. Before entering the SKOLKOVO business-school I worked as a sales director in a multinational company. Especially during the studies at MIT and during the start-up module I have learnt how to create a successful business model by continually questioning my assumptions. The time I have spent with SKOLKOVO and MIT faculty members combined with many meetings and discussions with successful entrepreneurs has given me the tools and confidence to become the founder of JUVALIA & YOU.