Kali Hawk, the founder jewelry business H.Crowne, says this strategic decision helped her … [+]
When entrepreneur and actress Kali Hawk was first starting up, she wanted to keep herself grounded. “It’s a marathon, not a sprint,” she recalls reminding herself when launching jewelry maker H.Crowne in November 2015.
Over the past 4 years, she’s run far with it — her client list has always included the ultra-famous, like singers Beyonce and Madonna, and her wares have graced the pages of publications like Harper’s Bazaar and Paper.
She also makes pieces for the general public to enjoy — and considering H.Crowne’s over 41,000 followers on Instagram, they do, indeed, enjoy them. But her early goals were centered on having a roster of A-list customers to cater to, and she knew it would take something significant to make it happen. So rather than ramping up to that goal, she decided not to play it safe.
Hawk’s strategy? Go big, or go home.
“If you want something to be successful, you have to start at the top,” she says. For her, that meant courting celebrity clientele at the outset, and pursuing that goal no matter how long it took to achieve. After all, she reasoned, that would be “the best endorsement you could really have for the quality and excitement of what I’m doing.”
Her strategy paid off faster than she expected. When the chance to meet with one of Madonna’s longtime stylists, Bea Åkerlund, came her way soon after launching, Hawk says she took full advantage — a good thing, as Åkerlund loved her work. The Queen of Pop became H.Crowne’s first major client, and others, like entrepreneur and influencer Kylie Jenner, followed.
Hawk’s approach worked out in the long term, too — today, she reports that 70% of her customers are celebrities. But in order to say on top, she adds, “you have to give it everything you have.” Find out what she put into her venture by reading about her entrepreneurial journey at The Story Exchange.